We grew up in a day and age where computers were not widely known, and the internet was not yet offered. Those were the days when playing with your friends was cool, and parenting was not as hard. Technology is a great thing, but it offers a lot of temptation to a growing child. Unfortunately, those simple days are over, and children now days will never know what it’s like to live in a world without the internet.
Parents have had to up their game when it comes to monitoring their children’s activity. Digital parenting requires tools that were once unheard of. The digital world has completely effected the way we all communicate. Communication with your child is so important, and you have to make every effort to ensure these gateways stay open.
The digital world now affects the way we parent our children. It is so important that you become a parent who knows the consequences that the internet can present to your children. When you understand the dangers that are involved, you will be able to monitor your child’s digital activity.
Here are 8 steps to help you develop good digital parenting skills.
#1 Staying Up-To-Date
Being aware of the dangers that are offered on the internet is one of the biggest things parents need to educate themselves about. Understanding what new apps or software has to offer, is just part of digital parenting. You will need to keep up to date on the latest offerings in both software and devices. This will help you make a decision if your child is allowed to use that technology.
Knowing is half the battle, and you will be armed with the best knowledge to base your decision on. Stay on top of technology, and you will be aware of what dangers it presents. Find a tech blog and subscribe, so it is easy for you to stay up to date on all the latest offerings.
#2 Make an Impression
Do not set rules that you would not follow yourself. Your children look up to you, and it’s your job to be a good role model. However, many adults forget that children have a hard time following rules that their own parents will not follow. Develop good digital habits that they can look up to. They will be the first ones to notice if you are not behaving appropriately in the digital world. In other words, practice what you preach. You’ll find that your children will follow rules more efficiently.
It’s important that you set boundaries, otherwise your children will test all the waters. Giving your child a cell phone is a privilege, and you should always treat it that way. Enforce rules the second it enters their hands. When they prove that they can behave appropriately in the digital world, you can readjust the rules. They need to earn your trust when it comes to the digital world. Let them know they are earning more privileges.
In the same sense, if rules are broken, you have to be firm with punishments. Always back up your punishment with some positive reinforcements. It is important for children to understand there are consequences involved.
Talking with your children is one of the most important things you can do. Be honest with them, and they will be more willing to communicate with you. Explain why rules are being set, and they will understand you are not just being an overly protective parent. Rules can make children feel like you do not trust them, but you need to help them see it is the digital temptations you are worried about. Explain the negative consequences that comes with misbehaving on the internet.
#5 Be Involved
If you are going to allow your child to be a part of a social media platform, then you need to stay active on it as well. This will help you monitor your child’s post, and ensure they are not doing things they are not suppose to be doing. You want to give them a bit of freedom, so understand that being their friend or following them will be enough for you to monitor their activity. They may feel like you are invading their privacy, which can be a major reason why children misbehave in the first place.
#6 Monitoring System
There are several ways you can monitor your child’s digital activity. These include Parent Controls and Monitoring Software. Parental controls are usually already installed on the device and allows you to set limits. If the device does not have parental controls you can download an app. Monitoring software is downloaded on to your child’s device, and logs all digital activity for you to view. This software is ideal for parents of teenagers who seem to spend more time in the digital world than reality. Monitoring software will help you understand what is going on in your child’s life.
#7 Share The Digital World
Make the internet a family thing. Encourage your kids to research topics and tell you what they learn. Take the bad stuff out of the web, and enforce good digital habits. This will go a long way with your kids, and they will be more open with what they are doing while on the web.
Set a day where everyone takes a digital break. It is a great ideal for families to stay connected, and throwing down the digital world will enhance family time. It may be hard for your children to adjust to no digital activity at first, but they will see that there is a world of fun filled activities that do not include technology.