August 26, 2014
Parent’s Guide to Digital Parenting
Smartphones, computers, tablet, gaming systems and all sorts of other types of digital electronics are becoming more popular with teens and young kids as each day passes. For many adults keeping up with all the newest technology is not all that important, but for parents keeping up with technology and what their kids are using is imperative.
The term “digital parenting” can mean different things to different people. It can be a term used for parents who utilize the newest technology to keep tabs on their teens and young kids to ensure their safety and proper device usage. It can also be the idea of parents keeping up with the newest digital technology their kids are using simply so they don’t get left behind and have no clue what their kids are up to; in this case, it’s both. As kids quickly embrace new technology, digital parenting is something today’s parents must also embrace to not be left in the dark.
Below are just a few aspects of digital parenting parents can use to keep up with their kids and not get left in the dust.
You may be asking, “What does digital parenting have to do with communicating with my kids?” Well, you have to know what your kids are into, right? Open lines of communication allow parents to become more familiar with what their kids are involved in, this way if there are any red flags, parents can say/do something about it. Keep in mind, teens are impressionable and may only be doing what their friends are doing. Communicating with them and educating them to the positives and negatives of what they’re doing helps tremendously to keep them from doing things they shouldn’t.
There are several parents out there who believe that because their teens and young kids a tech savvy enough, that they fully understand all of the dangers and pitfalls of the online world. These parents are extremely incorrect and this is where educating kids plays a big part; but it doesn’t just stop there. Educating teens and young kids is one thing, but parents also have to get involved with what they are doing. Parents need to do their research on the latest apps and other tech to make sure they approve of them for their teens, and using them helps to know what they’re all about.
Get on Social Networks
Getting involved with what teens are doing on their digital devices sometimes requires parents to actually get on social networks themselves. For some parents this may sound scary, but it can be beneficial. Being on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others not only helps parents to see what kind of things their children are posting, but also see what things they’re “liking” to get an idea of what they’re participating in. A good rule of thumb to teach here is “if you don’t want parents to see it, don’t post it.”
For those parents who need to go one step further in their digital parenting, there is also another tool to use known as monitoring and parental control software. This solution may seem high tech to some, but can be handled by even those who are not very tech savvy. Monitoring and parental control software such as this get installed directly onto the child’s smartphone, tablet or computer, then parents can monitor activities remotely.