It’s 2023, and parenting is changing just like everything else at a pace parents struggle to cope with. Technology has changed the way we communicate, the way we learn, and even the way we parent. It’s no surprise that digital parenting will be one of the biggest problems.
First, parents are trying to cope with their children’s virtual learning. With the increasing number of online classes and virtual schooling options, parents are trying to figure out how to make virtual learning work for their kids. They’re looking for ways to create a productive home learning environment, manage their kids’ online classes, and stay connected with their kids’ teachers and classmates.
Second, “digital parenting” is a growing struggle for parents in 2023. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, parents are trying to figure out how to monitor their kids’ online activities while still allowing them freedom. Parents need clarification about setting boundaries, teaching responsible screen use, and monitoring children’s digital activities. They’re attempting to protect children from cyberbullying and online predators.
Parents have differing views about how to manage their children’s screen time. With so many devices and platforms available, tracking how much time kids spend on screens can be tricky. Parents are looking for strategies to manage screen time and create a healthy balance of online and offline activities for their kids. Part of the problem is that parents need to become more familiar with the digital world, as are their children. Children can run circles around parents on operating computers and manipulating monitoring software.
It is essential that parents set some boundaries and rules, even if they are not perfect. Focus on the types of content your child can access, the amount of time they can spend online, and the people they can interact with. These boundaries should be age-appropriate and consider your child’s maturity level.
Parents will have to model responsible use of technology. Sit with children, ask questions, be open about how to use the internet safely and securely, protect themselves, and be wary of potential risks. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations about cyberbullying and online predators.
Even if you can’t control or out-think your child when it comes to technology, stay active in monitoring what your child is doing online. If warranted, search internet browser history, follow their social media accounts, and even look through children’s posts/messages.
Discuss limits with children to get their input on what they think is appropriate. Parents can make the final decisions, but getting children to take some ownership of the limits they recommend will increase cooperation. Let children teach you about social media and internet use.
Here is a list of the best websites parents can use to better understand how to manage digital parenting and technology.
- Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media is an invaluable resource for digital parenting. They offer various resources, from age-appropriate media recommendations to online safety tools. They also provide guidance on talking to kids about online safety and setting up parental controls.
- National PTA: The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is an excellent resource for parents looking to better understand how to manage digital parenting and technology. The PTA offers a variety of resources, including tips on how to set up a family media plan, how to talk to kids about online safety, and how to recognize signs of cyberbullying.
- Connect Safely: Connect Safely is a nonprofit organization providing parents with safety tips and guidance on managing digital parenting and technology. They offer a wealth of resources, including a parent guide to social media, a guide to online gaming, and advice on creating a family media plan.
- Parent Zone: Parent Zone is a website dedicated to helping parents and carers understand and manage digital parenting and technology. They offer a range of resources, from advice on setting up parental controls to tips on talking to kids about online safety.
- Net Aware: Net Aware is a website run by the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). It provides parents with reviews and advice on social media platforms, apps, and games, as well as tips on how to keep children safe online.
- Media Smarts: Media Smarts is a Canadian organization that provides parents with resources to manage digital parenting and technology. They offer a range of resources, including tips on how to talk to kids about online safety, spot and respond to cyberbullying, and set up parental controls.
- Microsoft Family Safety: Microsoft Family Safety is a free app that helps parents manage their family’s digital experience. The app provides parents with tools to set limits on screen time, content, and insights into their children’s online activities.
- Be Internet Awesome: Be Internet Awesome is a program from Google that teaches kids digital safety and citizenship. The program includes activities, games, and resources to help kids understand online security and make intelligent decisions.