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Par­ent­ing In The Dig­i­tal Age l Kids and Tech­nol­o­gy l Effect of Tech­nol­o­gy on Child Devel­op­ment l Chil­dren and Tech­nol­o­gy l Pos­i­tive Effect of Tech­nol­o­gy on Chil­dren

Par­ents want their chil­dren to grow up to be respon­si­ble and reli­able adults. Rais­ing a kid in the dig­i­tal age comes with its chal­lenges. And they might not even be obvi­ous to par­ents because of the gen­er­a­tion gap and the leaps in social media. Trends in tech­nol­o­gy have a high turnover, as what was cool a decade or two ago (think MySpace) has giv­en way to new gen­er­a­tions of social media, like Tik­Tok. But if par­ents have an over­all grasp of how to keep their kids account­able. It does­n’t mat­ter how the trends change, as a sol­id eth­i­cal edu­ca­tion will weath­er the shift­ing tides of tech­no­log­i­cal trends. Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Kids start devel­op­ing a sense of right and wrong as ear­ly as two or three years of age. They mod­el the behav­iour of their par­ents and the oth­ers around them as they learn how to relate to oth­er peo­ple and devel­op their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. Tech­nol­o­gy can even be your ally in this regard, as you can choose media to help you to mod­el good val­ues for your child. Get­ting into pos­i­tive habits will make your job even eas­i­er down the line. As kids get old­er and devel­op greater inde­pen­dence, there’s more oppor­tu­ni­ty for them to dip into ques­tion­able behav­iour online. Where it’s also tougher for adult fig­ures to mon­i­tor what they’re doing. That goes for phones, too, and the temp­ta­tion to text and surf the Inter­net at inap­pro­pri­ate times. Or use their devices irre­spon­si­bly can be very high as they become espe­cial­ly aware of their social sta­tus among their peers.

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Instead of fear­ing this sit­u­a­tion as an obsta­cle, every­one will enjoy it so much more if you look at it as a learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty. Per­fec­tion won’t come at first, and your kid is bound to make some mis­takes as they are nav­i­gat­ing the wide world of social media and instan­ta­neous com­mu­ni­ca­tion. But they’ll learn from them quick­ly. Kids learn bet­ter when they make mis­takes rather than just being told what to do. Check out the fol­low­ing point­ers for a few more ideas to keep in mind as your child starts grow­ing up and test­ing the waters of respon­si­bil­i­ties in the dig­i­tal age! Amazon Baby registry

1- Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Canva - Father and Daughter Spending Time

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Ado­les­cents are exposed to an infi­nite vari­ety of mate­ri­als when they’re surf­ing the Inter­net or using social media. To assist them in fil­ter­ing the infor­ma­tion that they expose to, ask them about it. It’s also a good idea to keep the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open about their iden­ti­ties online – are they dif­fer­ent online than they are in per­son? Many peo­ple will engage in con­duct online that they nev­er would IRL (“in real life”), which can lead to extreme behav­iour. Anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty is to ask them how they would behave in cer­tain sce­nar­ios so that they’ll be ready when faced with sit­u­a­tions where they’ll need to make eth­i­cal deci­sions.

2- Model Good Behaviour

Let your kids know that using social media respon­si­bly is not only ben­e­fi­cial to oth­ers, but also reward­ing for you. Be sure to lim­it your own “screen time,” too, so that your kids can appre­ci­ate how impor­tant it is to inter­act with oth­ers face-to-face.

3- Choose Your Media Wisely

While your child is just start­ing to get the hang of tech­nol­o­gy, be sure to empha­size movies and tele­vi­sion series that show­case pos­i­tive rela­tion­al skills. These types of films or shows will demon­strate the advan­tages of grat­i­tude, com­pas­sion, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. To dri­ve home these pos­i­tive mes­sages, dis­cuss them with your kid. Talk­ing through these issues will help kids to get a bet­ter sense of right and wrong. And, most impor­tant­ly, ask you ques­tions and become active­ly engaged in their eth­i­cal devel­op­ment.

4- Emphasize Family Over Technology

Canva - Parents and kids using digital tablet in living room

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Social media addic­tion can make it dif­fi­cult for young peo­ple to under­stand how to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers. By de-empha­siz­ing the role of tech­nol­o­gy in their lives. You can make cer­tain that they will devel­op the social skills that will be essen­tial to their pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al suc­cess lat­er in life. Enforce “screen-free” times and spaces in your house­hold to make sure tech­nol­o­gy has a back­seat role in your lives.

5- Share Media that Showcases Positive Behaviour

It’s worth not­ing again that tech­nol­o­gy does­n’t have to be the ene­my – there’s plen­ty of mate­r­i­al out there that fore­grounds respon­si­ble behav­iour, account­abil­i­ty, and com­pas­sion. Chat with oth­er par­ents in real life or online to swap tips with each oth­er on what kids like and what kinds of shows and which per­son­al­i­ties com­mu­ni­cate the val­ues that you want to instill in your chil­dren.

6- Encourage Good Behaviour through Praise and Positive Reinforcement

When you wit­ness good sports­man­ship or when your child is com­pas­sion­ate or help­ful, be sure that your kid under­stands that this is praise­wor­thy. Many par­ents are read­ier to reward their stu­dents for more overt accom­plish­ments like win­ning a race or get­ting the high­est grade in the class than they are for acknowl­edg­ing less com­pet­i­tive but more com­pas­sion­ate atti­tudes. Let your kids know that life isn’t all about win­ning; if they learn that being the best isn’t so impor­tant, they will be more inclined to be more help­ful towards oth­ers.

7- Set Limits for Screen Time and Stick to Them

Pro­vide your child with lim­its for their screen time just as you do for oth­er things in their day-to-day lives, like sweets, bed­time, play­time, and school respon­si­bil­i­ties. Just as they learn to adapt to the lim­its that you set in oth­er aspects of their expe­ri­ence. They’ll adjust to the para­me­ters you set regard­ing the amount of time that they are allowed to use their devices and what pro­grams and plat­forms they may use. Just as cer­tain priv­i­leges are for adults alone, they can eas­i­ly learn that there are cer­tain inter­net sites and uses of tech­nol­o­gy that is not designed for kids’ usage, or only to a lim­it­ed extent.

8- Don’t Always Make Screen Time Alone Time

By view­ing mate­ri­als, nav­i­gat­ing sites, and even play­ing video games with your kids, you’re encour­ag­ing social inter­ac­tion and, in so doing, ensur­ing that screen time is not an iso­lat­ing activ­i­ty. If you watch a show with your kids, for exam­ple, you can take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tribute your com­men­tary and share your own life expe­ri­ences and guid­ance. As you inter­act with kids, you’re step­ping down from just play­ing a super­vi­so­ry role and par­tic­i­pat­ing active­ly in the activ­i­ty with them. Even play­ing video games gives you a great chance to mod­el and dis­cuss how to play fair­ly and respon­si­bly. By not treat­ing tech­nol­o­gy as a for­bid­den fruit or a reward for oth­er good behav­iour but rather as some­thing that you can share. You will encour­age your child to have a health­i­er rela­tion­ship with tech­nol­o­gy and fos­ter their social skills.

9- Educate Your Kids About Cyberbullying

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

Pre­ven­tion is the best med­i­cine – and this goes for cyber­bul­ly­ing and oth­er unac­cept­able online behav­iours, too. To edu­cate your kids about cyber­bul­ly­ing, one of the most effec­tive mea­sures you can take is to teach them how to iden­ti­fy it so they can stop it imme­di­ate­ly, whether they or one of their peers is the tar­get. Stud­ies show that when kids can under­stand what is accept­able and what is unac­cept­able, plus how to respond to any red flags, the rates of bul­ly­ing decrease. Let your kid know that you will sup­port them in stand­ing up to cyber­bul­ly­ing and that you, along with com­mu­ni­ty and school mem­bers. They are avail­able to answer their ques­tions and help them to con­front any cyber bul­lies so that they and their school­mates feel safe both online and in their every­day envi­ron­ments.

10- Create technology-free Areas in Your House

Canva - Family Relaxing on Sofa at Home

Parenting In The Digital Age l Kids and Technology l Effect of Technology on Child Development l Children and Technology l Positive Effect of Technology on Children

These days, tech­nol­o­gy is every­where around us, from the Pow­er­Points and over­heads that teach­ers might use in their class­rooms to the phones that are con­stant­ly buzzing in our pock­ets and the GPS telling our cars where to go. You might even have Alexa set up in your house for play­ing music or order­ing items over the Inter­net. Give your kid a chance to have a tech-free envi­ron­ment by set­ting up space in your home where there are no screens or devices. Also, turn off devices that aren’t being used, so there’s no ongo­ing temp­ta­tion to use them. Stud­ies have shown that peo­ple sleep bet­ter in areas where devices have been shut off. So if it’s pos­si­ble to do so, keep your kid’s bed­room free of devices when it’s time to go to sleep. That allows them to dis­con­nect while they’re asleep, too.

Lastly!

As pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned, one of the biggest favours you can do for you or your kids is to remem­ber that they’re going to make mis­takes. Cer­tain behav­iours such as cyber­bul­ly­ing or send­ing out­cries for help require seri­ous atten­tion and per­haps even help from a pro­fes­sion­al. How­ev­er, for lighter mis­takes, keep in mind that it’s always help­ful to be for­giv­ing. Why not treat them as oppor­tu­ni­ties for learn­ing rather than pun­ish­ment? Remem­ber: a lot of this is all new to your kid, too!
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