Parenting Digital Natives
How to parent children in the digital age is a question most families have. As children browse more information online and become more connected on social media platforms, parents need to ensure their child’s safety in the digital realm.
As children grow parents want to give them more freedom in their online life. However, knowing that children are relatively naïve, the biggest concern for parents is that they may unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way by viewing inappropriate content or interacting with strangers.
Digital natives are children born or growing up in the digital age. Surrounded by technology, they often exhibit a high level of comfort and familiarity with digital devices and online platforms. As a parent, it’s important to stay informed about the content they browse, their conduct on social platforms and who they contact to understand your child’s online behaviour and guide them effectively. Here are some additional considerations parents have towards managing digital natives:
Parental controlsDigital natives are often glued to screens be it for educational purposes, entertainment or socializing. Spending too much time online disconnects them from their physical world and that’s why it’s important for parents to establish screen time limits and restrict usage to specific times of the day.
Restrict sites inappropriate for ageThe biggest concern for parents is that their child may stumble across inappropriate sites without realizing the risks. Parents need to decide which sites and apps are safe for their children (like YouTube Kids and NatGeo Kids) and restrict harmful ones. Despite this, parents must still supervise kids when using their devices (check their browsing history) to ensure they access only relevant or trustworthy sources of information.
Monitor online relationshipsSocial media plays a significant role in children’s lives, such as influencing their friends’ circle, impacting their self-esteem and personality development. Parents must monitor who all are interacting or exchanging messages with their children. Once in a while openly talk about responsible usage, healthy boundaries and warn them against meeting strangers offline.
Digital privacyChildren today leave behind a significant digital footprint through their activities online. Parents need to educate their children about responsible digital presence, the consequences of sharing too much personal information, and the importance of privacy settings to safeguard data.
Awareness about online safetyDigital natives are greatly exposed to online risks such as cyberbullying, online predators, and scams. It’s crucial for parents to educate their children about online safety, establish guidelines for internet usage, and encourage open communication to address any untoward incidents.
Digital well-beingConstant gaming and exposure online can affect your child’s mental health and well-being. Children can display addictive and obsessive behaviours with their devices. Should kids rebel against rules or cross boundaries, parents must remove devices or ban usage. Instead encourage them to spend time in a variety of physical games and promote face-to-face interactions to ensure a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Role modellingLastly, parents play a crucial role in shaping their child’s digital behavior and attitudes. By practicing healthy technology habits (such as using devices for a limited time or switching them off after a certain time) parents can establish trust and guide responsible usage.
We hope this information will help you as a parent in ensuring your children navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.
Alvina Clara, Content Writer, emQube