How to Become a Good Digital Parent
How to Become a Good Digital Parent – As a child of the 80's, I can clearly remember when we finally got cable TV. The entire family gathered in the living room to watch Nickelodeon and MTV. My parents didn't think twice about handing me the TV remote control knowing I could only access kid friendly channels. Being accidentally exposed to inappropriate content when I was searching Encyclopedia Britannica for my homework was never an issue. The word cyberbullying had not even been invented yet. My parents only worry when it came time for me to apply to college was my GPA, not any inappropriate photos or comments I may have posted on social media.
Today, parents don't have the luxury of being able to filter the content their family is exposed to base on limited cable TV channel options. Technology has evolved faster than parents can keep up with and this causes a dilemma for today's parents to provide a balance between appropriate levels of parental oversight and allowing their children the freedom to interact on social media platforms, as well as explore the educational and entertainment content widely available on the Internet.
The good news is that there are steps every digital parent can take to keep their family safe online.
- Empower yourself with digital knowledge. Digital parenting today requires that we must pay attention and/or learn what platforms and apps our children are using and HOW they are using them.
- Regular and open communication is key. Conversations with your child on proper digital etiquette is essential, especially on what is acceptable to post and share. Warn your child of the dangers of posting private information such as birthday, name of school, home address or phone number.
- Create a family contract for electronic device usage. A family contract is great tool to make sure that everyone understands the family rules. Click here for a free copy.
- Monitor your child's online activity. While you can't protect your child twenty-four hours a day, you can make sure that your children aren't being exposed to inappropriate content at home and on their mobile devices by using parental control software like Net Nanny.
- Put technology devices to sleep at bedtime. All electronic devices should be turned in at bedtime so that there isn't the temptation to chat or play games instead of getting a good night's rest.
Toni Schmidt is a single, working mom and lover of all things related to social media. Toni is the social media manager for
Net Nanny, #1 parental control software.