10 Tips for Effective Digital Parenting
Talk about online safety regularly
Regularly discuss online safety with your kids to make them aware of potential dangers and how to avoid them. Ask about the apps, websites, and online contacts they have. This is especially important for their mobile phones and personal computers, as tracking their activity can be tricky. Assure your children that you're there to help with any questions or concerns. These regular conversations will keep them informed and up-to-date about online safety.
Have open communication and remember kids will make mistakes (be approachable)
Discuss technology and the online world with your kids. Teach them safe and responsible use. Encourage them to share concerns, even if it means potential trouble. Open communication helps ensure their online safety.
Create a digital contract with your kids
Create a digital contract with your kids to establish rules and consequences for their online behavior. It could include guidelines like no phone use during meals or not spending money on social apps. This contract helps them grasp the importance of safe and responsible tech use.
Practice what you preach
Kids pick up from their parents' behavior. Talking on the phone at mealtimes, constantly checking your phone when your child is talking, or taking selfies during family moments can send the wrong message. As parents, we should resist the urge to be on our screens frequently and demonstrate positive digital behavior. Be a digital role model to instill good digital habits in your child.
Set Social Media and Screen Time Limits
Promote purposeful screen time that includes learning and positive online interactions. Prioritize daily routines such as sleep and hygiene before screen time. Identify specific times of the day when screen use should be limited. Discuss the importance of being mindful about their feelings when using technology excessively or neglecting daily routines. Ask questions like, 'How do you feel when you don't get enough sleep?
Keep up with the technological advancements
Parents should stay updated on technology to stay ahead of their kids. Technology changes often, and so do online risks. New apps and websites keep emerging with updates, so staying current is essential to guide your children in safe and responsible tech use.
Join your child in the online world
Stay connected with your child's online activities by participating in their online world. Whether it's sharing social media, playing games, or simply chatting about their day, this involvement allows you to see how they use technology and stay informed about their online life.
Teach other ways to calm your child (other than with technology)
Using technology to keep your kids calm and quiet can have its benefits but it shouldn’t be the only method your child uses to calm down. Learning other strategies to manage emotions and boredom are important.
Create reasonable parental controls
Parental controls are useful for overseeing your kids' online activities and ensuring their safety. But remember, they shouldn't replace open communication and supervision. You can use apps to monitor their mobile phone usage, like parental control apps for iPhone and Android, but these are supplements to your efforts. Teaching them about online safety and discussing their online actions remain the most effective ways to keep them safe. Provide plenty of online safety tips to guide them.