Are you worried about technologies impact on your children’s development

Apprehension about kids and technology is nothing new. Years ago, when it was first introduced, cable television was considered to be a serious risk to the healthy development of children. Today we don’t think twice about it. Closed-mindedness or even fear about new technology holds us back from developing a balanced view of the benefits and risks associated with it. The truth is that technology allows children access to invaluable resources and learning opportunities but also creates real parenting challenges.

Digital literacy and effective parenting

Digital literacy refers to the set of skills we need to survive in the digital age, including communication and collaboration on social media, the ability to find, select, and evaluate information, cultural and societal understanding, and critical thinking. Parents who spend time to become digitally literate are able to make informed decisions. They know and enforce limits appropriately. Digitally literate parents are able to effectively and fairly  moderate the duration, content, and quality of their child’s digital involvement.

Effective parenting requires a balance between flexibility and firmness. Restricting children builds resistance, while guiding them builds judgement. Several strategies to use in communicating about digital use include:

•Offer information about choices, consequences and responsibility

• Prepare, don’t scare

•Offer problem solving and guidance

•Be firm about your expectations and values. Encourage and support your child’s curiosity by demonstrating how the internet can be used as a tool for learning and self-discovery.

Prepare your children for a healthy digital behavior.

Talk to your child about internet safety before it becomes an issue. It is important for every parent to understand that information in the cyber-universe is permanent and not difficult to retrieve to be used against you given proper motivation.  It is  very important to ask your children who they talk to online or if they have friends they only know online. Find out If they talk to someone who upsets or worries them. Make sure they feel they can come to you if they have any uncomfortable exchanges on the web. Are they sharing pictures of themselves? Make sure your child knows that they can talk to you if they are feeling pressured into sending or receiving personal or sexual images.

Warning signs of problematic digital behavior: What signs to look for.

Secretive behavior, evasive answers, excessive time spent on the internet. Upset during or after use. Late night or all-night texting. Diminished in person social contact.

Remember:
As James Baldwin states “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” A parent who is constantly on their phone encourages the same behavior in their children.

At times, we may feel powerless to establish a more effective parenting style that balances between flexibility and firmness and need help of a professional to ease our mind and guide us on a more fruitful path. To get help you want, please call 201-488-6678 or fill out a form below.