Technology is at the center of every child’s life. As a parent, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the apps, games, and websites that your child may be frequenting. In this post, we will go over some practical tips on how to help raise a healthy kid living in the digital age.
When it comes to digital media and using devices, here are some things to consider:
Know Your Own Rules
It’s important that all parties in your household know exactly what the rules are when it comes to device usage. Are there certain times when your child can use the iPad, phone, or other digital devices? Is the device theirs, or yours? How do you respond to improper use? Remember, consistency is key: do your best to adhere to the rules you set.
Use Media with Your Child
Children love when they can teach you something for a change. So instead of, “Don’t use that app, I don’t want you to use it. It looks unsafe,” instead try, “Hey, what’s that app you’re always on? Can you show me how it works?” This will give you the chance to see for yourself the potential concerns and benefits from that media source, while also showing your kid you are invested in their interests.
Connect Media to Real Life
Find opportunities to connect media to real life by sitting and watching with your child. Together, openly discuss and explain things that happen on the screen. Ask them how things make them feel and what they would do in certain situations. These can be great opportunities to connect with your kid and support them in developing a healthier relationship with media.
Talk about Digital Citizenship
It’s never too early to discuss how to behave safely online and what to do if something happens that is upsetting to them. Reassure your child that they can come talk to you without fear of judgment or repercussions. The more open and willing to listen you are, the easier it will be for them to approach you in their time of need.
Be a Good Role Model
Be mindful of your own media use and put your devices down when your kid is seeking your attention. Set the standard and show your children that the rules apply to all by making sure to follow the house rules as well.
To learn more about different types of media and how to promote safe technology use, visit https://www.commonsensemedia.org/.