Parenting in the digital age has become one of the hardest things for most parents. Previously, parenting was a little bit easier because children did not have anything to bar them from normal social life, play with other children and other interactive activities. In the digital age, mobile phones, laptops, iPads and other digital devices are some of the very first things children come across as they grow up. Children have had their time taken up by the online games, social media and other activities using their internet enabled devices. It becomes even worse when a parent confiscates a device from their child and they cry all night long and will not hear anything they are told by the same parent until they have the device back.
While most parents want their children to be up to date and conversant with new technology and what is happening online, they also need their children to grow socially. While the internet is fun for children, they need to be monitored on what they are accessing on the internet and how long they take on the same. A problem comes in for the parent deciding where the limit should be placed to ensure the children do not become addicted to the internet.
Parents also worry for their children who can no longer concentrate on conversations, meal times and even sleep because the phone keeps beeping and they have to move their concentration.
Before we even get to the way ahead for parenting in the digital age and tips on how to solve this problem, we need to get to what the main problem could be. While we would want to say it’s in this age and era that such things are inevitable, we need to know that there are other children in other homes who are not having the same problem.
The balls rolls back to us as parents. What role are we playing in support for the same? Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves, are we their role models when it comes to our devices? Are we giving them time to interact with us? Are we monitoring their use of the internet or are they just free with it? Having asked yourself those questions and answered them, let us come to some tips we need for parenting in the digital age.
Children need their parents time, love and affection. Most children run to their devices and the internet when they can’t have you to spend time with them. Always create time for your children for activity away from books and work. Have time for stories and conversation, play, hiking and other fun activities.
Be a role model. Set the pace. It would be unfair for your child to have limited time on their phone while his or her parent is never off his mobile phone. Lead as a good example. Use the
internet, the mobile phone, and other gadgets just as much as you want your child to use it. Not unless they are work related which you will need to make them understand, it will not be fair for them.
Set rules and regulations. Children need your guidance. They might not know when it gets to excess. It is fun for them. You need to set limits, timetables and rules to guide them on their usage. You as a parent need to be responsible for your children. Part of this responsibility in parenting in the digital age is giving them guidance in how to use these gadgets.
Other tips include listening and talking to them, creating tech-free zones and times, differentiate between uses, among others. HealthyChildren.org have given more helpful tips for parenting in the digital age with more explanation here