Sitting in an Apple Genius Bar waiting for my phone to be fixed, looking around the room I noticed a small group of over sixty somethings getting a lesson on how to use their IPhones. This is probably not so different from the many households around the world, where children are sitting their parents down and giving them a lesson on how to use the next form of digital media.
So how are parents going to keep up with their kids? How can they keep them safe online if their children are always one step ahead of them?
It might be easy for those parents that have a digital interest but what about the parents that don’t have the digital bug?
Find ways to keep up, it’s important:
1. Watch tutorials on YouTube about cyber safety for children
2. Spend time with your kids during screen time- According to Gerogene Troseth, an associate professor of psychology, parents should be “Co-viewing” screen time with their children and discussing what they are watching, just like you would when reading a book with a child.
3. Go to a course- often schools offer courses or workshops for parents
There are websites that can help families put a plan in place around the use of digital media and technology in the home. Try the “Family Media Agreement” created by Common Sense Media. The American Academy of Paediatrics has also developed an online Family Media Plan that helps families set rules, guidelines and timeframes on how much time is spent on digital media.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to try and keep up.
As parents in the digital world we don’t have any other option!
Hobson, K, October 21, 2016, No Snapchat In the Bedroom? An Online Tool To Manage Kid’s Media Use. Reviewed on 05/06/2016 at http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/21/498706789/no-snapchat-in-the-bedroom-an-online-tool-to-manage-kids-media-use
Common Sense Media, Family Media Agreement and Device Contract
Reviewed 05/06/2017 at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/pdfs/fma_all.pdf
Healthychildren.org. Reviewed on 05/06/2017 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx