Parenting In The Digital Age

October 26, 2019

Quote of the Week

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important." - Bill Gates

Parenting In The Digital Age

"How do we help our kids enjoy the wonderful fun and social connectivity offered by their devices without losing their ability to hit the "Off" switch?

It isn't easy to figure this out for our kids -- or ourselves. Few among us don't have our own love affair with our digital devices. We stay connected with loved ones, stay up to date with the news, and work out carpool schedules with a few clicks.

But we are in uncharted territory, and nowhere is that more evident than in parenting in the digital age. How should we handle our child's insistence that he has to be on his computer to do his homework when we know he's also listening to music and keeping tabs on his friends. What should we do about a daughter who insists that the only time she's happy is when she's online, or a son who claims his only friends are the ones he plays online games with -- kids he's never actually met.

I'd be a fool if I suggested that there was a one-size-fits-all approach to such a complex issue. But there are a few things I have found to be true". [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World
By: Devorah Heitner
Ages: Adults

Screenwise offers an encouraging perspective on how to thoughtfully guide kids in the digital age. Many parents and educators worry that kids are addicted, detached, or distracted because of their digital devices. Digital Citizenship expert Devorah Heitner, however, believes that technology offers huge potential to our children--if parents help them.

Screenwise helps parents recognize that the social wisdom they have gained throughout their lives is a relevant and urgently needed supplement to their kid's digital savvy. These skills can help set kids up for a lifetime of success in a world fueled by technology.

The core message of the book is that kids need mentoring, not (just) monitoring, and that kids deserve more empathy from adults about growing up in the digital age. Texting, gaming and social media are social spaces requiring social skills. The book offers advice on helping kids navigate friendship and identity issues that are common among new texters, gamers and social media users. - Publishers

Be the Change

This week (or even month) try taking a digital detox as a family.

A week-long break from electronics – A camping trip, a vacation in the mountains, or a week in a remote cabin could get everyone away from the electronics. Stepping away from technology could renew everyone’s appreciation for simple activities, like board games or playing catch.

An electronics-free weekend - If you can’t afford a vacation—or you have a job that makes unplugging for a week seem like an impossibility—consider a digital detox on a smaller scale. Consider making it happen to unplug a few weekends each year.

A monthly digital-free day - Perhaps the first Saturday of every month means no screens or the last Sunday of the month is a quiet family day. Commit to spending quality time together without using electronics for one day every month.