The Dos and Don’ts of Parenting a Constantly – Connected Child
This is a world where children are growing up digitally. So, it’s essential that they are aware of the healthy concepts of digital use. Here comes the vital role of parents who are there to help children learn the skills to keep themselves safe digitally. Technology must be there for you and within your family values and parenting style. When you make use of technology thoughtfully and appropriately, it can enhance daily life. But when you use it inappropriately then it can displace many important activities. This include face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep. So, make a parenting guideline mentioning do’s and don’ts for the children.
You have to make sure same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. You must set limits on the activities as the kids need and expect them. Along with that ensure that you are aware about your children’s friends, both online as well as offline. Check out the platforms, software, and apps that children are using and the websites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online. Technology use like all other activities, should have reasonable limits so it is found that unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. You have to ensure that unplugged playtime is a daily priority. This is especially important for very young children.
DO: Have Clear Boundaries and Limits
In order to set up guidelines you should not make it according to your choice. Instead you must sit down with your children and have healthy conversation regarding their screen time and ways they are making use of their technological devices. Before you restrict the screen time you must ask them how and why they use the screens. Sometimes they spent time for doing their homework so you have to know how much time they spend on homework and how much on social media and other activities like playing games. Once you establish the timings when your children are using screen then you can set boundaries like time limits, lists of sites that they can visit and other rules of behaviour and ensure that you are setting them. Make sure that your children feels that they are participating while framing the limits for their screen use then only you can expect that they will follow the guidelines properly.
DON’T: Model Bad Behavior
Usually, all the things that kids learn in their initial age is from the parents. When it’s about life problems then again it is parents who become role model for the kids. If you spend most of your time using social media and playing games then how can you expect your children from not doing it. So, never become a bad role model for your kids. You have to first limit your usage then ask the kids to do so. Suppose while having dinner you said no screen time to your children but you are using your phone then don’t expect your kids to follow the guidelines.
DO: Use Parental Controls
There lot of things on the Internet which are not at all children friendly so the kids are not aware what they are looking at. So, it becomes essential that you take steps to find out what the children access on their device. So, always make use of effective parental controls so that you can block the websites and apps that are inappropriate for your children. If you find any app or game which should not be on your children’s devices, you can simply remove it using the tool that too from your device.
DON’T: Ignore What They’re Doing Otherwise
Today, the Internet is a part of our life. It is one of useful technological development so far. So, it is not that if your children use it then they are going to learn only negative things. It is just how you are regulating their usage. If sometimes kids face problem like bullying then they will not immediately speak out that to you. That’s the reason you must keep an eye on their device and continuously check out their conversation to find out whether everything is fine with them.
DO: Embrace the Anger
It’s a true fact when you set up limits then even the best kids will break the rule at some point of time. So, make sure that the rules are not so strict that kids become angry instead you have to make rules which becomes their habit. Only when it becomes their habit, they will not feel agitated even if you take away internet from them for some time.
DON’T: Let It Go Unremarked
When kids are angry about the rules then calm them and make them understand why you imposed such restrictions. Give them proper examples which make them clear and convince your point. You have to help them understand why they’re so attached to the internet, and why it is used for everything. As your kids will grow up, they can understand about their limitations in better way as well as they will know why it is so important.
Setting up screen time doesn’t mean that your kid is sitting ideally. You have to engage them in other activities. If nothing then you can get involved with them in some games. In this way, you will get the opportunity to introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives and guidance at the same time. You can monitor their activities by using a parental control app like iKeyMonitor. You can block certain apps/games and set screen time on it if necessary. But only monitoring your children online will not help. You have to understand what they are doing and be a part of it. Apart from that teach children good online manners. In this way, you can connect and interact with your children and help them to deal the difficulties of the online world easily.