It has never been effortless to bring up children but the technological advancement has made circumstances more complicated for parents. The predominance of the internet and mobile phone technologies has widened the generation gap between the millennial parents and post-millennial children. The Generation Z has smartphones, tablets, virtual and augmented reality games and much more to get their hands on at a very early age. The software, apps, gadgets, and numerous innovations have been developed for pre-school children to learn and play. The teens and tweens have mastered social media sites and instant messaging services leaving their predecessors amazed. They have a whole new digital world to experience and get through.
The technology that has a greater impact on Generation Z is entirely different from the things millennials have grown up with. However, the millennial parents are required to stay on top of all these technologies. They are supposed to be acquainted with all the things that are influencing their kids’ lives. They are required to protect their kids from the perils of the real world as well as online world. If you are fantastic in all the aspects of parenting but your understanding of computer and smartphone is insufficient, you would be a misfit for your kids’ ever-expanding cyber world. Not any parents can afford to remain ignorant of the online activities of their kids because it would prevent them from protecting their offspring from exposing to inappropriate adult stuff on the internet, helping your child overcome cyberbullies, online child predators, sexual harassments, online offenses, and other threats prevailing in the digital world.
To help out the non-tech savvy parents, we have shared here practical parenting tips to raise tech savvy children.
1. Train Yourself to Learn
Someone has correctly said that learning has no age bar. Being a parent, you are not just responsible to get your kids learn about the world but you are also required to stay updated. Learn about the things you do not know about but you should. Get your hands on the latest technologies you are not familiar with. Be friendly with the internet because you can get all your answers from this platform. There are various videos, tutorials and readable content on the internet that can be really helpful for non-tech savvy parents. If you want to learn about something, enter your query in Google and you will be provided with results. Educate yourself about social media, latest apps and games, so your kids could discuss their new favorite chatting app or game. Staying updated with the apps and communication technologies your kids have been using will help you ensure whether they are using the right stuff or not.
2. Set Rules and Regulations
Compile a list of rules and regulations regarding the use of the computer, mobile phone, and other technologies that should strictly be followed by all the family members. You can set screen time limits for children so they do not get addict to addictive technologies such as television, computer, the internet, and mobile phone. Do not allow any family member to bring the cell phone to dining tables and make it compulsory to have their meals with family. It should not be permitted to use social media late night.
Get their children know that they are not allowed to share their personal information like phone number, address or school name on any online platform without your knowledge. They should not be allowed to talk to strangers online they can be pedophiles or online child predators. If they are receiving unsolicited or harassing messages on social networking platforms, make sure they instantaneously inform you and show those messages to you before deleting.
3. Get Your Hands on Parental Controls
The internet comes preloaded with stuff that you would never want your children to watch. Take support of parental controls to block access to inappropriate photos, videos, and text on the web. While some internet browsers have default parental control settings, there is extensions and software to make the internet secure. TheOneSpy is an example of user-friendly parental control software intended for non-tech savvy parents. It allows watching out the activities of your kids performed on their mobile phones, tablets, and computers. After installing the software on your kids’ phone devices, you can remotely monitor them and control their devices. It allows monitoring social media and IM apps of kids; reading their messages; recording their calls; tracking their location; getting their internet browsing history and much more. You can follow them in real and cyber life without letting them know.
4. Have Frequent Discussions
If your kids spend most of their time on their mobile phones they are not doing anything different than their age fellows. Studies confirm that teenagers and underage children spend more than 9 hours a day on phone screen. However, it does not mean that you should leave them with their phones alone. If you notice a sudden change in the mobile phone or internet use of your kid, talk to him. If your teen girl has started receiving long calls from unknown sources, or your tween wakes up at night to check his social media notifications, you need to have a discussion with them. Have frequent discussions with your children and talk about the internet menaces. Get them learn about the online child predators and the tactics they use to victimize kids. Such conversations will help your kid to discuss if he/she is experiencing anything unfavorable. Do not be furious if your kid shares something unexpected. These discussions will also help you strengthen mom-kids bond making kids more comfortable sharing their secrets of real and digital lives with parents.
The Bottom Line
While technological advancement and commonness of the internet access has improved our lifestyle, it has also put an extra burden on parents. Those parents who are not acquainted with the latest technologies can have difficult parenting scenarios. However, it does not mean that you would never know a thing if you do not know about it at the current time. Get yourself learn about the games, apps, and everything your kids take interest in. It is just like tasting a meal to check its taste before serving it to your loved ones.
Nicki is an author, tech and parental control, expert. She writes about relationships, marriages, happiness and social media norms. Her work on monitor kid’s online activity got wide social media visibility. Follow her on twitter @nickimarie222 to get geek relationship tips.