As we all know the world wide web, smartphones, and social media apps are all entities of the new age. While most Baby Boomers prefer to not have anything to do with media or technology, and Generation X has one foot in the media world and one foot out, the Millennial generation is driven by technology, social media, and most importantly, WiFi. As new parents, you may wonder how to be vigilant of your children’s time with technology, while still raising well-rounded individuals. This may seem difficult without stripping such an important aspect of their generation away. Here are a few pointers on raising kids in the age of the internet:
Set Rules and Boundaries
There are rules for everything, whether they are spoken or unspoken. It is recommended that screen time should be monitored by having kids sit in an open space where you can look over their shoulder and easily see what they’re doing. It is also recommended that time with devices be limited to certain times of the day. For example, you may allow your child an hour of screen time before dinner or none before bed. Be sure to check what your children are doing on the internet periodically. The internet can expose things prematurely to children that you feel as a parent they are not ready for. Not only can these be teachable moments, but can also keep you on the lookout for internet predators who target children on social sites.
Practice Self Worth
The internet is the world’s biggest bully. There are no boundaries when it comes to what people will say and do on the internet. Likes, comments, and followers are seemingly the biggest indicator of status and popularity in the social world. There is a huge sense of need for validation that comes from this which is proven to lead to depression and social anxiety, especially in teens. Be sure to affirm your children that social status does not equal self-worth.
Foster Connection and Social Skills
There has to be a healthy balance between time with technology and socializing online, and spending time with actual people and socializing in person. As a parent you want your children to be curious about the world they live in. Interacting in face-to-face environments and teaching your children proper social skills is very important in the age of technology.