Digital Parenting I

Digital Parenting I

Digital Parenting – Part 1:-

    Almost every child from a certain age uses a digital device connected to the internet, meaning parents have to deal with a whole new aspect of parenting i.e. Digital Parenting. Parents have to decide what is good or bad for their children when it comes to using digital devices, how much control is appropriate and how to ensure children are safe in the digital environment.
    There should be a better understanding of digital parenting, especially the roles of mothers and fathers in protecting children. Online women / child abuse are raising day by day and added fuel to the fire the India IT Act (Law) has loose ends which make the perpetuator go scot free especially from the cyberbullying stand point.
    Let’s say given an example that you have a teenage girl / child who has put a photograph on social media or as status in any of the messaging apps, a single comment could lead to a suicidal ideation as now a day there is a saying. “Sticks and Stones can only Break the Bones ... But Words can Kill you”
This is a ‘my way or the hard way’ style of parenting and Why this may be challenging?
  • It can be damaging as you are minimising a child’s opportunity to deal with technology and also minimising feelings about their flexibility and their determination
  • What could I do differently?
  • Spend more time listening to your child
  • Validate them for what they’re doing
  • Allow them to have more say in the way their lives are run
This is when you want to be your child’s best friend and Why this may be challenging?
  • A child’s self-esteem is dependent on boundaries and expectations. If they don’t have any boundaries or consistency, this can be problematic as they won’t feel a sense of containment and they don’t have the ability to self-parent
  • What could I do differently?
  • Practice setting boundaries and implementing rules
  • Openly talk to your child about your expectations of online behaviour, what they’re getting up to online, who they’re talking to and explain why you’re establishing rules
  • Don’t be afraid of not being liked by your child, you need to be a parent and keep them safe online
You completely leave your child and not bothered what they are doing with their own devices Why this may be challenging?
  • Without parent supervision, it can encourage a child to solely depend on themselves and be more susceptible to experience online risks.
  • What could I do differently?
  • Create time for your child and their online world
  • Get involved and find out what they are doing online
  • Have regular conversations, If you are struggling to parent your child, you may need to seek help such as talking to psychiatrist or a class teacher or a social worker

Technology Effects on Children:-

Effect on Behaviour
  • Constant use of a device and features like auto-play on platforms can be habit forming and encourage children be spend longer screen times
  • Speech or language delay
  • Attention deficits
  • Learning problems
  • Childhood depression
Effect on the Brain
  • Longer Screens can have a drug-like effect (Smartphone Addiction) on the children's brains which can make them more anxious.
  • It can make children more forgetful (less ability for multi-tasking) as they rely on things like Google, GPS and calendar alerts to look up information, even finds them hard to memorise the phone numbers of the family members.
Effect on Sleep
  • Blue light from phones will trick the brain into thinking its still daylight making them challenging to sleep
Benefits of Screen Time
  • Gives children access to a variety of information to shape their knowledge
  • Technology takes away physical barriers to social connections to make our children less isolated
  • Exposure to technology has proven to improve children’s learning and development skills
  • Online games and activities enhance teamwork and creativity
  • Children have better motor skills
  • Improved cognitive skills
  • More fun for kids
  • Better Competition skills

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