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Parenting in a Digital World

August 25, 2016

I grew up in the 80’s….I didn’t have a need to play games on a phone, didn’t know what a computer was, and barely knew that pagers were the biggest thing when I was about to be in high school. Today….3 year olds can play games on your phone and know how to operate snap chat like it’s nothing. My son can do things on the cell phone that I had no idea could be done. With the world being so digital how do we protect our children.

My 7 year old was caught watching videos on youtube that had a lot of graphic content. Not too graphic but a lot of kissing and stuff. The hubs caught her last year and we put a stop to her and took her iPad. Then a few months ago I found out she was watching it again. Now you can’t get your pad unless you are in front of me. See she starts off watching one video and then goes to the other suggested videos until she gets to wherever and whatever and that’s not good. Since I don’t know how to do the parent controls on youtube I had to go to my 10 year old….he knew how to do it.

Now my 10 year old is friendly. Everyone is his friend and he will give people his number…like anyone. He plays xbox online and when I looked he had given his number to random strange people he played xbox with. I had to have a long talk with him and now he is banned from talking on his phone or texting and I have to see his phone daily. Oh and don’t erase it….I can go and check on my phone bill so he knows that I am not playing.

Parenting in the digital world isn’t easy. I didn’t want to get my son a phone until he was 12 but since I had to pay for the hubs phone (we were in a contract and the phone was in my name) I had to pay for it so I might as well give it to him. I spoke to him before I gave him the phone about giving out your number and talking to other people but does he listen…apparently not. So how do you combat this new technology world? Here are a few tips:

Know how to navigate the online world – As parents we have to stay abreast of what’s going on and we have to be aware of things. We can’t sit and say we don’t know how to do certain things online…we have to learn. I don’t know how to do a lot of things either but I have to keep up and read online tech magazines so that I can know what to do and how to do it. Youtube is your friend to find out whats going on with the various technology devices. Snapchat is huge with teenagers! My son is not allowed to use the app on his phone. He can use it on my phone but on his phone it’s banned until I feel he is responsible enough not to showcase things that he shouldn’t be showcasing. Try out all the social media channels and see how they work. If you don’t know about snapchat and you have  teenage daughter on there it might be best if you see how it works and learn the ins and outs. Also if your child has social media make sure you get a page and follow them. Which brings us to my next point..

Respect their privacy – I am all about respecting their privacy but see…here is the thing….if I pay for your cell phone bill I have the right to follow you on social media channels to make sure you are protecting my privacy. You see this privacy thing is a two way street. I don’t want people to see where I live or whats in my house….when you snap don’t show the insides of my house….honey you don’t pay no bills round here so therefore I don’t want my house all up and down social media so that’s my privacy that you are violating. So I figure if you are going to snap and show my stuff the least I can do is make sure you aren’t giving away too much and that I can see what you talking about. Yes I need to follow you but I will give you the freedom to do as you want within the guidelines of safety. I won’t call you out on social media if I have a problem but will instead make sure I address it with you in private so as not to embarrass you.

Set an example – Most online kids bully a lot. I know this is the digital world but the apple normally doesn’t fall to far from the tree. Kids who bully has seen bullying in some form. It’s normally from the main caretaker or someone they are around a lot. Bullying online happens for kids and adults and it’s sad that people have so much to say behind a computer screen. Here is the thing…..you are behind a screen. I can’t punch you out or meet you after school but I can delete and block you. That delete and block button are my friends. I don’t even respond to foolishness most of the time it’s a waste of my energy. So many people want to argue with fools when you can let them argue with themselves. If you find that a child is bullying your child or if your child is being the bully put a stop to it immediately. If I find out that my child is bullying….I will reprimand my child and there will be consequences. If someone is bullying my child I will first let the parents know if it’s someone we know and after that I will leave it alone. Delete and block and if the kids go to the same school we will have a meeting because I like to do things the legal and right way first before I do it my way.

Talk to other parents – I talk to other parents who have a difference of opinion when it comes to their kids doing things online. Some parents are relaxed and think oh I monitor my child nothing will happen. You have other parents who don’t even let their kids have a electronic device. It varies, but I like to make sure I am keeping up with other parents so that if there is something going on that has escaped me (new lingo, new technology apps, what the kids are talking about, etc) I can make sure I am on top of it. You will be surprised by what you know and what you don’t know when you talk to others. You can always stand to learn a thing or two.

We can’t stop technology. I feel that by the time I have grandkids online elementary school will be the new thing and there will be no need for book bags anymore everyone will be required to have a tablet or computer to learn. It’s the way he way of the world and we have to adapt and change with it. Use old school ways to still teach kids things in this new digital world.

Parenting in a Digital World

  • Reply
    Chavonne Harvey
    August 26, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Things haven’t definitely changed since the 80’s. I’m not into kids using too much tech because they should be enjoying the smaller, simpler things in life but when they do it’s very important to make sure what they are accessing. I am concerned about on line bullying because it can just come out of nowhere, you could post a photo of a cat and get bullied. I think it’s a great idea for the whole family to interact with each other on line playing games, learning, reading together. On line elementary school sounds intriguing, that just might be the future.

  • Reply
    Lindsey Paris
    August 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I was introduced to KidKam, a website with pre-screened youtube videos that prevents that click to click to danger thing. They can still click, but they will never see sex or violence or politics. We also have a CIRCLE which filters content for families.

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    August 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Things can be so scary these days. I don’t really mind that my kids love games. I love games myself. What concerns me are all the predators!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Parenting has definitely changed as the world has gotten more digital. It’s important to teach kids to be safe and smart online.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    These are good tips! I definitely follow my girls on social media. It was part of the deal when they signed up. I also have to approve who is on their friend’s list before they can add them.

    • Reply
      August 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      I think I will do the same when I allow my son to start using social media. Approve the friends list myself!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    These are all great tips! It’s important to keep up with all the different social platforms so you can know what your kids are using!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    This one of the things that scares me about parenting. I have a 2 month old so I have it easy now, but I could only image what new digital items I’ll have to learn in a few years to protect him.

  • Reply
    Amanda Love
    August 27, 2016 at 5:49 am

    It’s not easy, getting used to how kids are now compared to how we were back then, that’s for sure. But their kids and they haven’t seen much of the world and what the people in it can do. So we do our best to warn and protect them. I love the tips that you have here.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    My kids love being online. I’ve been monitoring the best I can but you can never be too careful. I don’t mind them playing games or watching videos, but what scares me is the people – online.

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore.com
    August 27, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I always love reading your lists! Your tips are practical and right just on time. Definitely worth reading and sharing!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Such an important post. I too grew up with no technology. And while I do agree we’ve come a long way there are plenty and pros and cons to worry about.

  • Reply
    Nikki Wayne
    August 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    My son is so fragile at his age. We limit his times on gadgets so he won’t get addicted.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 10:35 am

    My son and his best friend are begging for him to be able to palm chat, or whatever it’s called but I said no way. He’s 8, he doesn’t need to be on the electornic devices all of the time. I see how it’s going to be a challenge though, so I’m trying to set clear rules now that will be the norm when he’s older.

  • Reply
    Ann Bacciaglia
    August 28, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I used a lot of parental controls when my kids were younger. It can be tricky parenting in the digital age. Kids often know more about the electronics then the parents.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I’ve definitely seen my kid get into some inappropriate content really fast on YouTube! Now he is only allowed to see YouTube kids and I know he will grow out of that eventually!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Things have changed so much! My kids are grown and in their early twenties. While we did face some of this, it wasn’t until they were much older. My son is a gamer and I didn’t mind that he’d play with people he just met or met online, but he was much older when he got into xBox Live, not a ten year old.

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