Some parents strictly enforce a no-gadget policy to their young children but many, if not most, couldn’t do the same especially now that there seems to be no escape from the digital culture.
In this digital era, it is already acceptable that children and toddlers are being allowed to use gadgets like smart phones, which is the most common digital technology available.
But like what experts and Miss Universe Catriona Gray say, “Everything is good but in moderation.”
So, while parents allow their children to use gadgets, they should at least enforce digital parenting.
Here are some tips on managing your kids’ digital engagements.
First, set a limit on the use of gadget or the time they stay online.
Good digital parenting involves the effort to ensure that your children won’t be in danger while engaged in a digital platform.
Setting a time limit for the use of gadgets or staying online is advisable as, according to a report, being digitally engaged shouldn’t be contradicted, it just needs to be managed.
Second, talk to your kids and be open about the things they see online or on apps. But while talking to them, stay calm.
Third, routinely check privacy settings on social media and monitor what they are sharing and seeing.
Fourth, set ground rules and impose consequences.
It is advisable to have them sign a family safety agreement and discuss what is allowed and not allowed to do online or with the device. And when they disobey, imposing a suspension on technology privileges can be done.
Fifth, educate yourself. Search online and study the applications the kids are into.
Sixth, when your kids are already allowed to have their own social media accounts, you can always send a friend request or follow them but don’t stalk.
It is also important to respect their own space as you share your own experiences, too. Be a responsible netizen yourself.
Finally, be a role model to your kids. Be mindful of what you post and engaged with online.
However, while you let them have their time for gadgets and space for social media, it is advisable to encourage them to go out play and explore the traditional way.
In a report, Dr. Francis Dimalanta, of the Task Force on Mental Health of Children and Youth, also reminded parents of the negative effect of staying online or unregulated use of gadgets.
It can affect cognitive, language, social and emotional delays. It can also be linked to obesity and cardiovascular risks, as well as to sleep disturbances.
Parents are encouraged to always be attentive of their children as digital technologies, if unregulated, can also cause vision problems and hearing loss.