In the recent years digital media has revolutionized children’s life starting from entertainment, ending on education and communication. These changes have affected parents as well, as they are forced to constantly learn new skills and incorporate them into their parenting styles. What are the main challenges parents face when it comes to raising kids in the digital era?
1. Keeping up with their children in terms of technology
Children acquire technological knowledge surprisingly easily comparing to older generations. A picture of a toddler comfortably swiping the screen is not an unusual thing these days. For parents, on the other hand, learning such skills comes with bigger difficulties. Therefore, they need to catch up with technological concepts in order to be able to be on the same page with their kids.
2. Recognizing possibilities that technology brings
Technology can create endless opportunities in education and later in professional life. Think of the recent boom of coding apps and games for preschoolers and the way they make programming more accessible for young learners. Of course this doesn’t mean imposing certain subjects on your kids, but rather utilizing the chances created by the fast-developing tech world. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: ”We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future” and from what we can predict now, the technology will be even more present in the next years.
3. Protecting kids from the dangers coming from the online world
It is also partly connected with challenge number 1 and staying updated with technology. However, it has nothing to do with the ability to ennumerate the features of the latest iPhone, but rather with solid knowledge about how certain things work. This technological awareness is manifested through perceiving benefits as well as threats and dangers like cyberbullying, manipulative advertising, violent content – you name it. In one survey just under one third (31%) of parents said they are ”very” or”somewhat” concerned about their children’s media and technology use. In another survey only 66% of parents stated they talk to their children about the dangers of social media sites. Unluckily, even though kids are often called digital natives, they often lack technological awareness when it comes to dealing with most common threats. What’s worse, most parents remain oblivious when it comes to one of the common dangers: according to a McAfee study only 10% of them were aware their kids were a target of cyberbullying.
4. Helping kids discover natural environment and outdoor activities.
As more and more kids spend hours glued to screens, parents’ task is to help them discover the fun that comes from spending time with nature and doing outdoor activities. Otherwise, they may become passive spectators and the only sports they have contact with will be the ones on the screen. Think about the last time your child talked about sport. Was it an event they participated in or their new Playstation game?
5. Teaching kids to cope without mobile devices.
I think everyone will agree with a statement that technology makes life easier, but what happens if suddenly your child is deprived of it? Are they able to manage without devices or do they lose their marbles? Try to picture future scenarios: you don’t want your child to have problems in doing simple calculations, because they lost their calculator or their phone’s battery died.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Magdalena | Appetite For Education
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