Top 5 Parenting Skills You Will Need in the Digital Age
Gathering parenting skills you need in the digital age is an important task you face no matter what age your kids are. If you’re a mom or dad currently engaged in parenting children 18 or younger, you are dealing with something no previous generation of parents has dealt with on this level: a wide array of technology and social media platforms ready and waiting for playtime with your kids. Developing parenting skills for the digital age will help you positively parent your kids as they navigate the world of technology.
One of the tricky aspects of parenting in the digital age is finding a balance between helping kids prepare for life in a rapidly changing electronic world and maintaining your media-free family values. The good news is that as important as technology is for everyone to learn about and use, you as a parent are still more important than the electronic devices in your kids’ lives. To get started, use this list of parenting skills you need in the digital age.
5 Parenting Skills You Need in the Digital Age
Use the following parenting skills and tips to guide your kids in the direction you want them to go.
- Learn about what your children are doing on their devices.
The more you understand what sites, apps, and systems your children are using as well as how they’re using it, the better you’ll be able to make decisions about use and monitor them from an informed perspective. When they know that you understand their world, they’ll be more likely to listen to you and respect your thoughts.
- Be willing to let your kids teach you about their digital lives.
It can be difficult for many parents to admit to their kids that the kids know more than their parents do. Regarding their use of technology, however, the kids do have more knowledge and experience. While you know all about your devices and the apps you use as well as what you do on social media, what your kids know and are doing is probably very different. Let them teach you, and you’ll be using another set of parenting skills: You’ll be teaching them self-confidence, communication skills, and as you talk to them as you learn, they’ll develop skills to make discerning choices online.
- Know what’s important to you, and tailor your media plan to your own family.
While there are some pre-written plans online for restricting media use, these guidelines might not fit your unique family. One of the most important parenting skills for the digital age is to think in terms of your family’s overall health and wellbeing.
- Create a media use plan with your family.
Media use agreements ensure that everyone in your family knows what they can do, when they can do it, where they can do it, and more. Being able to explain rules (at an age-appropriate level) and to provide a solid reason for them is an important skill for you to have as a parent.
The most successful plans are those developed with kids’ and teens’ input. Working with kids rather than handing down orders helps them feel important and gets them onboard; further it’s an opportunity to help them develop critical thinking, reasoning, and negotiating skills. This is a good opportunity to build family communication skills, too.
Things to consider including are time limits, what devices kids can and cannot use, what games and apps are acceptable, and anything else important to you to include.
- Watch your own habits.
Watch what you’re doing with your own tech use. The “do as I say, not as I do,” approach to family media use will quickly undermine kids’ cooperation with the family rules. So kids know they are valued and so they don’t become glued to media themselves, consider putting away your phone when you’re with your kids.
Parenting Skill for the Tech Age: Do More of What You Value Rather Than Restricting What You Don’t
Especially with the worries involved in kids’ online behavior, it is easy to focus on the “don’t” and the “nos;” after all, parents want their kids to be safe and develop in a healthy manner. A great way to foster this is to engage with your kids. Play board games with them. Do creative projects. Read together. Develop their sense of curiosity, exploration, and adventure. Give them opportunities to be so engaged in the real world that they don’t want to be in the digital world as much.
Focusing on how you think, what you value for your family, and what you do are all part of the skillset parents need in the digital age. Use these six skills as a parenting skills checklist as you navigate your kids through this technological world.
- Feeling Confident When Parenting Teens with Technology
- Parenting Apps That Help You Keep It All Together
Peterson, T. (2019, June 28). Top 5 Parenting Skills You Will Need in the Digital Age, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parenting/parenting-skills-strategies/top-5-parenting-skills-you-will-need-in-the-digital-age