Parenting in the digital age presents many new challenges for families. Moms and dads of children of all ages now have to worry about the safety of their kids on the Internet, since it’s a tool that we’re increasingly dependent on in our everyday lives. Whether individuals think that the risk is worth the reward, using the Internet is a given for teens and adults, and there are both benefits and drawbacks. Here are 5 ways that the Internet has changed how we parent our children:
Makes it easier to keep tabs
One of the biggest benefits of the Internet for parents is that they now have the ability to keep track of their kids through GPS family locator apps, as well as to check in on their activities on the web. Parents may feel more comfortable about letting their children go off on their own when they can easily see their exact location in real time. It can provide a greater sense of security.
It can be harder to set and enforce limits
Kids as young as preschool age are now given access to mobile devices, so from a very young age, children are skilled at navigating the web and using modern technology. It can make setting and enforcing limits more challenging, because kids are often expected to be familiar with using devices and accessing information online once they start school. It can also be a lot tougher to limit your child’s exposure to questionable content. Parents may find it tough to balance how much time kids spend on their devices.
Quality time without screens is harder to come by
Parents are just as guilty as their kids when it comes to being addicted to mobile devices. Spending quality time as a family, free from distractions and interruptions, can be a real challenge. Unless moms and dads make a concerted effort to create screen free times for the family to enjoy activities, there’s a good chance that someone will be picking up their phone or tablet and logging on to the Internet.
Dangers may not always be obvious
Adolescents and teens spend a great deal of time on the web socializing with friends, and sometimes, with strangers. It’s much easier for kids to keep secrets if adults aren’t checking up on their social media activity. Parents may not even know what their kids are up to, and many may not be aware of the warning signs that something bad is going on. Cyberbullying is another issue that’s becoming more prevalent. Parents have to be more vigilant in order to ensure that their kids aren’t getting involved in potentially dangerous situations on the web.
When it comes to the Internet and technology, parents have to set the right example
Good parents always want to set a positive example for their kids. However, with our increasing dependence on technology, it isn’t so easy for moms and dads to disconnect. Kids see how much time you spend on your phone or tablet, and then they simply do the same. It’s ultimately up to the parents to make sure that they’re setting a good example by limiting their own use of technology to ensure a healthy, happy family.
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