Posted by: Drew Wilson | June 28, 2010

Parenting in the internet/mobile age

Here’s an interesting article with some good ideas and suggestions on how to handle your children as they enter into the online and smart-phone era. Kids don’t always handle complete freedom well and will access to the internet constantly available, maybe some parents could use strategies on how to best guide your family in appropriate use.

Common Sense Rules of the Road for Parents

1. Model good behavior. If we’re on our Blackberries or iPhones at dinner, why will our kids listen to us when we tell them to turn theirs off?

2. Pay attention. We have to know where our kids are going online — and what they’re doing there.

3. Impart our values. Cheating, lying, being cruel — they’re all non-starters. Right and wrong extends to online and mobile life.

4. Establish limits. Phone time, video download time, destinations. There’s really a right time and place for everything.

5. Encourage balance. Get kids involved in offline activities — especially where there’s no cell service.

6. Make kids accountable. If they have a privilege, make sure they earn it.

7. Explain what’s at stake. Let kids know that what they do today can be abused by someone tomorrow.

8. Find ways to say “yes.” That means we have to do some homework and know the sites they visit, the songs they download, etc. — and find ways to use technology that lets us say “yes” more often than we say “no.”

9. It’s not rocket science. Learn to text, send a mobile photo, set up a Facebook page, upload a video. Or have your kids show you how. It’s impossible to guide what you don’t understand. Not only that, but think of all the anxiety you can avoid by knowing how things work.

10. Lighten up, embrace their world, and enjoy the possibilities together. None of us want digital divides in our relationships with our kids. It’s up to us to join the fun and help them seize the potential.

Click here to view entire article with video.

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