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7 Digital Parenting Resolutions for 2015

digital parenting Feb 03, 2018

It’s almost mid-January and you have more or less settled back into the school routine after a couple of weeks of (hectic) vacation. If you’re like me, you can’t believe that the holidays are over and here you are again setting out the kids clothes, checking over homework, packing snacks, checking the activities calendar and so on.

You have made your list of resolutions, including yell less, praise more, give more hugs and I thought now is the perfect time to bump up your digital parenting game as well. Just a reminder of some simple things that you can do as a parent in the digital age:

  1. Feel less guilty about screen limits. No, I’m not saying sit your kids in front of Sponge Bob marathons, but I am saying that researchers have noted that a little educational TV is not all bad.
  2. Get outside more. Not just the walk to school, but real life outdoor activities. We did them when WE were younger: Wheelies, bicycles with tassles, roller skates. Tell your kids about the good ol’ days and then take them outside.
  3. Have that safe tech talk. Yep, you read correctly, not safe sex, but safe tech.  Start telling your child what online behaviours are appropriate and what behaviours are not.
  4. Read more. And I mean paper books. I love my Kindle as much as the next person, (actually probably more), but every night, I’m pulling out something cool to read to my boys. (Some of their my favorites: Pirates Love Underpants, The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake – with a shameless shout out to Cat's Sugardaze Cupcakes on that one.)
  5. Play a video game with your child. I know, right? Another shocking piece of advice. Show interest in their online activities, because some of them ARE really cool. You would be amazed to what kids can do with Minecraft.
  6. Don’t panic. Parent. When something creepy does happen, don’t lose it totally and remove all technological devices including microwaves and Expresso makers. Play it cool and realize that if your child is telling you about it, you can probably mitigate the damage by using your own common sense. (And if the problem is really serious, get the appropriate help.)
  7. Be a digital role model. Even if you are a computer programmer, take breaks when your children are around to demonstrate that we can live without technology 24/7. No finger swiping tablets during conversations. No smartphones at the table. And if your child speaks to you, put down the phone and really listen. (Caught you on that one, didn’t I?)

I think 2015 is going to be a really good year as more organizations and businesses are supporting parents in the digital age. Throughout the year, my mission is to bring you more resources and support so that you continue to be an empowered digital parent. Stay tuned.

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