A Working Mom's Guide to Digital ParentingAug 29, 2023
For working moms and parents, there are endless challenges thrown your way as you try to balance the demands of a career with the responsibilities of raising a family. You’ve likely got childcare arrangements, financial responsibilities, and a work life balance to juggle (among many, many other things).
These days, working parents face another challenge too—raising responsible and resilient digital citizens. Bringing up children in the age of technology, digital devices, and the internet means you have a whole new skill set that you need to teach your kids.
The digital challenges that working parents face and how to overcome them
As a working mom or parent, time is precious, and the mental load doesn’t ever seem to lighten! That’s why I’ve covered a few of the common challenges that working parents and moms face when it comes to parenting in the digital age. I’ve also included some of the valuable resources that I have to offer as a digital parenting expert, to help you overcome them.
Online safety and security
Helping your kids learn how to stay safe online is a top priority as a digital-age parent. And there are a lot of complexities to navigate when it comes to child safety online. These include risks to their physical and emotional well-being, as well as to their personal information. There’s also limiting their digital footprint to consider.
Improving your own digital literacy is a great place to start when it comes to guiding your children’s online habits. Talk to them about the apps, platforms, and games they’re interested in, so that you know where to focus your energy.
As a starting off point, you can read my guide to keeping kids safe online for more tips and further resources to help you get your head around everything. I also have digital parenting courses that tackle key safety concerns that are relevant to children’s age groups. Included in the courses are strategies and solutions to help you overcome common safety concerns.
Monitoring and regulating the content children access online is no easy task, especially if you’re a busy working parent. Setting up parental controls is a good way to ensure that what your kids are accessing is age-appropriate, educational, and aligns with family values. Of course, combining this with supervision of what they’re viewing is going to offer the greatest protection from harmful content.
Unfortunately, there’s not one universal setting you can apply to a device for fool proof content filtering. You’ll likely get better results by looking into the settings for individual apps and platforms.
Try my parent’s guides to YouTube and Parental Controls, What is YouTube Kids & Is It Safe?, and Everything Parents Need to Know About Minecraft to start familiarizing yourself with the settings of these platforms.
Screen time limits
Getting the screen time balance right can be tricky, especially when digital devices are becoming more integral to your kids’ educational and social development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screen time limits for children based on their ages. So, if you’re wondering how much screen time is too much—and whether you should be including homework time in the calculation as well—read my guide to How Much Screen Time is Ok for Kids.
Mom guilt and feeling like you’re in this alone
Parenting can feel like one long guilt trip at the best of times. Managing feelings of guilt related to screen time restrictions, worrying about the impact of technology, and trying to establish a healthy balance between digital and non-digital activities can only add to this.
It’s important to feel like you’re supported in your digital parenting journey. Joining a local parenting group, network, or association can be a great source of support. You can share tips and ask for advice on all sorts of digital dilemmas. The likelihood is that other working moms are going through something similar!
A digital parenting workshop can be a valuable resource for gathering the group together and getting everyone up to speed with their internet safety skills.
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