Paris Talks 2018: Parenting, Children and Education in the Digital Age

In 2018, Expats Paris, launched the first conference, Paris Talks, as a platform for provocative and disruptive ideas about the future of humanity.

The conference format is short, powerful, inspiring talks, combined with entertainment and networking opportunities.  Conference issues range from fields of technology, art, and design, to science, environment, humanities and more.

The main focus of the conference is to pose questions about the future, such as, "What does the future look like?"  "Can anyone ever predict what the next century will be like?" 

I was invited to be a speaker at the 2018 Paris Talk and I spoke on the subject of Parenting, Children and Education in the Digital Age. 

Below were the key points for my talk, but as you can see from the video, I went a tad off-script after listening to some of the speakers.  I wanted to really engage the audience and drive home my concerns and support for digital parents: communicate with your children...

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Encouragement for the Digital Parent

Being the super advocate on Internet and technology, I had loaded their kid tablets up with plenty of educational apps and games, so I thought I was ahead of the game.

Imagine my surprise when my four year old starts clicking photos and focuses in on a little girl down the hall. I gasped, grabbed the tablet and told my son that we do not take pictures without asking people first. I slapped my hand to my head because it had totally slipped my mind that their little tablets were camera- and video-equipped.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that you are not alone in dealing with technology and parenting. I consult, teach and coach others on Internet safety and best practices and yet even for me, it is not always easy.

But instead of playing the blame game and feeling like a bad parent, I realize that this happens. We cannot stay on it 24/7 and we cannot know the latest news on all technology, apps and games. But we can stay relatively informed and try to nip things...

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Buying a Mobile Phone for Your Child

I won’t give you a lecture on what age is the appropriate age for purchasing a mobile phone for your child, but I will point you to a fantastic resource where you can ask yourself the following questions posed by Common Sense Media:

  • Are your kids pretty independent?
  • Do your children need to be in touch for safety reasons?
  • Would having easy access to friends benefit them for social reasons?
  • Do you think they’ll use a cell phone responsibly  – for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations?
  • Can they adhere to limits you set for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
  • Will they use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly and not to embarrass or harass others? (Source: Common Sense Media)

Once you decide that your child is ready for a cell phone, you need to educate yourself and your child and ensure that “protection” and “phone” go together.

Read up on mobile phone safety tips to keep your...

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