The digital world presents so much opportunity and excitement! However, it can also create worry for parents as they manage the risks with their children.
Associate Professor Jane Burns of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, says parents may not feel well equipped when it comes to digital parenting, compared to more traditional child-related challenges.
“71% of Australian parents are concerned about their children’s online activities.
“Every day, over 95% of young Australians use the internet and 83% use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Unlike generations before them, young people simply don’t make a distinction between their online and offline worlds.
“It’s so important parents familiarise themselves with new technologies their children are exposed to every day, helping them to understand the unique opportunities these technologies can bring to their children’s interaction with each other and their community.”
Professor Burns is a contributor to a new Digital Parenting magazine put together by Vodafone, which provides straightforward advice that parents can apply in everyday situations.
The magazine suggests parents use the following checklist:
1. Think about how you guide your family in the real world and do the same in the digital world (even if it sometimes feels like your son or daughter is the technology expert in your home!)
2. Have a go with some of the technologies your child enjoys – if you haven’t already, download some music, set up a Facebook profile or play a game on their Nintendo Wii
3. Talk to your friends, family and the parents of your child’s friends about how they help their children manage their digital world – you might get some useful tips
4. Try not to use technology as your child’s babysitter – we all do it sometimes but it’s important to know what they’re up to
5. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and rules especially for younger children – their online reputation will follow them forever so it’s never too young to start
6. Make the most of built-in tools, such as Parental Controls, SafeSearch options and privacy controls
7. Remind older siblings that certain websites, technologies and apps might not be appropriate for their younger siblings to use and ask them to look out for them
8. Make digital issues part of everyday conversation – don’t shy away from talking to teenagers about difficult subjects like cyberbullying, sexting and copyright infringement, for example
9. Keep communicating – show your child that you understand how important technology is to them and reassure them that they can come to you about anything that is worrying them in their digital world
10. Read as many Digital Parenting articles as you can to stay ahead of the game.
Motherpedia.com.au will be featuring advice from experts featured in the magazine over coming weeks.
You can pick up a copy of the glossy Digital Parenting magazine from your local Vodafone store or download a soft copy here: