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6 Strategies To “Digital Parenting” Your Children

Written by: Jessie Liew, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The Fundamental of Parenting has Not Changed — You Just Need New Strategies.


Do you know, children and adolescents spend a lot of time watching screens, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, TVs, and computers?


On average, children ages 8-12 in the United States spend 4-6 hours a day watching or using screens, and teens spend up to 9 hours.


While screens can entertain, teach, and keep children occupied, too much use may lead to problems.

41% of parents of 12-15s find it hard to control their child’s screen time according to the latest Ofcom Children and Parents: Media use and attitudes report 2017.


Here are some of the discussions I had with my client, Sarah (not real name).


“Mum, are you crazy? Why are you keep popping into my room?” shouted Anna, a 9-year-old girl with her mum.


This is what happens when Sarah wanted to check what Anna is doing in her room with the electronic devices.


“Mum, get out of my room”, shouted Jake, Anna’s son, a 14-year-old boy. Anna has absolutely no idea what the children are doing online. The children are secretive about their online activities.


They are spending too much time on their electronic devices. They refuse to focus on their school or homework and did little to help up the house chores.


Whenever Anna threatens to pull the Internet plug, the conflict surrounding the electronic devices is so high. The children were so mad.


Anna is aware of Jake being exposed to pornography and as she does not know what he is doing online, she got very worried.


She’s been trying to get them to do the reading, house chores, or even outdoor activities, but it seems she can’t get them away from the screen for long.


She’s been constantly talking to them about the screen effect on their brain, the Internet dangers, and the importance of reading. It has fallen to deaf ears.


Anna is extremely worried about her children’s future. The screen has changed her children's behavior. She is afraid of her children's future.


With the screen addiction, she sees the children might be failing in their adult life and not able to fulfill their full potential. She fears that she has lost her children to the screen.


When the children are younger, they are closer to you and obedient. They are also more receptive to what you say. When the electronic devices passed to them, it seems that it has changed them. They are more addicted to the screen. They start to disengage with their real-life activities, school, homework, chores, their sports or hobbies, and even family time. The screen occupies their life most of the time.


When they grow up to be teenagers, they will always ask why, push the boundaries and crave more freedom. They are also in the midst of discovering their own identity.


The discussion surrounding screen uses is always in a defensive manner. The children don’t like you to control their screen use and therefore your relationship soars.


When you confront the children on the time spent on screen, he/she will ask why. Most parents answered “because I said so” and therefore the children become more rebellious.

Occasionally, you wonder what they are doing on their mobile phones. The children are secretive about it. They are not willing to talk about their online activities.


This is due to a lack of openness to discussion and trust between you and the children.

When some incidents related to screens happen, most parents react in a furious manner, which totally kills the trust level between the parent and children.


I want you to think about this:

  • Does the school really teach about discovering your own personal value and family values and setting their goals and vision?

  • Does the school really teach much on Internet Safety Habits and realign with your family values?

  • Does the school teach on setting boundaries?

  • Does the school teach about discovering who they are and conflict management?

  • Does the school teach about communication and decision-making?

What you need in digital parenting your children are:


1. Family culture sets the foundation, habits, values, and tone of your family. This is the foundation that sets the future self of your children.


When you do this right:

  • You have set the right mindset and expectations for your children so that they know how to decide and act.

  • In fact, the most powerful of this program is children see the family values as their own values and willing to follow through and be more accountable.

2. Internet Safety Habits agreement, decision-making guideline as well as boundaries.


When you do this right:

  • This is the foundation of internet safety habits that will keep them away from Internet Dangers

  • In fact, the most powerful of this program is children are self-accountable to keep themselves safe.

  • Both parents and children understand and agree on a decision-making guideline so that whenever something pops up, the children know how to make a simple decision. If they are not sure, they will check with the parent.

  • Like any other family matter, boundaries need to be set with the technologies and children agree to it.

3. Knowledge of setting secure Internet environment (use of technology tools)


When you do this right:

  • Here’s where we will give you a quick “hack” about Internet Safety and tools to secure the Internet environment.

  • With this setting, you have eliminated 70% of the Internet Dangers from your children.

4. Process to break bad internet habits and build good Internet habits.


When you do this right:

  • Your child’s internet safety habits have been shaped, thus you know your children can behave as expected when comes to the Internet.

  • You can use the same process to shape any desired habits in your children.

  • The most powerful of this program is that your children can set a balanced life between their online and offline worlds.

5. Discussion and education of online habits and internet safety with your children.


When you do this right:

  • You have established trust between you and your children.

  • The most powerful of this program is instead of you checking your children's online activities, your children will come to report to him when they see something was not right.

  • You and your children are aware and educated on internet safety.

6. Process to discuss with your children when you find that they are not following the agreement on-screen use.


When you do this right:

  • Instead of reacting to their misbehavior, you respond appropriately so that you can able to lead your children to come back and realign with the family culture and values.

When you have set this system up:

  • The game has completely changed.

  • You have a vision of what are the internet safety habits that you are trying to promote to your children

  • You have set the right Internet environment for your children to install the desired habits in your children

  • You have confidence that your children know how to protect themselves from Internet Dangers when you are not around with them. If they are unsure, they will report back to you.

  • If you caught your children having bad internet habits, you know how to shift them to the right internet habits.

  • You have peace of mind when comes to your children with their electronic devices.

  • · You can focus on building a better relationship with your children.

This is a REALLY, REALLY big deal.


If we can help you establish a better relationship with your children while empowering them to use the Internet and technologies responsibly while staying safe on the Internet.

Would you be interested?


I am looking for responsible parents who love and care about their children and screen use / Internet Safety.


They wanted to build their children to be better future digital citizens and they want to have a life-long lasting relationship with their children.


If this is you, click here to book a free strategy call with me.


If you would like help with reducing your children’s screen addiction and improving your relationship with them, join my free Facebook group to get immediate access to all of my free training.


If you would like 1:1 coaching with me to help you reduce your children’s screen addiction and improve your relationship with them, book a free strategy call with me.


 

Jessie Liew, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jessie Liew is a Digital Parenting Coach. As a cybersecurity expert, a mother of 4, she also has to face the same task as all parents, which is rearing safe & responsible digital citizens.


We are living in a digital era, and hence we need new skills to parent our children.


She’s been working in the cybersecurity field for more than 14 years. She also holds professional certifications in Cyber Security (CISSP, CRISC, and CISA). She has been able to shape the companies’ employees' internet habits as well as in her own children.


Her Mission: Empower Parents to nurture their children to use the Internet and technologies in a positive way while staying safe on the Internet. This builds the foundation of our future Digital Citizens. She is looking for parents or educators who want to nurture their children to be responsible digital citizens and build a great relationship with their children.

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