Digital Parenting is probably one of the toughest topics I have engaged with. While parenting is age old and its basics have been set over thousands of years , the nuance of ‘digital’ is ever evolving. We love our children and want to provide the best for them. Honestly when it comes to digital parenting, there is no agreement upon what is the best. There is a lot of research being done, contradicting opinions are being debated everyday, but honestly I think it will take some generations before we can come to an agreement.
That is the broader picture, our attempt at the Digital Parenting - Open House was to talk to digital migrants on how to raise digital natives. The idea was conceptualized in collaboration with Simran, a close friend and avid blogger writing MotherHood - The Real Story
Its a topic close to our hearts, she being a mother of 2, and we being activists who have been working on the topic of online safety for the past 5 years. Any time we come across parents who know about our work, the first question they ask is “How do we get our children away from the phones?”. It's a very valid question, though the answer is a long complex one.
We designed the workshop keeping our audience in mind ( yeah we are old school like that, all our participants need to fill in a short questionnaire, based on which we design our workshop). For the past 5 years we have primarily engaged with children in schools and colleges, engaging with parents is a totally different scenario.
I took a call and turned it into an informal discussion, as the last thing I wanted to do was preach or be judgemental. Created a rough plan of 4 sections, 15 min each, covering different topics. After a lot of contemplation, creating and recreating the module, finally the day arrived.
It was the first time we were organizing something like this, were absolutely not sure how many people will come, but one by one we had a crowd of 12 assembled, 10 mothers and 2 grand mothers, gotta say the feminist in me was excited and as a man I felt kinda ashamed. As in my view parenting is a team effort, where women and men have to put equal amounts of effort.
And the discussion began, we discussed about screen time vs human time, how to think hard before sharing, to use technology and not to be used by technology, and most importantly how to put this in practice. It was a great learning experience for all of us.
Parents find themselves on crossroads between accepting technology and rejecting it, the nuanced route of choice is what we encouraged them to take. While technology per say is pretty neutral, it is the way we use it decides its aftereffects.
The feedback was phenomenal, we got instant invites to do the same workshop in schools with other parents and teachers. Looking forward to many more such interactions.
(Shameless plugin, If you would like us to do a workshop in your RWA, School, College, please get in touch with us)
Digital Parenting - Open House
Amitabh Kumar Wranga Digital Parenting