Digital Parenting Open House | Episode VI

With education taking a new online route and staying in the house being prescribed as a safety measure, it is not surprising that we see the internet usage curve go up on the graph. The Internet has made it easy for us to access all the information that we need. However, it has also created newer risks for children that parents need to look into. The digital world offers a scope of learning, imagining and being creative to young and impressionable minds. Good parenting enables the kids to use newer technology to their best use and avoid all that can go wrong.

In the sixth episode on Digital Parenting, expert Amitabh Kumar discussed the current parenting dilemmas when it comes to the online behavior of kids. We received very intriguing questions from our participants, which are some of the burning questions that people have regarding Online Parenting. Let’s quickly see a few highlights of our session!

Amitabh pointed out, parents and kids are going through a strange time, getting adjusted to the new normal. What is crucial at this point is to make sure that there is open communication between the parents and kids. Anxiety is common during this period. Only through mutual support and love, will we overcome this battle. The question that arises is, how do we do that? What does good digital parenting involve? What can we do to help our kids use technology and be a part of the digital world that they desire, but also ensure that they are safe and responsible?

1. Know what they are watching

It is crucial, especially for parents of kids below 10 years of age, to know what your kids are watching. That doesn’t mean that you become nosey, and your kids push you out of their fun space. Talk to them. Indulge in co-playing. Become a part of their digital world. An open stream of communication is vital. If they are curious to watch content (violence/ sex/ addiction), that is not suitable for their age, explain why it is inappropriate. Don’t shut them down. Explaining always works better than hiding facts from kids, since they are more curious than adults.

2. Restrict Screen Time

Amitabh Kumar talks in detail about what is the right screen time for kids of certain ages. Check out the video to know more about that. Put a restriction on the time that you spend digitally. Studies show that a big part of a kid’s primary socialization happens by mimicking the parents. So what you do, how much time you spend directly affects the digital behavior of your kids.

Create a schedule, a Happy Table. Plan your day, Plan time with your kids, and engage in activities with them. Instead of letting your kids' binge watch some show on Netflix alone, make a plan to watch a nice movie on Netflix with your family. This way, the children also learn to enjoy family time and become more comfortable sharing a digital space with their parents.

3. Have fun but be responsible

As we navigate the online space, we focus a lot on the rights that we as individuals and our kids have. But seldom are we responsible. Know what parental controls the social media apps provide, how you can use them and keep your children safe. We must understand the risk associated with the digital space and take necessary precautions for our kids. It is a slippery slope unless we take proper care.

Lastly, Amitabh shares the mantra of how to use the digital space more positively and also more productively.

"Take a break", he says.

Yes, you heard it right. Take a day off. Shut your gadgets. Connect with your family and with yourself. Plant mothers and fathers, take care of your garden. Mediate. Exercise. Reconnect with nature. As much we recognize the transformation and ease that the digital world has brought into our lives, we still suggest that sometimes you simply should log out.
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