Given the chance, kids can offer remarkable insight — good ideas for their parents to consider.
I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills. I often hear my students wonder aloud about why parents don’t always model the digital citizenship expectations that they want their children to learn and apply.
Below are the nine most common “I Wish” statements expressed over the past several years by digital children that I teach. Two of them, I’ll admit, were even mentioned to me by my daughter some years ago. Mea culpa…
Kids Wish Their Parents and Other Adults Would
- Try to learn a lot more about computers in particular and technology in general.
- Stop saying they don’t know much about technology (mom’s especially)
- Not use Blackberries and phones at sports games and school events.
- Don’t talk on the phone so much in the car.
- Learn to play some of the kids’ online games.
- Understand more about helping with searches on the Internet.
- Understand how hard it is to learn the technology rules and regulations and not always threaten to take away technology access when there’s a problem.
- Stop automatically saying that new things like Wikipedia are questionable.
- Try not to act dumb about technology. Even if you don’t understand something, please act like you want to learn new things.
Books that Address the Monumental Digital Changes in Our Lives
- Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon
- Hamlet’s Blackberry – William Powers
- Alone Together – Sherry Turkle
- Born Digital: The First Generation of Digital Natives – John Palfrey
- Net Smarts – Howard Rheingold