Whenever I have conversations about the challenges of digital parenting, people invariably ask how I might condense all of the 21st Century parenting guidance into just a few helpful suggestions.
I’ll admit that I’ve tried, on one than one occasion, to identify and condense the many elements that combine to strengthen digital world parenting skills, but the challenge takes an enormous amount of thought and even more time. Moreover, any short and succinct advice has to make it clear that we parents can no longer think about living our lives in two parts — digital and non-digital. If tips are distilled down to the basics, they still need to help adults recognize that our world changes constantly, and also that it requires us to continually learn from our children — refining our parenting strategies as we go along.
The good news is that one of my colleagues, Craig Luntz at the Calvert School in Baltimore, has come up with a three-part framework to help families navigate through changing expectations in the 21st Century world. When he works with parents at his school Craig offers the following three-part digital parenting plan.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your children.
- Model good habits for children because they learn more from what they see and not necessarily from what they are told.
- Stay informed about the latest trends in technology and social networking and think about how they affect your children.
Three suggestions — simple, yet elegant. If you traverse the web looking at all of the sites that offer parents suggestions and guidance, you won’t find anything better than this.