Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, digital change, digital life, digital parenting, education not fear, Facebook, parents and technology, risky behavior, social media, supervising digital kids, values in digital life

On Digital Parenting Fear, Part #2 – We Must Know More About Kids’ Digital Lives

fear-riskIn our connected world unfamiliar activities make adults worry about kids, and violent and exploitative events, some connected to the digital world, make us fear for our children’s safety. This past week two events, a 13-year-old’s ruthless murder that was associated with online app interactions and a Wall Street Journal article, Cyberthieves Have a New Target: Children, made many of us wonder, once again, whether the digital world is degrading the quality of our lives.

Cybertheives PM

For me the week reinforced the importance of parents understanding what their children are up to on digital devices. It’s a serious responsibility, it requires enormous time and energy, and we cannot hire outside experts to do it for us. The work requires every parenting skill that we’ve ever developed and more, and if you are not up to it you need to consult a parent education organization, such as the Parenting Encouragement Program (PEP) in my area, that offers training to parents. Continue reading “On Digital Parenting Fear, Part #2 – We Must Know More About Kids’ Digital Lives”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital learning, digital life, digital parenting, parents and technology

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Parents’ & Kids’ Digital Literacy Skills

The New York Times recently published For the New Year, Let’s Resolve to Improve Our Tech Literacy, about the need for leaders, law enforcement officials and policymakers to increase their digital world literacy. The December 23, 2015 article, written by Farhad Manjoo, points out that many the big problems that occur in our world become even more complicated because the leaders and law enforcement personnel do not have a big-picture understanding of the vast changes technology brings to today’s world. Greater understanding might strengthen our leaders’ problem-solving skills.

This article looks at the importance of digital literacy on a large-scale.

Tech Literacy

As I finished reading, I began thinking about resolutions on a smaller scale — those steps that adults and children can take in 2016 to improve a family’s tech literacy and perhaps prevent at least some of the potential connected-world problems. It’s a fast-paced, always-changing 21st Century world and everyone has a lot to learn. Many of the issues that do occur are made worse because kids and parents do not have enough knowledge to anticipate what might go wrong and take steps to steer clear of problems.

Below are five digital literacy resolutions that parents can make, and all of them can help people — both adults and children — become more sensible and savvy connected world citizens.                                                                  Continue reading “5 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Parents’ & Kids’ Digital Literacy Skills”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices and gadgets, digital life, digital parenting, kids' advice for parents, media and family life, parents and technology, screen time

What to Do About Screen Time – A Diane Rehm Show Discussion

Click to check out the report’s infographic..
Click to check out the Common Sense Media research report’s infographic.

This past week I listened to New Research On Teens, Toddlers and Mobile Devices, an engaging radio program about digital parenting on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR). In early November 2015 Rehm featured four expert guests who thoughtfully examined the digital parenting issues that adults should consider when it comes to digital media and children. It was rebroadcast in  December 2015.

The program appeared to be timed to highlight a recently released report, The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens (2015). Educators and parents will learn a lot by listening to this broadcast or reading the transcript and by checking out the program’s resource links.

A new year—with new devices and new considerations about rules and limitation—is a good time to listen to experts who can help adults think more carefully about how to define screen time and discuss the research (and the need for much more). This program can help adults guide children whose 21st Century lives are increasingly defined by digital activities.                         Continue reading “What to Do About Screen Time – A Diane Rehm Show Discussion”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, digital kids, digital parenting, parents and technology

A Few Back-to-School Posts from the Past

backtoschool postsEach year I write a back-to-school post, that challenges parents and educators to think about the ever-changing lives we live as parents and teachers in our increasingly digital world. This year my  2015 post, A Back-to-School Digital Parenting Checklist, received quite a few hits.

So today I am re-sharing several of my back-to-school pieces from the start of previous academic years. Despite how fast change occurs in our lives, these posts are still timely.                              Continue reading “A Few Back-to-School Posts from the Past”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital change, digital kids, digital parenting, parents and technology, parents as mentors

Digital Parenting Booster Shot? A Healthy Child Metaphor

mini-apps-charts-sm2If you are an educator or parent searching for just the right comments about digital parenting to use at a school, organization, or parent meeting, take a look at the blog post A Booster Shot on Parents’ Night by Ann Klotz over at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Klotz, the head of the Laurel School outside of Cleveland, hits the nail on the head, using a healthy child metaphor to describe the important responsibilities — digital and otherwise — for the parents of digital kids. Adults, she points out, must take on these responsibilities no matter how they feel about technology (or even how much more a parent thinks a child knows about technology). Below is one paragraph from Klotz’s post, but I suggest that you read the entire post.

Ann Klotz wrote:                                    Continue reading “Digital Parenting Booster Shot? A Healthy Child Metaphor”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital parenting, digital parenting checklist, education not fear, family conversations, parents and technology

Digital Parenting Back-to-School Checklist

Read the 2016 updated version of this post.

back to school digital parents checklist
Click to download a PDF of the Digital Parenting Checklist.

It’s back-to-school 2015, a time to list the many tasks we need to accomplish before the start of the new academic year. We think about school supplies, new clothes and shoes, new lunch boxes, and, of course, new digital devices and computers. We check off our lists as we go, getting our 21st Century children ready to return to school.

Yet back-to-school season is also a useful time for parents to list, consider, and articulate connected-life expectations, old and new, for the coming year. What do you want your children to do or not do? How do you expect them to behave when a friend encourages behavior that is not allowed at home?

To help you consider the issues of your child’s digital life, and your own, use the eight-item checklist below to get started.                               Continue reading “Digital Parenting Back-to-School Checklist”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital health and wellness, digital parenting, digital wellness, media and family life, parents and technology

Now In Top 10 Child Health Concerns: Internet Safety & Sexting

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health conducts regular surveys several times each year polling adults in around 2000 randomly selected, nationally representative households, about significant health issues that relate to children. The goal of this survey and others in the C.S. Mott program is to collect information and identify trends that are useful to health providers, community public health organizations, and public policymakers.

CS Mott health probllem results
Image from CS. Mott Children’s Hospital Survey report site.

One of these surveys on children’s health asks adults to rate the issues or problems that are of greatest concern when it comes to kids’ health.

This year, 2015, parents rated internet safety as the fourth most important health problem for children, moving from eighth place in 2014. Sexting, which was in 13th place in 2014, was rated as the sixth greatest health concern for children in the 2015 survey.

These findings indicate that 21st Century parents are increasingly concerned about the vulnerability of their kids in today’s media-dense environment. Increasingly today’s adults seek to focus on the digital health and wellness of their children and seek to learn how to parent digital natives more effectively and more positively.     Continue reading “Now In Top 10 Child Health Concerns: Internet Safety & Sexting”