Posted in digital parenting, kids changing lives, monitoring kids online, online communication, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Great Digital Parenting Blog Posts at Net Family News

When I finished reading Anne Collier’s two Net Family News posts, The Trust Factor in Parenting Online Kids and Parenting or (Digital) Public Humiliation, I leaned back to process all of the content in these two short articles. “Well done!” I thought.

trust parents kids 2Take some time to read these thoughtful and well-written pieces that address the challenges of parenting digital kids and offer solid guidance. They sum up just about everything a parent needs to know.

Collier examines the need for parents to build insightful and trusting relationships with their digital world children. She notes that we adults should think carefully about any decision to use secretive monitoring and instead consider recognizing the need for honesty and trust whenever we address the lives of children and adolescents who work and play in the connected world.

There’s no substitute for a parent being online, observing and adding his or her two cents when required. Yes, it is time-consuming —  but it’s best to communicate openly by transparently monitoring children’s digital activities and modeling the trust and honesty that we want them to develop in their own lives. Perhaps, Collier muses, we are even making digital kids safer, since they are less likely to be seeking ways to hide out or at least take cover online.

Best Quote in Anne Collier’s Posts  (… but there are many other good ones so check out these articles and others at Net Family News.) Continue reading “Great Digital Parenting Blog Posts at Net Family News”

Posted in cell phones, digital devices, digital parenting, mobile phones, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Mom Writes Phone Contract for Middle School Son

cell phone vocab  image wordfoto
This cell phone vocabulary image created with one of my pictures and the app Wordfoto.
Note: Please check out my Digital Contracts and Agreements Page if you want to learn more about this topic.

Take a look at a terrific letter about cell phone conduct, appropriately written for a middle or high school age student. In a Huffington Post article, To My 13-Year-Old, An iPhone Contract From Your Mom, With Love, Janet Burley Hoffman shares a mobile phone contract that she wrote for her son after giving him a cell phone for Christmas. The post also includes a link to a video of Hoffman and her son appearing on “Good Morning America.”

This piece is cleverly written, focusing on cell phone issues that worry many parents of pre-adolescent and adolescent children. Hoffman’s contract addresses, in non-lecture style, the concerns that arise especially as parents watch their children using digital devices.

Last fall, my post, So You Want a Family Digital Device Contract or Agreement, included links to a broad range of web resources that can help parents set up contracts or agreements with their digital kids.

Interesting Ideas that Janet Burley Hoffman Incorporated into This Contract Continue reading “Mom Writes Phone Contract for Middle School Son”

Posted in acceptable use, cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, family conversations, mobile phones, parent child conversations, parents and technology, teens and technology

Needed: 2013 Digital Rules-of-the-Road for New Smart Devices

cell phone contract graphicAfter the December holidays, lots of digital kids are using new digital devices.

Each new digital gadget requires that parents update or introduce a family digital device action plan — akin to the rules-of-the-road that are so critical to new drivers.

These days flashy new smartphones, iPads, iPod Touches, music players, computers, laptops, notebooks, and video games are connected in some way to the exciting, but rough and tumble world of the Internet. Sometime during the first week of gadget ownership parents and children need to sit together and review digital behavior and expectations.

Continue reading “Needed: 2013 Digital Rules-of-the-Road for New Smart Devices”

Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, media literacy, parent child conversations, parents and technology, web research

Before and After the Super Storm: Resources for Parents

Click to access the tips (in PDF form).

If ever there is a time to keep our media literacy skills front and center, it’s after a national disaster. Adults need to regulate and monitor what children see and, more importantly, adults need to remember that children see and hear a lot more than we sometimes think.

Check out the blog posting Protecting Children From the Media’s Storm Coverage. Written by K.J. Dell’Antonia, the New York Times Motherlode blogger, the November 2, 2012 article focuses on the need to limit children’s exposure to storm-related media coverage.
The Motherlode article directs readers to a two-page document that offers even more information about protecting children from prolonged traumatic event coverage — a free PDF available from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website. The two-page article, Protecting Children from Disturbing Media Reports During Traumatic Events, offers tips for parents and caregivers, going into detail about what children understand at each age level.        Continue reading “Before and After the Super Storm: Resources for Parents”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital parenting, online safety, parent child conversations, parents and technology, teaching digital kids

Seeking a Family Digital Use Agreement or Contract?

Check out the GetNetWise family digital use agreements.

Many times each year parents and teachers ask me for examples of agreements and contracts that can help families focus on digital life expectations and limits-setting. Some individuals seek a pre-written document to use with their children, while others hope to design and write a document expressly for their families.

These agreements, contracts, or pledges, cover the gamut of 21st Century digital world behavior, from cell phones, to online access, to texting, web 2.0, social media, cyber-bullying, and digital citizenship.

The conversation and preparation that contribute to developing a family agreement or contract are often more important than the final document. In these family discussions, parents will need to arm themselves with information about digital natives, address values, and encourage common sense. Parents will also need to help their children think about what to do in unexpected situations, and encourage them to speculate on how to cope with friends who encourage them to misbehave. The more personal and relevant the agreement, the better.

Then, too, adults should understand that the preparation and writing process is not a one-way street. A child may make a pointed observation or come up with a thoughtful idea about the digital issues contained in the agreement. Perhaps he or she feels strongly about certain types of access, time limits, or other parental expectation.  Maybe there are compelling reasons to grant access to one site or another, even though the parent has reservations.

Continue reading “Seeking a Family Digital Use Agreement or Contract?”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, family conversations, leadership, parent child conversations, parents and technology, reading

Reading Promotes Leadership Skills — Even in a Digital World

As parents, children, and teachers prepare for the start of a new academic year, many may enjoy reading the Harvard Business Review blog (HBR Blog) post For Those Who Want to Lead, Read. Parents of digital kids may want to take the time to share this short, thoughtful. and well-written article with family members as a back-to-school activity.

In today’s digital world, many people — including individuals who consider themselves literate — are not reading books as often or as deeply as in the past. In this HBR Blog post, John Coleman notes that reading digital chunks of content is far more common today. He provides inspiring examples of leaders who are well-read and describes in detail how reading benefits individuals who aspire to lead. Plenty of links take readers back to the sources of information that are mentioned in the article.

Best Quotes (Choosing only two was really difficult.)

  • Even as global literacy rates are high (84%), people are reading less and less deeply.
  • … Deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.

For Those Who Want to Lead, Read concludes with recommendations that can support people who want to read more. After you peruse these suggestions, take a few minutes to think about how you might encourage the people in your family (or your students) to develop and maintain a deeper and more literary reading life?

You can also check out the post, How to Raise a Lifelong Reader at the Common Sense Media website.

Posted in digital parenting, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Summer, Social Media, and Digital-Age Parenting

Read the research here.

Summer is a good time for parents to learn more about the social media activities of their children, developing additional skill and more understanding about what’s happening in the digital whirl that is a huge part of kids’ social lives.

A 2011 Pew Internet and American Life Project report, Teens, Kindness, and Cruelty on Social Networking Sites, noted that 95% of children ages 12 – 17 are online, many on social networking sites. Since that Pew report was published, media sources report that children several years younger than 12 are also using social media. Read the NPR piece, Social Networks: Thinking of the Children. Children continue to need guidance and limits-setting from their parents.

The goal is not to prevent children from exploring — that’s not realistic. Instead, parents need to gather enough information to be able to keep an eye on activities, facilitate discussions when required, and intervene when it’s necessary to insulate their kids from impulsive digital behavior on computers, smartphones, and tablets.        Continue reading “Summer, Social Media, and Digital-Age Parenting”