Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, acceptable use, collaborating with kids, digital devices, digital kids, digital wellness, distracted driving, family conversations, gadgets and sleep, media and family life, modeling for kids, monitoring kids online, parents and technology

After Buying a Device & Before Giving It to Kids: What to Do

I’m getting a new iPhone 6s!
I’m getting a new iPhone 6s!

Every 21st Century parent needs a holiday digital parenting checklist that describes the tasks to accomplish between purchasing a new digital device and watching a child gleefully unwrap it. A list gives parents a head start, helping them understand challenges, set explanations and guidelines, anticipate problems, and most importantly, set the stage for responsible and respectful use of extraordinarily powerful devices.

Many parents I speak with point out how little time they have to go through this sort of checklist — but the time spent now is nothing compared the time drain that occurs after your child experiences a connected world problem. It’s worth your time to consider the checklist now.

The MediaTechParenting 2015
         Digital Parents’ Holiday and Beyond Checklist        

Continue reading “After Buying a Device & Before Giving It to Kids: What to Do”

Posted in 21st Century life, connected learning, digital citizenship, digital learning, digital parenting, digital wellness, educating digital natives, parents and technology

10 Digital Wellness Thoughts to Consider

Digital WellnessThese days everyone talks about personal wellness — those steps that people need to take to remain physically and mentally healthy and strong. But what about digital wellness? Poor digital health affects not only our connected lives but also our physical and mental well-being.

Digital wellness is about fine-tuning the 21st Century skills that we use to work and play in a connected world, and it also involves understanding a number of common myths about the nature of online life. Helping family members take steps to develop digital wellness habits can challenge parents, mainly because many children, pre-adolescents, and teens appear to be far more advanced online consumers than their parents. Underneath the veneer of digital native expertise, however, are a fair number of information gaps.              Continue reading “10 Digital Wellness Thoughts to Consider”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, parents and technology, social media, supervising digital kids

Play in the Social Media Sandbox? Decisions, Decisions!

socialmediarainbow
Found on Flickr.

Check out Nick Bilton’s New York Times article, Letting Your Kids Play in the Social Media Sandbox. The February 18, 2015 piece shares Bilton’s experience as he considers how much initial access his nephew should have to social media, after the boy asked about signing up for a YouTube account.

The best part of his decision-making process is the author’s metaphor describing the three doors that open to progressively more complicated social media and how each door leads to a more complicated social experience for a younger person. Bilton explains how each door opens to trickier types of social media that allow — or more likely promotes — certain types of negative behavior. He is not against social media access at all, but he has some specific recommendations about child supervision and parent responsibilities.

Continue reading “Play in the Social Media Sandbox? Decisions, Decisions!”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, acceptable use, digital parenting, family conversations, gadget ownership, parents and technology

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

made_at_www.txt2pic.comAfter the December holidays, lots of digital kids will begin using new handheld devices, but as these new gadgets come out of their boxes, parents need to update or introduce a family digital device action plan. A family’s plan is similar to the rules-of-the-road guide that is so critical to new drivers.

These days most flashy new smartphones, iPads, tablets, music players, computers, laptops, notebooks, and video games are connected to the exciting, but rough and tumble world of the Internet, and much of the time these devices are used in places where adults are not present. So sometime during the first week of gadget ownership – or better yet, as the devices come out of their boxes – parents and children need to sit together and review digital behavior and expectations.

To help come up with your expectations, check out a comprehensive list of Internet sites with information about family digital life contracts and agreements. Many parents include these agreements in the box so the conversation begins as soon as a child opens the gift.                               Continue reading “Needed: Digital Rules-of-the-Road for Kids’ New Smart Devices”

Posted in digital parenting, good books to read, parents and technology

Back-to-School Digital Reading Assignment, #1

Today’s Digital Parent Reading Assignment is an article, Rumors, Cyberbullying and Anonymity, appearing in a July 22, 2010, column by New York Times technology writer David Pogue. The article is his interview with Harvard Law Professor John Palfrey, one of the directors of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In question and answer format, the interview ranges over some of the significant and critical technology issues that concern parents: rumors, cyberbullying, digital literacy (knowing what is credible), the opportunity to for anonymity, and the online social lives of pre-adolescents and teens. Professor Palfrey is a co-author of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s). When he describes the way digital natives (our children) behave, Dr. Palfrey comments that he studies “… how young people use technology, how they relate to one another. And one of the big things is they’ve moved their social lives, by and large, online.”