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, online databases, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, supervising kids

Effectively Guide Your Digital Kids-10 Tips for Grades 4-6 and Beyond

My design with images from the Apple website.

1.    Save Facebook, Google+, and other big-time social networking experiences for high school.

2.    Know your child’s passwords.

3.    Keep online computer activities out of the bedroom. Also, plan on no-screen wind-down time during the last half hour before bed. (Yes, even those bedtime friendly Kindles – why not use bedtime-friendly books?)

4.    Set up an overnight charging area for cell phones and other gadgets outside of the bedroom, preferably on another floor or part of your home.

5.    Consider writing up digital device contracts and using these agreements with your child. Feel free to take away privileges, or even the device, if your expectations are not met.

Continue reading “Effectively Guide Your Digital Kids-10 Tips for Grades 4-6 and Beyond”

Posted in acceptable use, cell phones, digital citizenship, family conversations, parents and technology, teens and technology

Make a Digital Action Plan for Kids’ New Gadgets

 Any time a child receives a new digital device, parents need to update or introduce a digital gadget action plan — something akin to the rules-of-the road that are so critical to new teenage drivers. Flashy new smartphones, iPads, iPod Touches, music players, computers, laptops, notebooks, and video games — most connected in some way to the exciting, but rough and tumble world of the Internet — require parents to focus just as intently as they do on driving lessons. Sometime during the first week of gadget ownership, and especially before school vacation ends, sit down with your child and go over the expectations in your action plan.

My New iPad

Even as a youngster thrills to the capabilities of a new device, the potential for digital mistakes and judgment errors exists. A short, sarcastic comment or text can be perceived as cyber-bullying when it reaches its destination. A game can be played online with someone who is more interested in your child than the game. A couple of less than thoughtful words, sent to one person, can be forwarded easily and embarrassingly to many others. The right time to talk about acceptable use and intention versus consequence is when the device is new.

A digital action plan — an agreement, contract, or list of guidelines between you and your child — anticipates potential issues and lays out specific expectations that will arise when a youngster uses a digital device in the wider, less supervised, world.

A Few Points to Emphasize in Conversations With Your Child Continue reading “Make a Digital Action Plan for Kids’ New Gadgets”