Digital Wise Part 2
Helping Our Kids Navigate the Digital World
Raising a family can almost feel like rocket science some days. Today’s families have the added dimension of raising children in a very digital world.
An article published by the National Post, entitled Government survey confirms that, yes, Canadian teens really like their smartphones, shares insights on how youth in Canada rely heavily on their smartphones.
In this issue of balance we’re sharing some tips and guidelines for helping your tweens and young teens navigate a digital world.
Depending on the age of your children and stage that your family is at with devices and access to the Internet, here are some guidelines that you might find helpful for starting the conversation.
First email account.
A lot of schools will give students an email account. Typically this is to help with their classwork, so this is a good time to talk with your children about how important it is to use strong passwords and change them periodically.
Tips for an effective password are:
- Make them at least 8 characters long
- Combine numbers, symbols, upper and lower case
- Don’t use
First social network account.
It isn’t surprising that Canadian youth are using social media as a communication tool to connect with others, and as a source of entertainment to fill time.
When it’s time for your child to get “social” have them give you a “guided tour” of all the things they want to do. Afterwards, both of you can go through the network’s privacy and permission settings so that you are both aware of the account settings. This is a good time to go over a refresher on respecting others’ privacy.
This is the time for parents to set the rules for using the new device. Even rules around when and where phones get used are key to establish early on. For example, no phones at the dinner table.
This part does require your example and leadership, so you’ll have to leave your phone behind too. This is also the time to review their school’s rules about using phones. The key things to remember are, you’re the parent, you set the rules, and you provide the best example.