Thank you to all those who attended our first parent tech session of the year! Here’s a recap of last week’s session:
A Balanced Life in the Digital Age: What does this mean to you?
We kicked off our session by sharing our thoughts on how we define a balanced life in this day and age. We have differing opinions surrounding the role of technology in our children’s lives – what one considers to be an ‘unhealthy’ amount of technology use may be different from another. Some adults struggle with the fact that we did not grow up with technology as our children have. This presents a challenge as parents figure out the right balance between providing the best ‘digital discipline’ to kids and giving them the freedom to learn about and explore the digital world.
Circle of Viewpoints Activity
We continued to examine more of the challenges parents grapple with by investigating several ‘family’ scenarios dealing with the following issues: communication, privacy, cyber bullying, gaming, parent surveillance and online vs. face-to-face interaction. What followed each scenario were thought-provoking discussions that addressed the different perspectives with which we viewed the situations. We also discussed the issues which may not have been apparent at first glance as well as possible responses to each scenario. Below is a summary of the guiding principles and effective strategies that parents can apply in similar situations:
- Your response to a situation is going to depend on maturity and age of the child. What may be appropriate for your 10 year old child may not necessarily work for your teenager.
- Before taking action, we must try to understand motivations behind children’s behaviors.
- The cognitive development of adolescents limits their ability to self-control. Studies have shown that the part of your child’s brain that governs judgment is not fully developed until they are in their 20’s. This means that your child will need rules and structure to help them regulate their tech use.
- Steer away from banning or blocking the use of technologies as a consequence. This may work temporarily, but it can also encourage rebellious behavior. Give your child the opportunity to practice managing their online identity in a safe environment.
- Keep the communication channels open. Provide opportunities to engage in dialog with your child.
Other Gems of Advice (Thanks to our participants for some of these tips!)
- Multitasking is great for rote tasks, but may not be the best option for activities that require you to focus on the job at hand (ex. finishing a project)
- Establish a common space where your child can access the computer.
- If the situation has escalated to a point where the child’s school work is getting affected, do not hesitate to get the school involved.
Some Online Resources:
- Talk to your child about your expectations for technology use at home. Use this Family Media Agreement to set up your guidelines.
- Looking for more guidance? Here are some Family Sheet Tips from Commonsense Media site to assist you in your family discussions about certain topics:
|Effective Email CommunicationPrivacy and Digital Footprints||Protecting and Respecting PrivacySafe Online Talk||Risky Online RelationshipsPrivacy and Digital Footprints|
Hope to see you in our second Parent Tech Session! Kindly confirm your attendance by sending a message to email@example.com.
Using Technology to Transform Learning (Creativity), 14th October, Monday at the Library Projection Room – Oftentimes we fall into the trap of only using technology to replicate things that we were already doing before, ie. digital paper. In this workshop we will talk about some of the exciting ways we can use technology to open up new avenues of learning and creativity.