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Digital Parenting– A Complete Guide

Digital parenting

Digital media has rapidly altered the ways in which kids and their parents communicate, have fun, learn, and solve problems on a regular basis.

Young children are frequent users of phones and tablets, so their initial digital involvement brings new problems to parent-child connections and parental responsibility. 

To avoid that, digital parenting is one of the most important ways that can help you. For that, you have to know everything about it.

What is Digital Parenting?

Digital parenting is the practice of informing, directing, and safeguarding children and teenagers from potential internet threats. 

It means that parents must understand and guide their children’s usage of social networking sites, the internet, video games, smartphone applications, and other technological items.

At this point, the difference between knowing and guiding is critical.

Digital parents not only recognize their children’s online behaviors, but they also take the necessary precautions to safeguard them from online threats. 

They maintain open contact with their kids and encourage them to utilize electronic tools wisely, preparing them to be responsible digital citizens in the future.

Digital parenting

Why is Digital Parenting Essential?

Crimes that occur digitally–cyber crimes have increased to an alarming rate which has made it necessary for parents to monitor their kids and assist them digitally.

These digital crimes include the following;

Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying occurs when someone utilizes a computer, game console, smartphone, or other device with internet or social networking access to harass, stalk, or abuse another individual by starting or taking part in online abuse campaigns. 

Even though the majority of media coverage suggests that cyberbullying only occurs on social media, it is a major issue in the world of internet gaming as well.

Cyberbullying victims frequently have no idea who is behind the identities that are harassing them. 

Because bullying and trolling accounts frequently exploit everyone’s fundamental right to anonymity, victims may occasionally be able to identify the bullies but be unable to prove it. 

In other cases, strangers who are unaware that cyberbullying is occurring may adopt a “mob mentality” and participate in the harassment rather than supporting the victim.

Cyberbullying does not target any one group of people; rather, anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying in some capacity.

Overuse of Screen

Screen usage has been connected to a number of detrimental health outcomes, such as anxiety, persistent pain in the back and neck, obesity, and sleep issues. 

Mobile can disrupt the brain’s sleep cycle and make it difficult to get a decent night’s sleep, while sedentary activities like playing online games or watching videos can raise the risk of becoming overweight and heart disease. 

Poor posture can lead to chronic neck and back discomfort, so it’s critical to stand, stretch, move, and take breaks from sitting. 

Increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as poorer emotional reading skills can result from excessive screen use.

Inappropriate Content

Sharing content with a larger audience is now possible due to the internet. Certain content might be offensive, unlawful, improper, or inappropriate for younger audiences.

A video is playing on the computer screen, and there is an orange cross icon in the front Content that is unsuitable or dangerous could include,

  • sites that promote violent pornography 
  • extreme forms of extremism
  • objectionable text, images, or videos on online chat rooms or blogs
  • acts that incite hatred or racism

There are others that willfully look for offensive stuff online. By entering in the incorrect web address or by clicking on links or pop-up ads in emails, you run the risk of unintentionally opening content.

It can be detrimental to a young person’s health and wellness to view unsuitable content.

Phishing 

One of the major online risks is phishing is a form of social engineering assault that is frequently used to obtain credit card numbers and login passwords from users. 

It happens when a victim is tricked into accepting an email, text message, or instant message by an attacker posing as a reliable source. 

Subsequently, the recipient is duped into opening a link that is malicious, which may cause malware to be installed, a ransomware assault to cause the machine to freeze, or the disclosure of private data.

Attacks can have disastrous effects. In the case of an individual, this can involve identity theft, money theft, or unauthorized purchasing.

Online Predators

Adult internet users who target young children or teenagers for sexual and some other abusive objectives are known as online predators. Sexual predators known as “online predators” track down, target, and harm youngsters through the use of the Internet and information and communications technology. While adult internet users may engage in sexual predation over the internet, minor children who are underage are the main victims.

Online predators frequently use chat rooms, instant messaging, and social networking sites as platforms to approach youngsters and arrange for unapproved sexual encounters. 

Online predators are frequently driven to manipulate or “groom” a minor in order to meet and engage in sexual activity, regardless of the fact that they are doing so illegally. 

In its most basic form, “grooming” refers to a sexual predator’s intentional approach of manipulating a youngster in order to get sexually oriented results.

There are the cases where meeting their victims to engage in sexual activities is not the primary goal. 

Online predators may attempt to persuade children and adolescents to engage in any kind of online sexual activity for financial gain. It includes the distribution and sale of child pornography. 

Today, selling and distributing internet pornographic material for children is one of the most successful business endeavors a user of the internet can engage in.

What Comes Under Digital Parenting?

Digital parenting is not one one-word term. There are many strategies and practices in it that are helpful to guide kids to use the internet and to ensure their online safety. 

For your ease, we have divided digital parenting into two types of approaches;

 

  1. Basic Approach 
  2. Advanced Approach 

Basic Approach

These are the strategies that are basic and do not involve technology. It’s all about teaching online behaviors to young ones to make them aware of all the dangers they can be exposed to in the vast online world. Here are some of the strategies that can help you teach your kids about the digital and how they should behave;

Role Modeling

Be a role model to your kids by showing responsible digital behavior. Always try to use the internet positively as kids learn a lot from your actions. Try not to see abusive or violent content with your kids.

Educate Kids

Kids’ education for using the internet is a part of digital parenting. You have to tell them about the cyberbullying, online predation, and the scamming that occurs online to get the credit card numbers, etc. This helps to educate kids about the digital threats which leads to the safety of kids.

Open Communication 

In the digital age, parents must maintain open channels of contact with their children. Active listening, meaningful interactions, and encouraging respectful and caring communication both on and off the internet foster trust and improve the parent-child relationship.

It makes kids confident enough to share their online experiences which lowers the risk of becoming the victim of cybercrimes.

Increase Physical Activity

Using so many screens makes the kids lazy and they become obese. Their BMI increases which leads to different physiological disorders. 

So if you increase the physical activity kids will get tired and instead of using the screen they will prefer to sleep which is way better than using the screen more than the limit.

Stay Informed About Trends

Parents are mostly unaware of the latest trends like slang and Gen-Z terms. So they are not able to find out what their kids are talking about and kids make them fool easily. 

That is why it is necessary for parents to keep their information updated and have knowledge about the latest trends of the digital world.

 

Technological Approach

The technological approach involves the use of technology to get one step ahead in digital parenting.Built in features and parental control apps are there to help you control kids’ devices to make sure they are safe.

Here are the advanced strategies you can adopt for advanced-level digital parenting;

Screen Time Management 

Screen time management using technology is way easier. You can remotely switch off the phone.Screen time management apps allow you to establish time limits and other limitations for children. If your child uses a computer for academics or leisure, you can limit their online activity by installing parental controls. 

 

Microsoft Family is available by default in Windows, while Parental Controls can be found in macOS system preferences. You can also utilize privacy settings and parental control programs like Pegspy to restrict your child’s app and internet usage on his or her phone or PC. 

Monitoring App Usage

Kids use apps for learning, gaming, communication, and entertainment. From a few minutes to hours, they spend on using different apps.

App usage monitoring can help you to keep a check on which app your kids are using.

Parental control apps allow you not only monitoring but the blocking apps that you consider unsafe for your kids. 

Like if your kids are using Tinder, you can simply block that without having physical access to the targeted device.

Text and Call Monitoring

Parental control applications give you the authority to monitor calls and texts. They allow you to have complete information of contacts like their numbers and the call logs. 

You can check how many times your kids have called a particular person or number and can listen to the call recording anytime you want. 

Parental Control software also allows you to read and keep track of text messages your kids receive or send to someone. You can even set alerts for particular words and if they use it you will be notified.

Location Tracking and Geofencing

Location tracking and geofencing are a part of digital parenting. Parental control apps help you track the location of your kids using GPS services. 

Moreover you can also set virtual boundaries on certain areas. If your kids enter or exit any particular area you will be notified. This can help you to have complete tabs on your kids location and whereabouts.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media is a source of communication and information for people but kids are young. Sometimes social media or its users expose little ones with the information they should not know. Online predators can harm kids using their information they share online. To avoid that social media monitoring is the best way that can help you be aware of the online threats your kids could expose to. It helps you to have knowledge of do’s and don’ts of social media

Keylogging

Keylogging is another way to catch many actions of your kids. All the apps cannot be monitored by parental control tools. To cover this keylogging is another option. Whatever your kid type using their keyboard can be traced even to the passwords of their account.

It is more helpful for the apps that have chat rooms like Roblox, Hay Day, Pubg, etc. Using keylogging you can track whatever text is typed into the phone. 

Remote Controls Over The Device

When kids go outside they think their parents can’t see their actions and sometimes they fall in illegal activities like drug intake. To be aware of their activities their phone camera can help you to keep a check on their activities. 

You can remotely turn on the both front and back cameras to record videos of your surroundings. 

Not only this but you can also record using their mic remotely which helps you to find out their conversations.

Takeaway 

Digital parenting is one of the essential things in this world of technology. The strategies and practices for the safety of kids are helpful in saving them from online threats and risks which include cybercrimes. 

The right hand to parents for digital parenting is the use of Parental Control Applications. These applications are playing a positive role in ensuring the safety of kids in the vast online world as well as in the offline world.

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