Just like kids prefer instant food, they also prefer “instant messages”. While you still note important stuff in a diary and make post-it notes, they save it on their smartphones and arrange memos to remind them. Technology has changed the outlook of life. The way our kids and teens look at things is quite different from how we do. The generation gap that exists between parents and kids also exists in terms of technology.
What Is This Digital Gap?
A new research shows that only 13% teens thought that their parents understood what they do on the internet. They don’t realize the nature of their internet use and most of the times remain unaware of their social activity. It says that 67% parents have made rules for their children to report any kind of discomfort experienced online but only 32% kids say they have such a rule.
This shows that there is some miscommunication, parents don’t enforce the rule seriously or maybe the kids hide. All three of the situations are also possible. Whatever may be the case, this digital gap only increases the chances of online dangers. Parents and kids both need to realize the horrors of the digital world and the consequences in the form of harassment, kidnapping, and depression. 39% kids reported of someone being mean or cruel to them online. The tech-addiction is taking a toll on their health as well.
How to Bridge the Gap?
There is a major disconnect between American parents and their kids. Here are a few basic methods that you can adopt to fill the voids and give your kids a better digital lifestyle.
1. Learn technology
The first step is learning the basics. Most parents avoid learning technology because they think it is something beyond their capacity. Don’t worry, you are not alone, even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt say that they find it arduous. But the thing is learning it would help you understand the problems better and you would be able to interact with your kids. Ask your kids for help. While sitting in the living room, ask them what this button does or what happens with that application. It will also strengthen your bond and help you understand your kids better.
2. Parental controls
Take help from technology. Parental controls like FamilyTime are tools which help parents monitor their kids’ online conduct. With FamilyTime you can check their internet activity, calls, text messages, contacts, installed apps and more. You can also block the unsafe apps and put suspicious contacts on a watchlist. When they act up during meals or don’t take proper sleep you can lock their devices and make sure they concentrate on the task at hand. Parents always worry about their kids’ safety on the roads and going to dangerous places. Using the Geofencing and GPS tracking you can easily keep a check on their whereabouts. It keeps you updated.
The most important thing is to talk. We talk so much about talking that it loses it meaning but the truth is it is very important for a healthy relation. Talk to them about the dangers and why it is important that they stay careful. How will parental controls help them have a secure life? How communicating their online problems, any incident of bullying or otherwise would help you both in handling the problem? Most importantly give them confidence that if they encounter a problem or make a mistake they can face it bravely and come to you for help.
It is natural that there is a digital gap between the parents and kids. The important thing is to create harmony. Follow these tips to know your tech-savvy kids better and help them stay safe. Let us know how it helped!