It’s a common belief that parenting is an art, but in the present age, where children are growing up digitally, there is no general route to success. There is a constant struggle every day, and you need to be vigilant to restrict the many newly introduced channels from negatively influencing your child’s life. Gone are the days when you could just be strict, and your child would follow the rules defined by you blindly. This is the digital era, and you need to be properly armored to save your children from ruining their lives.
According to Pew Research Center, more than 60% of parents in the U.S. say parenting is tougher in the present as compared to 20 years ago, where they state technologies – like social media or smartphones to be the prime reason for this. Since this number is quite alarming, it demands more dedication from parents to handle their kids the right way.
Thus, your concern as a parent in the digital age is quite justified, and so to help you in the upbringing game of your child, we have come up with the following rules. Follow them and save yourself from the regrets of failing as a parent.
10 rules that will make your survival smooth as a parent in the digital age
1. Set boundaries
It is always good to set rules and boundaries for your kids to let them know what is acceptable and what is not, and to what extent. Firstly this will help your kids to be disciplined, and secondly, your kids will follow all rules set in schools and other important places.
While parenting in a digital world, it is important to also define the consequences that the child has to face if a rule is broken. This will make your child more careful, and hence your parenting task can be streamlined to get better results with these sharper kids.
2. Prioritize face to face communication
Communication is the key to success in every kind of relationship, and so face-to-face conversations are very important for these digital kids too. When you encourage two-way communication with your child, they will feel important as well as monitored, and so they will be watchful of their moves. Moreover, effective communication is important in building understanding and trust. Thus, your child will keep you in the loop before taking any major step, giving you a chance to provide them proper guidance and support throughout their lives.
3. Try to be a good role model
Your child is your extension, and no matter what to think or do, they will follow your footsteps knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, they notice every little thing about you. So the best piece of advice for you is to be a good role model. You cannot be logged in to Facebook all the time and expect your child to read books or do their homework silently.
This is the technological age, where you must be a good example to convince these fast-paced kids to get involved in certain things and avoid others. So be what you want your child to be and consider the task half done. Once you set your priorities straight, your kid will follow them automatically, and so your goals of bringing up good children will be achieved without extra effort.
4. Discourage a lot of screen time
It is the screen time that is impacting the lives of kids and adults at the same time. So a lot of screen time is always a big NO. Remember, when you are setting the boundaries, it’s also recommended to limit the number of hours your child is allowed to use their gadgets. This way, monitoring and controlling their moves will get easier. Moreover, the negative energies influencing them from all the harmful channels can be restricted from causing higher damage to their little brains. According to healthmatters, too much screen time may prevent a child from observing and experiencing important everyday activities. This might lead to a hindrance in their overall development. This calls to show that if the right actions are not taken at the right time, it will be too late before you realize that the unlimited online sources have already taken over the minds of your children, causing damage to their mental well-being.
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5. Listen to your children
A common mistake most parents make is not listening to their kids and imposing their thoughts on them. This was still workable in the past, but in the present digital era, the kids demand importance, and if you fail to do so, they will conveniently hide their feelings and find friends to confide in instead of you.
Also, with the increase in the use of the internet, cyberbullying and cyber harassment is on the rise, and if your kid thinks that you do not listen to their problems, they might not bother you at all. You might not realize it, but the consequences of these cases are huge and can cause a lot of irreversible damage. So it is better to be all ears to your kids before it is too late.
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6. Avoid undue punishments
Parents believe that punishing their kids is the right thing to do. But when you get too aggressive with your child, this leads to adverse effects on their minds, and hence they boycott whatever you say. These 21st-century kids demand time and attention, so punishing them will cause more harm than good.
So, go slow, and instead of getting too harsh, threaten them to take their devices and see how they obey you. There are ways to punish your child, and you should do it smartly so that they listen to you rather than hiding their thoughts and doing whatever they feel is right.
7. Assign them responsibilities to encourage independence
Where technology has disadvantages, it has many benefits too. Push your kids to learn some online courses. Delegate them tasks and give them the independence to perform them as per their ease and convenience.
This way, they will feel valued and will also take an active part in some important chores. This approach will enable them to be responsible in the longer run, making them independent individuals in the future. So be ready to give them some autonomy and enjoy the success that tags along.
8. Give them time
The biggest parenting flaw these days involves not giving enough time to your kids. It’s an agreed fact that life has gotten too busy and so giving healthy time to your children every day has become challenging. But then, the importance of time cannot be overlooked, and once this period slips away from your hands, it will never come back.
So make it a habit to spend some quality time with your little ones so that you can counsel them your way and make the most of the advances that the digital era has to offer. You can use technology positively by investing the right amount of time with these younger versions of yourself and get successful in your digital age parenting mission.
9. Treat them as your friends
Do you still share the smallest of your secrets with your friends? Well, the closer you get to your kids, the better it is for shaping their lives and goals. The best thing is to be your child’s friend rather than a parent, so they come to you when there is a problem. Even at a younger age, when the cyber world can exploit them, your friendliness can save them from any harm. They will share their daily encounters and details with you, and you can guide them in the best possible manner. This way, your child will be saved, and you can enjoy the title of the best parent ever, feeling satisfied and content with your contribution to their lives.
10. Praise all their right actions
Praising in the digital age is as important for your children as setting rules and boundaries. If you always highlight the negative aspects and forget the positive ones, your kid will get frustrated, and all your efforts to raise them right might backfire. Consider praising to be a therapy for kids that they will cherish and so will work harder and smarter to get into your good books. If you commend their efforts every now and then, they will feel important and strive to be better human beings.
In a nutshell
Parenting for the digital age kids might be challenging, but following these few important steps will help you raise some perfect human beings who will know their rights and wrongs from the beginning. These little beings are totally dependent on you and so make digital sources your strength. Work on these little replicas of yours, and soon, you will be proud of your parenting style!