My generation is pre-millennial, but just barely. We’re Generation X. We were raised with old school Nintendo and note passing during class. Our parents let us explore our neighborhoods and only called us in when it was time for bed. We were held accountable for disrespectful behavior and only won awards when we deserved them.
Then something strange happened.
What was once a more “simple” approach to parenting, became a bit more complicated. Technology developed at high speeds! While Generation X was trying to figure out how to use technology, we were also having babies. I’ve noticed two types of techy parents in my little circle of friends.
The first type of parent is the parent who doesn’t monitor their child’s online activity, at all. These parents hand over any device or computer with complete freedom. There’s no restriction to online purchases or what types of apps can be downloaded. Any and all social media is used without hesitation. The child has no limits, no guidelines, and no safety net online.
The second type of parent monitors their child online. A device or computer will have safety mechanisms in place before the child uses it. The parent has passcodes/passwords on all forms of login, making app downloads, social media, and online purchases their business as well as the child’s. The child lives with guidelines and strict limits to their online experience.
A child’s safety is a priority to all parents. We make sure our kids know how to look both ways before crossing a street. We make sure they wash their hands before eating. We make sure to teach ‘stranger danger’ and ‘stop-drop-and roll.’ We hold their hands as a protection and as guidance to the world around them. But that isn’t enough anymore.
Being a parent in the digital age is tough. It seems online activity is just one more thing for a parent to deal with. But lets be honest- we’re tired! We go go go all day long and barely have a second to breath. Parenting isn’t easy for one, but when all this tech stuff started to develop, we’ve had to develop along with it. Parenting with technology is here to stay and in order to parent correctly we need to stay one step ahead of our smart kids. Its our job to be proactive and know what our kids are doing online. Technology is now part of the deal with parenting, so grab it and face it head on.