4 Ways to Use Digital Parenting Tools This School Year
Learning is more online than ever before. After the pandemic, more children will be required to have a stable home internet connection to access homework or other assignments online. What this means for parents is that their child has more opportunities to log in to distracting or otherwise non-educational content online when they should be learning. Knowing a child’s online tendencies will be critical in keeping kids focused on coursework throughout the school year.
To do this, parents can use digital safety tools that monitor their child’s content. With this information available, parents can talk with their children about moderating their relationship with the internet.
For example, some family safety apps will limit the number of texts a device can send during a particular time or the types of apps available during school hours. Additionally, parents can use these tools to guide their tactics better when approaching their children about internet use.
Good Driving Rewards
Parents with kids who drive to school know how terrifying it can be not knowing if their child made it or not. Drive monitoring apps can help alleviate this anxiety by showing parents where their child has been on the road. Moreover, some apps can give detailed reports about the child’s driving tendencies and safety while on the road.
Parents can use this information to reward and reinforce good driving behaviors. They can also use the driver information for safety competition among all the eligible drivers in the household.
Established Learning Schedules
For children with predominantly online-learning situations, parental controls can also create a schedule for kids to follow for both curricular and extracurricular learning. Using content monitoring, parents can encourage their kids to use the internet to study after school or learn extra skills online by rewarding them for doing so. With a reward system in place, children can then feel empowered to make decisions to use the internet for creative, educational or recreational purposes without feeling forced.
Building on top of learning schedules is the encouragement from parents for their kids to disconnect from online activities. As stated above, children are online more than ever. Because of this, parents need to be mindful of the digital diet kids consume daily —— at school and home. Disconnecting to enjoy real-life activities is another way parenting tools can be used to help encourage good digital citizenship.
Lead By Example
A 2021 Pew Research Center survey shows that 85% of Gen Z teens look to their parents more for guidance about internet use than any other information source. Parents need to be mindful of how they use the internet just as much as they are of their children. To help with this, parents can use digital parenting tools to curb excessive screen time or unhealthy online habits that kids see them doing. Parents can also keep track of what sites they frequent too often or impose use limits on apps that may be distracting.
Overall, digital parenting tools can be used in various ways to achieve good parenting results. Even more, examples exist outside of those listed here. Still, with the numerous options available for parents, there are sure to be more inventive ways to successfully implement parenting strategies this school year.
Other helpful resources:
How Digital Parenting Tools Present Online Learning Opportunities for Kids
Powerful Tools for Proactive Digital Parenting
Rules-Based vs. Values-Based Parenting Styles – How the Family’s Relationship with Technology Has Shifted