They say when you become a Mum the years go very fast. I still remember the months when I was breastfeeding my daughter. I had my phone in my hand, browsing through Instagram while she lied there on me.
Fast forward 1.5 years later and my little one seems to dislike my phone. She knows how distracted I get when the notifications on my phone pings.
Before I know it a two-minute notification check ends up being a 20 minutes endless scrolling session. I did not like my device use habit and realized how I needed to change that.
I started being mindful about how I use the internet, when I use it and what I do online will influence my child’s digital media habit.
As much as I attempt taking 100 selfies before posting the most “perfect” one on Instagram, I do not want my daughter to grow up doing that exact same thing. Obsessing about posting the perfect picture online among many other things.
I started writing my own “bad” digital habits and what I needed to do to change them so I can be a good influencer to my child.
Here are 5 ways parents can influence children’s technology use:
As a society, we are all getting obsessed with the number of likes, shares and comments. what starts off as a fun selfie image can turn into an obsession of needing approval.
In order to teach my daughter self-confidence, I need to show it to her. So instead of attempting 100 selfies and then altering the image to look perfect, I will just take a few photos and post them as it is.
I also never use any image altering apps. It is one thing to change the brightness of an image but completely different when you start changing the way you look.
2. No device during family time
This is something me and my husband had to agree on. My husband has the same habit of checking his phone even when we are having dinner. So as a family we decided that all devices will be kept away during dinner time.
We also decided that when we are out in the park or just having family time we would keep our phones away. We want our child to grow up looking up at her surroundings and not just looking down at her phone and missing out on the good things around her.
3. Quality content
Every now and then I do enjoy watching cat videos on Youtube. But now I focus more on high quality and educational content. For instance, watching Ted shows, the news, learning a new language, etc.
I also read blogs or Youtube channels that will then allow me to act on them. For instance, arts and crafts activities, cooking shows, etc. By doing that I hope that my daughter can learn to not be a passive content consumer.
Check out these fun and educational activities you can do with your kids
4. It’s ok to disconnect
I keep my phone away when my daughter is with me so she knows I am not obsessed with checking every messages and notification.
This is my way of disconnecting with the online world and being truly present with her. It is important to take time off from our devices and be mindful with our surroundings.
Because of this exact reason I started a new page on this site that is dedicated to screen-free activities you can do with your kids.
5. Being kind online
It was just this morning before writing this post, I read the news about an influencer mocking a rice padi field worker while she flaunts her perfect life.
You don’t have to scroll too long down the news feed to see a hate comment or someone being mean online. Mocking someone on their appearance, gender, ethnicity, personal belief or ANYTHING is easily done on the internet.
But the online world does not need to be that way. I want my daughter to be able to go online and feel safe. There are plenty of campaigns that promote kindness on the internet.
While I teach my daughter to be a good human being, I realize I need to educate her to do the same online.
Now it’s your turn, what are you going to change so your kid’s can grow up being smart and responsible digital citizens?
Here are other tips to you keep children safe in the digital age :
Cyber Flashing :The new online safety threat on your kid’s iPhone
10 things you can do right now to keep your children safe: Easy and clever online safety tips
3 dangerous places for children to be online : 3 places kids should have limited internet access
Finally, don’t forget to click below:
Children’s online safety book- teach them about internet safety from a young age. For 3 -10 years old