The rise of information technology has added a new element to raising children. It is no longer enough to remind your children not to talk to strangers or stay out late. Now you have to guide them through the turbulence of an online world that does not always have their best interests at heart. These concerns require more than traditional parenting. A responsible parent must also be a digital parent.
The Huffington Post defines a digital parent as "one who uses one or more of digital media applications/devices in his/her daily activities, particularly parenting". Digital parenting requires a new set of skills that today's parents will not have learned from their own parents, who only had to monitor their TV time and make sure they had healthy snacks.
To help navigate the task of raising children amid the treacherous waters of the digital age, Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is releasing Becoming a Digital Parent: A Practical Guide to Help Families Negotiate Technology. This book covers a wealth of topics that will help digital parents raise their children safely and responsibly.
Embracing the Gap
Today's parents face a generation gap unlike any in history. They may still remember rotary phones and card catalogs, while their children are born into a world where any information, good or bad, is available from almost anywhere and at any time.
Parents today must understand the impact of technology on children. It is not enough to tell children not to talk to strangers; the dangers facing children in the modern world include aspects never considered for those raised before the rise of online technology. Understanding the nuances of social media, online gaming, and streaming media is critical for today's digital parent.
Becoming a Digital Parent specifically addresses the rise of technology trends that complicate modern parenting. Parents can read about the importance of employing parental guide rails, using technology with young children, and the influence of peers in online behavior. Numerous resources are provided to both keep children safe and to take advantage of the technology available.
A Holistic Approach
Digital parenting goes beyond limiting screen time or checking up on social media usage. Technology can be tremendously helpful in parenting, and knowing what resources to use and how to use them can help children learn resilience, empathy and emotional intelligence. However, the breadth of topics a parent must master can be intimidating.
A toddler can use a digital tool to learn early skills like math or reading, while a teenager could use it to learn a new language. Today's digital parents must be able to employ appropriate tools at every stage of development to both keep their children safe and help them achieve their potential.
By covering a range of topics from prevention science to online gaming, Becoming a Digital Parent offers readers the resources they need to get the most of the technology available to them. Readers will learn to develop a family technology plan and communicate with their children, as well as learning about many of the dangers of technology including stalking, harassment and sex trafficking.
About the Author
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is the founder of Digital Respons-Ability, a mission-based company training thousands of parents, students and educators on digital citizenship. She is the author of Digital Citizenship: Teaching Strategies and Practice from the Field and other academic works. Her next book, Becoming a Digital Parent, will release this December and is available for pre-order now.