These days, technology is changing rapidly and parents frequently feel overwhelmed when they find themselves behind their kids time after time. Just when you have mastered one thing your “mini-me” was interested in, he has moved onto several other new things you’ve never heard about. Does this sound like your situation? If so, it’s time to find your way from 'screenworried' to 'screenwise' and Dr. Devorah Heitner — Digital Parenting Expert — can help with practical advice!
In this interview Dr. Devorah Heitner gives basics of parenting in the digital world and introduces her new book Screenwise with advice on how to become digital mentors to your kids.
Q: What is a key world perception difference of “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”?
A: I think the generations do use tech differently — but we shouldn't assume that kids intuitively know the best uses for technology. Hard to generalize, but the social media generation that grew up sharing does have different ideas about privacy. They still want privacy! But they think about it differently.
Q: A lot of parents believe that screen wisdom is all about technical skills and technical credibility. What is true screen wisdom?
A: True screen wisdom involves understanding when to take a conversation face to face, and discerning some of the hidden social conventions of different apps and communities. It takes experience, and is always evolving. True screen wisdom is also about finding the balance of plugged and unplugged time that supports your family !
Q: Online and offline life balance is a hot topic now. Here at Familoop, we believe that it is much more relevant to talk about natural online and offline life integration, that might be challenging for parents as “digital immigrants” What do you think about it? Any advice?
A: In my book, Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive and Survive in Their Digital World I address questions about curating your home to support the balance you choose, creating unplugged times in your families' schedule, etc. It can be challenging! The 21st century workplace means we have to push back to create those times...
Q: How can parents that have already welcomed Parental Control Software like Familoop Safeguard in their homes switch from monitoring to mentoring?
A: Talking with their kids — if you are monitoring, they should know it, and know what your concerns are and what your plan is for graduating to more independence — what skills and choices are you looking to observe that will make you feel more comfortable with giving them more independence. What kinds of issues do you expect them to bring to you versus handing on their won...
Thanks, Devorah, for valuable insights and advices! Here at Familoop we believe that parents of kids in elementary and early middle school will appreciate Familoop Safeguard as a place to check in what kids do online and Screenwise book as a resource that empowers parents to have important, productive conversations with their kids about issues reported by parental control software and how to make the most of it as a positive resource for our kids.