Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:
Are your kids looking for love in all the wrong places? Researcher Yalda T. Uhls of the Children’s Digital Media Center investigated this question recently through a survey of children between the ages of 9 and 15. She and her team asked kids to describe their values — what’s most important to them, what their hopes and dreams are. The answers were a little disheartening: The more time kids spend engaging in social media, the more likely they were to cite things like fame and money.
The rise of the internet over the last 15 years has changed childhoods forever. Today’s children are the first generation to have grown up entirely in this digital age. It is a wonderful opportunity with more information at their fingertips than all the books in a school library, it gives kids the chance to meet others from different countries and cultures, and is a place they can play and learn happily.
Most parents today face that inevitable moment when their kids can see and understand their long, weird online history — and parents might not have thought it all through very well.
Every age of parenthood — and parenthood at every age — yields some discouraging metric, some new rating system on which parents can be judged and found wanting. We endlessly jury family dinner rituals, day care and nannies, parents’ readiness to follow schedules, or to ignore the rules and follow their child’s directives. Whatever you are doing is probably wrong.
Yes, you; yes, right now. Put down that mobile phone and listen to me.
Gemma Johnson, CEO and Founder of MyFamilyClub.co.uk said: “All too often it’s so easy to blame young children, tweens and teens for their unwillingness to maintain eye contact during a conversation as they hammer away at the XBox, their inability to communicate in a meaningful way, or sit at the dinner table without messaging their mates via WhatsApp! But we tend to forget that it starts with us first. We have to take the time out to make our children feel heard, loved and important.”
Yet according to Catherine Steiner-Adair, clinical psychologist and author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, the digital world is here to stay, and parents need to take control of the technology usage within their family.
“The worst new vision of families is them all sitting around laughing, talking or playing, but not with anybody in the actual room,” says Steiner-Adair. “Technology has the ability to lure us into the immediate gratification and fast pace, yet can stop you from connecting with the people who are right in front of you.”
and here’s some ideas for apps to keep children amused over the holidays, some thoughts on the American digital divide, resources on looking after your child’s ‘digital health’, the digital divide in Australia, and a further mention of ‘digital dementia‘.