Today’s children are part of the iGen generation. They are called iGen because they have never known a world without an iPhone, which was introduced in 2007. While the benefits of technology are numerous, children know more about the variety of popular phone apps than their parents. Parents are called “digital immigrants”, while children are “digital natives.”
With children often knowing more about this new technology than their parents, it makes it hard for parents to know what the risks and benefits of kids using social media, information technology and electronics are. Family Psychology has identified some of the benefits and risks to this technology on youth mental health and tips to help parents come up with a plan of action. Utilizing these guidelines will provide your child with boundaries for the use of these technologies while strengthening their mental health. Family Psychology’s post on these guidelines.
For parents that are looking for more information, the Digital Futures Initiative has prepared a series of parents’ guides for children and technology. They also recommend an ongoing dialog between parent and child about the reasons that children may want access to technology and the reasons why parents need to maintain oversight. The goal is to maintain the trust between parent and child.
Below is a brief introduction to each of the three documents that have been produced by the Digital Futures Initiative to help parents with children and technology.
BeAppSavvy is a “compilation of networks, apps and social media…and what you need to look out for when choosing a platform…”
Vaults and Hidden Content Containers is a list of apps that disguise themselves as a common app, like a calculator, but have a secret password that allow children to hide content from view.
Parental Control Solutions provides a list of available phone and computer monitoring programs. Also included, are distracted driving solutions that discourage phone usage while driving.