In a hyper-connected world like ours, where almost everything has gone digital, it’s would be very difficult to get our kids grow as good digital citizens. It’s also not possible to grant kids digital access without monitoring them, and expect them to be good digital citizens.
A parent relates how he handles issues of digital devices with his kids, and here are things he shared:
“Do you know what you’re looking at?” I ask my five-year-old and seven-year-old when we’re on the iPad.
“Yeah, yeah,” they grumble as they swipe and tap during their 10-minute dip into deviceland. While we peruse pictures of dinosaurs or exploding volcanoes on YouTube or whatever it is that piques their interest, I ask a bunch of questions. Not surprisingly, they never know the answer to my favorite internet-safety question, “How do you know this one’s not a joke?
”To be clear: I supervise my kids while they use the internet. I only let them on for 10 minutes or less, all the while pinging them with questions. I don’t hand off the iPad and let them have at it.
”Yes, I’m one of those. Call me a fuddy-duddy. Call me a digital philistine. Call me annoying. Call me whatever you want. I won’t sit with them forever, only until I’m convinced they have the skills to distinguish fact from fiction online, that they understand what they’re looking at, and what or who is looking at them.
”Why? Because being a good digital citizen is critical in this hyperconnected world. The alternative isn’t pretty. Think some figurative version of The Matrix’s “real world.” I don’t want my kids to be unthinking 9-volts that feed the machine. I suspect as much for you and yours.”
We do agree with the idea of keeping a close check on our kids if they must grow into good digital citizens