Caanan Sampson is an educator at Koinonia Family Services in Loomis, and provides instruction on Love and Logic parenting. “The entire aim of parenting is to raise adults who make good decisions,” Caanan said. “And this couldn’t be truer for how they use the cyber technology.”
Sampson, a father of a tween and a teen, knows well the network pressure cyber technology introduces into family life. He cautions parents to not become overly dependent upon the electronic safeguards, such as parental control settings. “Electronic safeguards are no substitute for good parental role modeling, supervision and guidance,” he said.
Sampson also encourages parents to have honest discussions and set positive expectations. “Acknowledge that there are lot of not good things on the Web, but that you also have confidence in your child’s capacity to learn about smart choices and your job is to teach them.” So in this regard, parents have the responsibility to monitor all cyber communications so they can stay in touch with how it's used.
Selecting your child’s learning apps
Katie Greer is a nationally recognized Internet safety expert who provides consulting to schools and law enforcement across the country. She is also someone we might consider a “digital native” as she grew up with personal use of the technology.
A mom of two young children, Greer recalls her teenage Instant Messaging (IM) experiences and marvels that she managed to elude the snare because her own father didn’t check on the cyber stuff. “I remember chatting on IM with a man who was telling me I was beautiful. I enjoyed our conversations and I was so naive. I was lucky that it never developed into a harmful situation,” Greer said. “People of my Dad’s age (50’s and 60’s) did not grow up with the technology and most didn’t know any better.”
According to Greer the children’s learning apps are a treasure trove for bonding around learning with your child. Her two-year-old has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to navigate the app world, and is learning a lot about reading and writing - always with her mom next to her providing guidance and sharing the experience.
“The technology is so cool,” Greer said. “Let’s embrace the apps with our children.” She encourages parents to check out the apps and the videos before introducing them to your child and then steer your children away from the ones you would prefer they do not see. A couple of the places where Greer looks for children’s learning apps are: PBS Kids and Starfall ABC’s.
For more information about children’s apps and ratings go to Common Sense Media-Children's Apps Ratings.
- Banana Moments: Help for Parenting in the Network Culture
- Family-safe strategies for texting and social media
- Koinonia Family Services - Parent Training
- Katie Greer Consulting (Internet Safety)
- CyberParenting Topics on The Fish 103.9FM
- Follow Joanna @CyberParenting
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