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Family Tech Tip: Getting to Know Your Child’s Digital Environment
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides thirteen tips to help families manage the ever-changing digital landscape. Among these tips is the advice to treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life.
Let’s take for example the school environment. When a child starts school, many families invest in learning more. What adults at school care about my child? What are the rules and expectations for my child at school? What is my child’s schedule throughout the day? Who are my child’s friends? What are my child’s academic strengths and growth areas?
According to the AAP, the same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Follow the tips below to better get to know your child’s digital environment.
Establish Rules and Expectations
- Establish yourself as the parent in both your child’s real and digital environments.
- Create a family media plan to establish agreed upon rules and expectations for the digital environment.
Know your Child's Friends and Mentors Online
- Who does your child talk to online? Do you have access to their profiles and conversations? Do you know their parents?
- What adults, celebrities, or mentors does your child follow on social media? Follow the same people to learn more about the content your child is consuming.
Know your Child's Digital Schedule
- Know what platforms, software, and apps your child is using
- What sites are they visiting and what are they doing online?
- Watch this short video to establish a positive routine of checking your child’s browser history together.
Know your Child's Strengths and Growth Areas
- Encourage your child to record their media use for a day.
- Talk about strengths and growth areas.
- Is there a good balance between your child’s real and digital environments?