Teaching children values in the digital era
The lines between distance, time and space are blurring. A digital divide driven by millennials and a generation of digital natives – raised in a media-saturated world where being digitally savvy comes naturally.
Having a tech whiz kid is amazing…but tough. With the dangers and potential threats that come with technology, parents and educators need to understand the importance of teaching online values.
Most parents have an in build need and desire to impart good core values and principles to their children. So how can parents teach their children to install these values into everything they do…including online?
- Look at what is important to you and your family
It is crucial to have an idea of what type of person you would like your child to grow up to be. For example, would you like your child to be kind, caring, generous, smart and friendly? If one of these traits tickled your fancy then help your child to act out on these in an online environment. Ask them how they feel they could portray ‘kindness’ online. An example of this would be sharing a post of a missing dog on Facebook in order to help find it.
- Address purity online
As awkward and embarrassing as this conversation may be to have with your child it is one of the most important ones. Anthony Ekanem, author of the book Child Safety Online: How to Protect Your Child from Online Predators postulates that “being online exposes children to a new way of exploring things”, these things could be online dating rooms or age restricted videos that have been blocked on their television. Parents need to prepare themselves to talk about sexualised media and the ramifications of engaging in such content.
Talk to your children and explain appropriate online behaviour and why you do not want them engaging in unsuitable information and content.
- Have a look at the PDF document in this file titled Conversation guide for parents in order to help you get started.