Just when we were getting immune to the question of “Are we there yet?”; we now are asked by the kids “Does this place have wifi?”
With growing children who seem to be more digitally aware than I am; I decided some time ago that as a parent I was going to take on the responsibility of providing proactive guidance – not just ensure that we have all the necessary chargers when travelling! I was aware of various protection measures available for computers but soon realised that while I could child proof our gadgets I could not child proof their friends’ gadgets.
As we did spent more time online together doing research during lessons,it was annoying to find pornographic pictures come up when one least expect it. Some pictures promote the objectification of women and do not wish my children to grow up thinking it is acceptable. Having grown up in a smaller town in South East Asia, the kids have not been exposed to less modest pictures of women in larger cities. They may live in a small town but they certainly are digital citizens.
The children of today are growing up in what has been labelled as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology is reshaping many aspects of our lives and it is doing so at a rapid pace. It has great potential to improve the way we live. Consider reading this insightful article.
We love technology at the Learning Lab. My oldest is enrolled with a online Homeschool while we live in a different time zone. Both watch Brain Pop and Khan Academy videos. One is learning German and French via the Duolingo app while the other revises Multiplication on Monkey Multiplication App.
On the other hand, there are issues like screen time to consider. What do Silicon Valley parents do? In an earlier blog I posted an article about this. It is fascinating to read about the steps which tech savvy parents take.
In a recent survey in the UK, the issue of how exposure to pornography online is affecting the young digital citizens of today. Check out this BBC News article.
Naturally the best way to protect our children is to create safe places to talk with them; taking into account their age and maturity. I came across this helpful site recently which has various podcasts on this topic. My earlier post might also be useful.
My feelings towards my young children coming across inappropriate pictures online has gone from shock, to anger to anxiety to determination. I have resolved to coach my kids as they navigate through the the digital world with love and wisdom. Loving enough to forgive mistakes, and to limit screen times but wise enough to put measures in place so as to protect them. It’s after all part of preparing them for their world which is certainly different from the world which I grew up in.