In a Huffington Post article, uKnow’s Co-founder Tim Woda asks a simple question – “Do you know who your child made friends with on Facebook yesterday?". Mr. Woda speaks of a very personal experience involving his son’s abduction after accepting a friend-request from an unknown Internet sexual predator.
He goes on to say that parenting skills have just not been able to keep up with advancing technology and even though it isn’t our fault, it’s certainly our problem. Let’s take a look at some situations that may give us a better understanding of obstacles that make digital parenting more challenging:
Understanding The Generation Gap
Have you and your children ever sat around the kitchen table and played board games, like “Candyland” or “Monopoly”? Probably not, because kids don’t play these games anymore. They want to play the most exciting online game they can possibly find. After all, that’s what their friends are doing.
Do you know how to play any online games? Learning the advancing technology is simply second nature to children and parents are having a difficult time keeping up. We must learn how to close this Internet generation gap and start becoming involved with our kids.
Understanding Different Styles of Parenting
There are many useful and educational places children can visit online and many parents appreciate that. Other parents see the Internet as a threat to their children, but just don’t know what to do about it. Still, others seem so busy that they don’t give much thought to where their kids are going online or with whom they may be communicating.
All parents must come to an agreement that even though the Internet can be useful to their kids, it can also be a very dangerous place. Would we let our children get on a bus and go downtown with strangers? Why do we not set some rules about where they go by themselves online? It is not good enough just to set rules, we must find ways to enforce them. Don’t forget, a mobile phone is basically a smaller computer.
Understanding The Digital World Can Change Relationships
Have you ever noticed that while the family may be trying to watch TV, teenagers are often texting on their cell phones? That’s the preferred method of communication these days. The digital age is drastically changing social life and relationships. It seems that the lines between the digital and real world is getting more and more blurred. Most of us have taught our kids to not talk to strangers, but how is that any different to when they are in front of a computer?
It is certainly a tough job to be a good parent, but becoming a good digital parent is even tougher. It is also very important to understand that even by doing everything humanly possible to keep our kids safe online, bad things can still happen. We must always know what our kids are doing online, how often they’re doing it, where they are doing it, and if they may be talking to people you don’t know.
uKnow gives parents the information they need to educate their children about staying safe online and the access to smarter tools to supervise them in a digital world. Unlike parental control software, uKnowKids enables parents to “have their child’s back” without constantly looking over his or her shoulder. Check out uKnow today and let us show you how we equip parents with uniquely intelligent tools and resources to keep their kids safe.