by the editorial team
Supporting your child’s resilience has never been more important than now in our digital day and age.
The technology that allows your child to watch educational videos online is the same technology that can be used to access inappropriate adult content.
The social network that lets your child stay in touch with their friends can also facilitate cyberbullying and harassment.
As a parent, you have an opportunity to encourage digital resilience in your children by giving them the tools and resources they need to cope with the challenges of the digital world. Here’s how!
Developing digital resilience means your child will be well-equipped to handle the challenges of the modern world.
Sometimes the internet can be a pretty scary place.
Due to the anonymous nature of online conversations, children and adults alike often face harassment and cyberbullying.
They run the risk of coming across inappropriate content and having to deal with privacy invasion issues.
Supporting your child’s digital resilience will help them understand if they are at risk online, and what they can do if something goes wrong.
They will be able to learn from their own online experiences and take steps to avoid ending up in uncomfortable or unpleasant online situations in the future.
1. Avoid going offline completely
Digital resilience grows by interacting with the online world.
In other words, there is no way to build digital resilience by keeping your child away from the internet, especially because technology is now such a big part of our lives.
Technology can be a great way for your child to develop social skills or learn something new, and there is no need to take that away to protect them.
Instead, set clear boundaries, make use of parental controls where appropriate, and help your child build digital resilience by exploring the online world safely.
2. Make it clear that offline rules still apply
When it comes to supporting your child's digital resilience, employ the same parenting rules you do when dealing with offline situations.
Talk to your child about what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behavior both online and offline.
Don’t be afraid to discuss difficult subjects, like adult content or abusive harassment.
3. Set fair and consistent rules regarding online activities
Most importantly, talk to your child about the reasoning behind these rules. They will be much more likely to follow rules if they understand the “why” behind them.
As your children get older, try to age the rules with them.
The way we use technology changes as we go through different stages of life, so it makes sense to loosen the boundaries a little more as your child becomes a teenager.
4. Encourage your child to think critically about what they see online
Critical thinking is an important part of building digital resilience.
For younger children, this might mean asking “What would Mom or Dad say about that?” when they encounter something new online.
As they get older, teach children how to assess whether they're in a risky place, or interacting with someone they should not be interacting with.
5. Help your child understand the impact of what they say online.
Online communication is more impersonal, and, in most cases, completely anonymous.
This is why it is so easy for trolls and bullies to post horrible messages online.
Helping your child understand this will help them handle situations more effectively and avoid getting caught up in it.
It will also teach them how to regulate their own behavior online.
6. Maintain a positive attitude towards their online activities.
If you frequently criticize the apps and games your child uses, they may not want to share details of their online life with you.
This does not mean you avoid asking questions about their online activity.
Just try to maintain a positive outlook and consider online activities from their point of view.
7. Make it easy for your child to talk about their mistakes.
Children who can recover from an online mishap will be able to develop much stronger digital resilience skills.
If they feel like they can talk to you about what went wrong without the fear of being judged or punished, you will have a chance to teach them how to handle the situation.
If they are open and honest with you about what’s happening, you can show them how to handle similar online situations in the future.
You will also be able to step in if you see they are not handling a particular situation well.
Digital resilience is not a fixed concept.
It is always evolving, just like modern technology.
If you would like to learn more about supporting digital resilience and living with modern technology in a safe and healthy way, check out our Ultimate 21 Day Digital Detox.
It will show you how to set healthy boundaries and keep your family protected without going offline completely.
In 2020, we're deconstructing our home, habits, and things to reconstruct a practical nontoxic and healing lifestyle. We're bringing consciousness to unconscious choices.