The challenges of parenting in the digital age are endless. Keeping track of who your kids are interacting with, how their screen time is impacting them, and keeping them focused academically is a full time job. Your influence as a parent is more important than ever before. Teaching children values and morals takes on another level of importance when you think about how your children are interacting with people online.
Teaching children values and morals in a technology focused world starts with the technology in their pocket. Working with your child to set up a Troomi cell phone is a great way to start talking about how the values they’ve learned growing up translate to what they do on their cell phone. Before your kids start spending time online, discuss how the values they have can guide their texts, phone calls, and emails.
Parenting in the age of digital technology opens doors to so much information and an abundance of tips and opinions for what values you should be teaching your kids. One of the challenges of parenting in the digital age is all the polarizing noise about what is right or wrong, and what is best or what will ruin your kids forever. That may seem dramatic, but with the amount of polarizing opinions out there, you need to determine what your values are as a family, and what your digital integrity looks like. Let’s look at three core values that can make the biggest impact for your kids in a digital world.
Teaching children values and morals starts with honesty. Honesty is an important value in a digital age because of how easy it is to hide behind a screen. Teach your kids that whether they are saying something in person or over a message, if it’s not honest, it shouldn’t be said. Honesty looks like saying truthful things, but also standing up for what your kids know is right. Parenting in the age of digital technology is based on setting an example and working with your kids to practice standing up for what’s right.
One of the major challenges of parenting in the digital age is how easy rumors are spread online. Cyberbullying and spreading rumors become a lot easier to do when you can hide behind a fake account or phone number. Talk with your kids about what integrity looks like with their technology use. It may be helpful to set the background of your kid’s phone to a picture that will remind them to treat others the way they want to be treated online. Whether they’re posting a picture, sending a text, or talking on the phone, integrity will make your kids’ technology use more positive and impactful.
Living in a world of nearly perfect Instagram pictures, impeccably timed TikTok dances, and beautiful Facebook posts has made the digital world one of intense scrutiny and comparison. This can be really destructive to all of us if we focus on comparing people and judging those who aren’t “perfect.” Teach your kids to be compassionate and kind in all their digital interactions. Life is hard enough! When your kids are compassionate online they can be an incredibly positive influence to those they interact with. Help your kids understand that the world needs more compassion and love in all interactions online and in person.
Teaching children values and morals in a digital world starts with simple things that can make a big difference. Your kids can be a force for good when they put into place the values of honesty, integrity, and compassion. With all the challenges of parenting in the digital age, start early to help your kids be ready to face all the good and the bad that comes from living in a technological world.