Talking Technology with Your Kids

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Talking Technology with Your Kids

The use of technology is unavoidable in today’s digital world, no matter the age of a person. Our children and teenagers use various forms of online technologies for work, school, and pleasure. Parents are left with the challenges of keeping their children safe when they’re online and making sure their children have a balance between virtual reality and the “real world.”

Parents who utilize blocking or filtering software soon discover that this approach, by itself, isn’t sufficient. Many children learn how to work around such software or simply use their friend’s devices that don’t have blocks of filters.

It’s better for parents to use multiple strategies and the CDC recommends the following

Here are some talking points to help you begin the conversations with your child:

About Texting and Instant Messaging

Advantages: updates such as plan changes

Disadvantages: may hinder writing and social abilities because of the shorthand language used, not great for immediate replies, not great for long conversations

About E-mail      

Advantages: great for letter-like communication, updates, sending pictures, and staying in touch

Disadvantages: not great for “instant” communication or for significant conversations

About Cell phones           

Advantages: allow direct communication

Disadvantages: limited by cell coverage

About Video Chat            

Advantages: visual conversation in real time; body language and facial expressions are visible, which helps you to gauge emotional responses

Disadvantages: need to be online and logged in, connection issues can occur; interference issues from background noise can occur

About Social Networking Posts 

Advantages: great way to stay connected, good for humor, good for being socially involved

Disadvantages: privacy concerns, not appropriate for private conversation but often used that way

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