Indian Parenting Tips: In the Digital Era

Adolescent and Family Counselor Shivani Sadhoo Shares the Guide

Technology has indeed transformed the world, but it has also presented a challenge for parents navigating the digital era. At this age, it is crucial for parents to acquire certain skills to effectively manage their children. Parenting in a digital world requires adaptability and awareness. It is essential for parents to stay informed about the latest technologies and online trends, establish open communication with their children, set boundaries for screen time, and educate them about responsible internet usage.

Balancing the benefits and risks of technology is key to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for children. Eminent marriage and family therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo offers her tips for effective parenting in the digital age.  

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What are those tips for parenting in the digital age?

Here are the tips shared by Shivani Sadhoo:

  1. Set Healthy Boundaries: 

Establishing clear boundaries is essential to manage technology effectively. Encourage designated screen time for your child, creating a schedule that balances tech activities with other constructive pursuits. For instance, parents can introduce the concept of “digital detox” by designating specific hours of the day as gadget-free time, engaging in activities like reading books, playing traditional games, or spending time with family.

  • Content Quality Matters: 

Guide your children to engage with age-appropriate and educational content. Help them discern between reliable sources and sensationalized or inappropriate materials. Encourage the use of educational apps, interactive learning platforms, and reputable websites. Furthermore, foster critical thinking by discussing the content they consume, allowing them to develop media literacy skills.

  • Media literacy: 

In the digital age, media literacy is crucial. Teach your children to critically evaluate online information, question sources, fact-check, and be mindful of biases. Discuss current events and online safety, empowering them to make informed decisions. Nurturing media literacy skills empowers children to navigate the digital world independently.

  • Restrict screen time: 

Set reasonable screen time limits to foster a healthy relationship with technology. Encourage kids to engage in other outdoor activities such as swimming, biking, etc that promote their physical and mental well-being. As a result, the child will learn self-regulation and how to manage technology responsibly.

  • Lead by Example: 

Children often emulate their parents’ behavior. Set a positive example by using technology responsibly and mindfully. Parents must resist the temptation to check their phones frequently while talking to their children or eating as these actions convey a wrong message to their children. Be a digital role model for your child.

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  • Collaborate and Communicate: 

Maintain open lines of communication with your child regarding their online experiences. Encourage them to share their interests, concerns, and any online encounters that may raise questions. Foster trust, so they feel comfortable discussing any issues they may encounter while using technology. For example, you can set up a weekly family meeting to discuss tech use or create a shared family account for monitoring your child’s online activity.

  • Cyber Safety: 

Good parenting entails educating children about cyber safety, cyberbullying, and data privacy. By teaching them to be mindful of their online interactions, report any instances of bullying, and safeguard personal information, parents empower their kids to navigate the digital realm responsibly. For example, explaining the importance of not sharing sensitive details like addresses or phone numbers online helps protect against potential risks and identity theft.

  • Active conversation: 

Encourage children to engage in face-to-face conversations, active listening, and non-verbal cues. Real-life communication fosters empathy, understanding, and stronger connections, vital for emotional intelligence and healthy relationships. These are just a few guidelines parents may find helpful in managing digital time effectively for their children.