Technology and Your Children: 3 Tips For Being a Tech-Savvy Parent This Year

3. Speaking of Role Models, Be a Super-Duper One. 

Believe it or not, research shows that “children learn digital skills at home, mostly through observation and mirroring their parents.” So if you’re that parent who’s checking text messages at the dinner table or sending emails during your kids’ soccer games, then please don’t be surprised when your children use their devices at times you wish they wouldn’t. Remember, the old adage “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t apply well to technology.

Today’s devices are just too powerfully alluring. Social media “likes,” the ding of a text message, and endless social media notifications activate the reward center of the brain, providing it with the same shot of dopamine it gets from food, exercise, and sex. This makes it really, really hard for kids to resist their devices. Model this life skill for them. Whenever the urge strikes to grab your phone at a time you should probably be connecting with others in real life, try to stop yourself. Remember, there just might be a young person watching who will learn his or her online behavior by observing yours.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t know about Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, TikTok, and more, remember you can always use tech to learn about tech. Simply do some online research about new social media apps, online games, or to find out what’s popular on YouTube. If this sounds too daunting, make it easy on yourself and ask your children to tell you about their digital worlds. Chances are they’ll be surprised, and pleased, to enlighten you.

Make this the year you resolve to become an A+ digital parent. Because when we master technology, it will it stop mastering us.

For more technology tips, Check out Diana’s new book, Raising Humans in a Digital World, designed to provide help and hope to parents and educators by demystifying the complicated digital landscape facing today’s kids.

Diana is the co-founder of Cyberwise, a leading online safety and digital literacy organization. She is also the founder of Cyber Civics (as featured on the Today Show), the popular and innovative middle school digital citizenship and literacy program currently being taught in over 40 US states, as well as the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Africa.

Diana Graber
Diana Graber. Author of “Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationships with Technology” (HarperCollins Leadership/Jan. ’19) and founder of and

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