Digital gifts have been and will continue to be hot ticket items and seem to be on almost every birthday and holiday wish lists. But it seems that once kids receive these coveted gifts, many parents turn a blind eye and hope their kids will do right by these devices. Problem is without being taught how to be responsible with these devices kids will not be able to set limits to what is and is not acceptable on the Internet.
I firmly believe, that as parents, we should take a stance when handing over devices to our children. It is a perfect opportunity to educate them to be digitally responsible.
This is the way I see it. The higher the price tag, the more control the parent has over the device.
I believe that every parent or caregiver who purchases a digital device for their child should apply a huge disclaimer tag to it. The disclaimer should clearly state, as the purchaser, I own this device. I set the rules. I determine what can and cannot be done with the device. If the device is misused or there is a lack of compliance to the rules that have been set, the device will be taken away.
Why this rather harsh approach? Simply because cyberspace is not a friendly trustworthy place and we should not allow our kids to go in willy-nilly without properly informing and preparing them for what is out there.
When establishing these guidelines, it is important to take the time to be explicitly clear with your kids in what you are proposing. What the limits and expectations are. Erase any possibility of doubt.
Draw up a contract if necessary.
Exercise your parental prowess to set boundaries that will help assure your child maintains a healthy digital-life balance and develops appropriate digital habits.