Parenting in 2022 comes with complications that did not exist less than two decades ago. Technology and the multitude of devices in each household provide access to a virtual reality that can seem limitless at times. While online access provides a new landscape of educational opportunities, it also adds fresh complexity to the world of parenting.
From the distractions of texting and gaming to the "addiction" of social media and the constant concern over inappropriate online content, today’s tech can cause a variety of problems for kids.
At Kosciusko Connect, we understand that technology can raise parents’ eyebrows and blood pressure. But it also makes life’s daily tasks more efficient and manageable.
To address some of your concerns, we've compiled a list of resources to help parents navigate tech use to keep kids safe online and manage the time spent on smart devices.
These resources provide valuable tips on using tech to monitor your kids' devices and online use. They also include advice for talking to your children—and fellow parents—about the risk of being overexposed to tech.
Keep reading to learn more about resources that promote digital wellness in your family.
waituntil8th.org is an outstanding resource to start learning more about how early access to smartphones and other devices can impact your child's life. The mission of Wait Until 8th is to help parents commit to waiting until their kids are at least in 8th grade to give them a smartphone. They champion flip phones for younger children and offer other in-depth advice about allowing kids to remain in their childhoods longer.
Their website features helpful information about excessive tech use that is easy to share with fellow parents and others in your community. If you’re wondering how to limit technology use in your kids' daily lives, you may find their content helpful: www.waituntil8th.org/resources.
Two Books by Experts on Today’s Digital World
Social scientists and psychologists have been studying the effects of digital technology use on our minds, especially younger people. As new data becomes available, experts publish their findings and offer advice for navigating the digital world.
We recommend two books to parents wanting to help keep their kids safe and productive while on their devices, without completely disconnecting them from their tech, either:
Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (And Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner. Get the book here.
The Tech Diet for Your Child & Teen: The 7-Step Plan to Unplug & Reclaim Your Kid's Childhood (And Your Family's Sanity) by Brad Marshall. Get the book here.
Each book acknowledges our modern digital world's virtues but also recognizes the need to cultivate a sustainable habit of healthy technology use through limited screen time and a proper balance of off-device activities.
These materials also suggest strategies that parents can employ to improve online safety and to talk with kids about responsible and limited tech use. They will help you learn how to set rules for technology at home in a safe and efficient way.
Parental Controls and Monitoring
Kosciusko Connect’s fiber internet network offers a tool called Guardian to give you full access to your kids’ online activity. With Guardian, you’ll be able to monitor what websites and apps your kids are finding, and block whatever you want from their devices. You can also set time limits on apps and devices, and protect them from security threats.
Guardian is an excellent start for parents wishing to teach their kids healthy online and digital habits while limiting their screen time. Learn more about it when you call 574-269-0327 and talk to a member service representative.
By learning and sharing these strategies and tips, you can be more confident that your children will be savvy, conscientious tech users without being overly dependent on their devices.
To learn more about technology and child development, check out our guide to managing cyberbullying. For more advice about how to make the most of Kosciusko Connect’s high-speed fiber internet while keeping your family safe online, visit our website and follow our social media pages: @KosciuskoConnect.