Parents in the 21st Century

Introduction: As parents we are all concerned about the health, well-being and safety of our children. Just as we prepare our children for road safety and stranger danger, so too must we prepare them for a lifetime of being online. We need to mentor and monitor our children to help educate them about the importance of being ethical, moral and savvy digital citizens. "Learning to be safe and to keep others safe, to be respectful and act appropriately with information online (includes personal privacy issues as well as respect for copyright etc) in an online world is as important to young people nowadays as teaching them the road-code and how to keep safe on the road was a generation ago."

“Much like driving a car or going off to college, parents have to hope that they have instilled good values and have taught their kids enough to handle situations they will encounter on social media,” said Giarrusso. For more on parenting and raising the digital generation, go to

Suggestion: View the following presentation and consider what was the same for us growing up and what has changed for the next generation?

So what's so different about our young people now and what do we need to consider as parents in the 21st Century? What should we be doing at home to teach our kids about what it means to be a good cyber citizen?

Tips for parents

  •  Talk about digital citizenship and be a part of their digital world.

  •  Ask questions.

  •  Role model appropriate digital citizenship behaviour.

  •  Start as early as possible.

  •  Monitor their time online.

  •  Find out who they are talking to and what they are posting.

  •  Keep private information private.

  •  Surf the Internet with your child.

  •  Make it an enjoyable experience.

  •  Be positive about the good choices they make.

Adapted from Source - Patrick Woessner, Citizenship in the digital age

For more information on digital children and generation differences, go to Young people in the 21st Century page in this module. "There will always be a technology and culture divide between parents and children. But with a little extra effort, perhaps it doesn’t always have to be so big." Within a generation gap, caregivers, parents and children have completely different views on Internet safety. Parents may think they have taught their children about Internet safety, while children will deny their parents have had any intervention when it comes to online education.

Recommendation: Are you concerned about what your child does online at home? Then take some time to ask yourself some of the following questions...

Reflection: Do you know what kind of digital citizen your child is? Are you happy with who they are becoming?

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Know your child tessagray tessagray 0 109 Oct 13, 2010 by tessagray tessagray