Digital education: do we need parent training?
The endless number of programs and technological applications that address us day after day affect not only adults, but children, both children and adolescents. It is here, when parents are invaded by feelings of worry, uncertainty and helplessness because they do not dominate the terrain of new technologies. We are in the era of digital education, do we need parent training?
Among the sensations that invade families in relation to digital education highlights the concern that parents lack technological training and, therefore, many of them do not know the possibilities offered by new technologies or the consequences that can be generated. But they also generate Uncertainty and helplessness because they do not really know how it can affect their children on a psychological, social and academic level, as well as not being able to approach their children without conflicts spilling over.
The use of new technologies in childhood by age
Currently, new technologies are used differently depending on the child's stage.
While a child at an early age (5-10 years) uses them to watch videos or run applications to entertain themselves due to the interest it arouses in them, adolescents "live" in the famous social networks and in messaging applications to relate with their friends in order to fit into the group and not feel rejected.
Both in the early age and in the adolescent stage new technologies have managed to awaken the interest of our children, since they cover the needs they feel corresponding to each stage.
Our children have been born in the era of new technologies and, for this reason, the fact of applying the prohibition or restriction as to its use can generate inadequate results, especially in adolescents.
The developed digital education of adolescent children
While they are children, it may be easier for parents to exercise control and establish the necessary limits regarding the use of different applications or devices, since for children, for evolutionary reasons, their main reference is parents and still They have not developed the ability to decide for themselves. The situation feared by the great majority of parents is when that child grows up and becomes a teenager.
We know that in the adolescent stage, the desire for intimacy and belonging to a group is the main thing and that their way of communicating is mainly through social networks. The fact of starting adolescence, is likely to generate a "logical" distance between parents and children, because their group of friends becomes their primary reference. This distancing can be enhanced by the lack of information on the part of the parents regarding technological vocabulary and also by inappropriate use by adolescent children.
Digital education: tips for families
It is difficult to offer solutions at a general level about the actions that parents should follow on Use of new technologies on the part of their children. Each family and each child is a world, an ecosystem formed by beliefs, values and attitudes that will significantly influence the way of thinking, feeling and acting of each child. It is also necessary to say that fathers and mothers have a series of values and beliefs incompatible with current needs, a backpack of psychological and social variables inherited from past generations that collide with the current reality where there has been a "technological" in all levels.
Parents who have children at an early age should be aware that it is inevitable that their children access the new technologies in some way. They can be exposed to a lesser extent, but there will not be a zero exposure. Therefore, the key word that must be taken into account both at the family level, as a professional level and of course at the social level is education. With the current domain of new technologies, a new field has been created: digital or technological field.
Digital education is necessary today. It is true that in some areas such as academics or schools, children are educated in the proper use of different elements offered by new technologies. However, initially parents must obtain the necessary training of new technologies and then transmit it to their children and try to establish adequate communication.
Of course, transmit a value-rich education as respect, empathy, or the protection of our privacy is also essential for our children to be aware that certain behaviors on the network have their negative or positive consequences: establishing friendships or carrying out acts of virtual harassment.
It is also important that parents let themselves be taught by their younger children, especially by teenagers since they have the ability to manipulate any digital element in a simple way, in addition to quickly learn the technological changes that occur constantly. In this way, it can be an opportunity for an unlocking in the communication between parents and children.
As we already know, education is a basic function of the family and for this both parents and children must obtain the necessary training to squeeze the maximum benefit that new technologies offer us and to be able to apply appropriate coping tools in case it is necessary. After all, information is power.
Ángel Bernal Caravaca. Psychologist and Mediator Co-founder of Lomber Soluciones Cyberbullying.
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