Tips to Handle Digital Crisis

Last month, we looked at the important topic of digital literacy and navigating the complex online world with kids. Our expert, Diana Graber, provided some statistics on actual screen time habits that I thought were surprising:

  • 95% of teens have access to a smartphone

  • 45% of teens say they use the internet “almost constantly”

  • 44% go online “several times per day”

Let’s face it: The online world will be a part of your child’s life in one way or another regardless of the limits and rules you set in place. So what kind of digital parent should you be? Diana gave a cute dolphin analogy that parents can use to guide their digital parenting style:

*PLAYFUL

*CURIOUS

*FIRM

*FLEXIBLE

Parents can keep these words in mind to help them guide children through the digital world. It’s great to be PLAYFUL and CURIOUS, but parents also must set FIRM boundaries and rules and stay FLEXIBLE to the constant changes that come with the online environment. 

Diana provided some rules that can help parents easily overcome a digital issue or crisis:

1) Lay a strong foundation of social and emotional skills (These were listed in previous blog post)

2) Help your children build a sturdy structure with four strong pillars that will help them deal with any digital crisis they may have to face in the future:

• good online reputation

• balanced screen time

• healthy interpersonal online connections

• ability to navigate privacy issues during online activities 

3) Create a vibrant community by teaching ourselves and children to:

• develop critical thinking

• become digital leaders

We encourage parent groups, teachers, and community organizations to gather and talk about these important topics. Here is a link to Diana Graber’s Discussion Guide.

If you have questions on this topic, feel free to contact us at Infinity Kids!

– Tala Brinderson MA, OTR/L

Infinity Kids Owner + Occupational Therapist