Technology A-Z
The Internet
Tech Hardware
Tech Software
Video Games
Protecting Your Children
Getting Help
The Online Mom Network

Learn about The Online Mom Network
Join The Online Mom Network
How Do I Become An Online Mom?

The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Five Tips for Not Losing Your Kids (or Yourself) to the Digital World

By Stacey Ross

If you are a parent in the digital age, chances are you have implemented some online safeguards, along with some smart guidelines for your kids to follow. Have you ever worried, though, that you will "lose" your kids if they become too attached in one form or another to their digital worlds? As we all know, the lure of the digital jungle can make hours seem like minutes and can quickly chip away at precious family time!

The following are some refreshing approaches to help you explore ways to not become too distracted or overly-invested digitally, which is really a personal judgment call based on your individual outlook or situation.

Use parental controls

Remind your kids that owning mobile devices, etc. is a privilege that is not to be taken lightly. Many parents contend that they "trust" their kids, but, well, um, that can result in a lot of leeway! Look into ways that can empower you to have more access and involvement with the goings-on of your kids and how they use technology. You can block access, limit their friends, apply filters, and so on. These little steps are so worth it and can vary depending on the age and/or maturity of your kids.

Get the kids outside!

TeachThought.com provides a ‘How To Play Outdoors’ refresher (seriously!), which is a reminder of a past that is hopefully still etched in every kid's childhood memory bank. The post is also a check-list for parents, giving them step-by-step directions on how to get their kids moving. Sure, all-night Dance Dance Revolution marathons will be unforgettable, but let's get real!

Fadra, founder of the blog All Things Fadra, has the spirit: “I’m excited to be working as a contributor for the National Wildlife Federation Be Out There e-book due out later this summer. I’ll be specifically writing about balancing screen time and green time and how you can use technology to get your kids (and YOU) outside and spending time together.” Genius!

Stay engaged in your kids' social world!

When we make our carpooling arrangements and sleepover plans, sometimes we use the convenience of texting and emails to communicate with our kids and other parents, so much so that we run the risk of avoiding human contact with those who make our kids' worlds go around.

Similarly, my online bud Jeff at CrazyDadLife.com has discovered that many parents engage in less face-to-face interaction due to the convenience of texting, remote communication, and digital to-do lists. “There are many times,” Jeff shares, “that I find myself at one of my daughter’s games or other events and have no idea who these mysterious people are behind the email addresses. My wife and I often say to each other ‘Is that so-and-so’s mom over there?’”

I honestly believe that when we put our gadgets away we are compelled to be more personable and courteous. And more present!

Shut off your gadgets at the dinner table!

When I asked for my colleagues' pet peeves regarding smartphone use, a Facebook friend of mine piped in something to the tune of, “They would play throughout the meal if we would let them. Turn off all electronics and be together as a family and talk!”

In a post on my blog I share tips on finding creative ways to prioritize family meals together. I was shocked to read that a UNICEF study found that the United States ranked 23rd out of 25 countries in the percentage of children who eat the main meal of the day with their parents. If this is the case, then by all means, let's try to make our meals electronic-free!

Encourage meaningful online experiences!

It’s important that our kids' digital experiences are (for the most part) kept as meaningful, enriching and positive as possible. Their online social lives should reflect rewarding connections and relationships that help them grow, rather than luring them into hours of  texting, social media and video gaming. Parents have legitimate concerns about their kids wasting too much time on activities that will not necessarily help them developmentally.

We need to monitor our "digital native" children's online behavior and have them update us on what their digital world is doing to help them succeed in life. It's also advisable to check in on our kids and engage  with them online, just enough so they remember that we are also part of the digital world! Deep down they will appreciate it. At least I'd like to think so!

Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.

Permalink | Print | Email

Share this article!
Partner with Online Mom Media
Online Mom Media specializes in building powerful communities of influencers! [read on]
Special Twitter Event
Join @theonlinemom this Thursday at 9pm ET as we introduce Thrively, a fun and interactive family web site! #Thrively
[read on]
Join the BUZZ!
Join @theonlinemom and friends this Friday at 12 noon PT as we look at Simplifying Mobile Tech. Great prizes! #VZWBuzz [read on]
The Online Mom Blog
Connecting Your Mobile Lifestyle
[read on]
Cómo encontrar en línea las mejores ofertas
Visite La Online Mom en Español! [read on]
Stacey Ross on The Online Mom
Catch up on the digital lifestyle with Stacey Ross!
[read on]
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
[read on]
Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
[read on]
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
[read on]
How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
[read on]
The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
[read on]
10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
Tweens and Facebook:
Do you think children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook?

Not Sure

© 2011 the online mom, all rights reserved | site map ABOUT     MEET THE TEAM     CONTACT US     ADVERTISE     PRESS     PRIVACY     LEGAL
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.