Parenting and teaching in the technological age

By Sr. Gertrude I.B.V.M – Loreto Education Secretary.  Technology has certainly changed family life in the past few years. From the way we communicate, educate our children, and socialize with friends, to the way we tend our personal business and entertain ourselves, it’s a bold new world.

The family computer is almost as common as the television set or microwave oven. Millions of mobile phones keep parents and their children connected. The Internet is fast becoming the tool of choice for checking the news, money transfer, social media, ordering birthday cakes, and paying the bills.

Technology can be entertaining and educational. But as parents and teachers, we know a myriad of challenges has come along with this trend. Technology has burdened us with a new realm of responsibility for guiding and protecting our children that we did not have to consider until recently. We struggle to find a balance when it comes to screen time and are scared by news reports of sexual predators online and other dangers.

Protecting your children from harm is just as important online as it is in the real world. As a parent or teacher you can play an important role in helping children have safe and positive experiences of technology. discuss the risks with them and agree on some rules for internet use online.

To teach safety and to benefit from technology’s wealth of resources, you can use the same parenting skills that work in other areas of life Establishing boundaries and consequences helps your child make responsible choices. by defining your expectations and boundaries ahead of time, you help your child learn to manage their behavior. It is good to trust your intuition and to seek out reliable support.

Place the computer in a family area of the home the family or living room, rather than a bedroom. This will help you keep tab with what is on the screen. If you find it necessary to provide your child with a phone keep it simple and avoid passing on smart phones to children with internet access. Install an internet content filter. This can be used to restrict what content is viewed and downloaded or the times when they can use the internet. by Sr. Maria Thimba I.B.V.M. – Loreto Education Secretary.

while these are helpful, each family is unique, and general ratings do not always match your own values. decisions about what is appropriate content for children vary from family to family, and sometimes child to child, depending on age, maturity level and family beliefs. However, and ultimately you have the final say when it comes to what’s right for your children. We can download many things from the internet but we cannot download the basic values.

These have to be uploaded the old fashioned way so a blend of the two schools is recommended. We can no longer remain clueless . We must become digital compliant. Approaching the use of technology with knowledge and practical management, as in many other areas of family life, lessens anxiety and offers big rewards. There’s no way around the huge role technology plays in our children’s lives, so when we embrace it without fear, we embrace the future.

I conclude with some quotes from Pope Francis on modern technology: “The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgment, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression,” “The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people… making people across the world increasingly interdependent… the Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.” Pope Francis.