September 05, 2017 —

As parents, we witnessed the advancement of the World Wide Web and cellphones, but our children are truly the first generation to grow up immersed in a world brimming with technology. Many of our sons and daughters can’t recall a time before the Internet, social media, smartphones or tablets. All they know are the devices and smartphones that offer our families easier methods to communicate and access information with a simple swipe or tap of a finger. 

Unfortunately, this technology is not all rainbows and unicorns. Hidden amongst our favorite gadgets, are some very serious and alarming situations that can negatively impact our children for years to come. We have all heard about the more common digital pitfalls like cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft and sexual predators. However, not many of us realize that a child can go online or use their smartphone to buy drugs and learn methods to get high.

This dark side of social media and digital communication can find many of us questioning the role devices should play in a child’s life. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting a child’s screen time and encourages us to set boundaries for our kids. In response, many of us have looked for ways to reign in a child’s digital interactions and have taken it a step farther by friending our kids online. 

Unfortunately, in reaction to our increasing social media presence on popular sites like Facebook, our children are now adapting their activity. Many of our kids are seeking new, secretive sites and mobile apps in an effort to get away from the prying eyes of adults. In fact, 70 percent take measures to hide their online behaviors from us. 

As loving parents, we ultimately want to ensure a child’s safety and well-being by being responsible with what our child is exposed to in the world. One way to achieve this goal is by utilizing smartphone monitoring. This can empower our children by teaching social media etiquette and fostering respect for the power of the Internet. By staying involved, we can use this technique to guide our kids on their path to digital citizenship and start an ongoing conversation about their digital interactions.

For more information about talking to your child about smartphone monitoring, please read these tips and suggestions:

Scott Reddler is an active software developer, water sports fan, and a loving and enthusiastic father of three. He uses his knowledge of new technology to understand how social media and apps are changing the parenting landscape. He enjoys taking his children out for boat rides and exploring his lovely state of Florida. You can follow and connect with Scott on Twitter.