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Explaining digital wellness to your young kids

Explaining digital wellness to your young kids

Digital wellness is a measure of one’s physical and psychological health in the Digital Age. Its focus is on finding ways to regulate and promote healthy technology use. In today’s digital world, everyone is so connected to their digital devices that we seem to be losing out on human connections. Increasing dependence on digital devices has compromised physical and psychological health for a lot of people, giving rise to mental health issues like anxiety and even depression. To protect your child from the dangers of the digital age, it’s important to explain digital wellness to them. Here’s how you can do so:

Accept the reality

Don’t freak out and label all technology as bad. While it’s true that there are many dangers to technological advances in the digital age, it’s also important to accept that digital media is a reality today and kids will use it. Instead of going berserk about this, communicate openly about your expectations from their use of digital media.

Teach healthy behaviours

Nothing can beat the power of openly communicating with your child about the use of digital media. Spend time informing them of its dangers, its benefits, as well as how to engage in healthy behaviours online. Make sure you emphasize why your children shouldn’t share personal details online or agree to meet with strangers. Teach them about what cyberbullying is and how it can affect a person. Let them know about how growing dependence on digital media can lead to several mental health issues as well as compromise physical health. Encourage them to think critically about any content they come across and ask questions instead of blindly accepting it.

Get involved

Apart from teaching them healthy behaviours online, it’s also important to explain to them the importance of face-to-face interactions and real life relationships. You must make spending family time a priority so that your child isn’t glued to the screen. Make sure you tell your child about the importance of human interactions and get involved in the time that they spend online. Screen time doesn’t have to be alone time. You could always find things to do together online like watch a video or play a game so that you stay connected.
Lead by example
You can’t possibly hope for your child to pick up lessons on digital wellness if you don’t practice what you preach. Children are heavily influenced by the behaviours of their parents so make sure you’re engaging in healthy use of digital media yourself so that your child picks up on the lessons by observing your behaviour.

Learn from mistakes

Don’t punish your child if they make a mistake. Instead, discuss it openly and focus on the lesson learnt from it. Create a relationship where you child will feel comfortable approaching you if they’re in trouble rather than feeling intimidated by you.