Technology is a big part of the daily lives of families and, let’s be honest, it’s not going anywhere! We know that technology can be both incredibly beneficial and potentially harmful.
Parents today are struggling with how to protect their children from the online environment and balance this with utilising digital technology to enhance communication, for education, positive entertainment and the strengthening of social relationships.
Whilst there seems to be a focus on the dangers of tech, what if we were to explore options where technology could actually improve our family connections?
Technology is an interest to connect over
When it comes to connecting with our children, technology is no different from any other interest they have. Do we know what they find so entertaining about that YouTuber, or that game they endlessly play? It is important to remember that kids will pick up on whether you are generally interested or are simply fishing for information, so make it about what is personal to them. Ask them something like “why do you love watching this?” or “what is the funniest thing on this channel that you can show me?” Creating conversation and meeting children where they are at can only promote connection.
So let’s build on this, what if we created content with our children? This is one area parents and children can let their imaginations go wild (and you do not need to post any of this content online). It could be a nice little memento of your time spent together.
Content ideas to create together
- Why not record a dance or a short video skit? You can find scripts to help you online.
- Interview your children like a news reporter or, even better, get them to interview you.
Film a movie review.
- Get into coding with your child – there are heaps of resources online (google “coding with your kids”).
There is endless fun and potential to be had by all and it is a great way to get siblings playing together again.
- There are some great channels and podcasts that parents and children can enjoy together. They are funny, educational and promote further conversation. The next time you are in the car, why not throw on a podcast like:
- Wow in the World – the hosts lead families through kid-friendly news stories of the week.
- What If World – in this podcast, the hosts discuss “What if….?” questions with hilarious results.
- Story Pirates – actors improvise on story concepts sent in from kids. Belly laughs may result.
Technology can be scary but it can also be an amazing and fun tool for families to connect.
Kimberley Harper, Parentline (Qld/NT) manager Parentline is a service of yourtown, providing free professional counselling, education and support for parents and carers of children and young people for over two decades. If you would like to read more about topics like how do you protect your child online and cyberbullying, head to parentline.com.au or give us a call on 1300 30 1300 and speak to one of our qualified counsellors.
Parentline is open every day from 8am – 10pm, with WebChat available daily from 8am – 9pm. Call 1300 30 1300.