What Digital Parenting Style Describes Your Family’s Tech Habits?

Many parents want to protect their kids from harm. This is especially true in today’s world when threats to a kid’s safety and well-being can enter your home in digital form. Responsible parents protect their kids from digital dangers by using parental control and phone monitoring apps. These tools are useful, but they aren’t the only skills you need to raise digitally-responsible kids.

You must know your digital parenting style. Those who work with kids recognize three main styles of digital parenting.

The Tech Limiting Parent

Some parents say no, especially to any tech. They think that eliminating tech reduces the likelihood of digitally tainting a kid’s intellectual development. The only way to keep their kids safe is to keep them away from all tech. Withholding tech is often easier when kids are younger. Once they enroll in school, it’s harder to prevent tech access, but by then kids are already lagging behind their peers in both tech skills and responsible behavior.

Ignoring or hiding tech won’t lessen its presence or importance. In fact, the opposite happens. Kids intentionally seek it out and misuse the tech.

The Tech Enabling Parent

Enabling parents show a large amount of trust in their kids’ ability to navigate tech responsibly. Although these parents are not entirely hands-off in their approach to digital parenting, they give their kids a considerable amount of free rein when it comes to making tech decisions. Enabler parents may check-in to see how things are going.  The conversations about tech use are often superficial, with little to no follow-up.

Showing a lack of boundaries increases the likelihood that kids communicate online with strangers or get involved in other online misbehavior. By digitally enabling kids, parents who set no boundaries are setting their kids up for unsafe behavior.

The Tech Mentor Parent

This digital parenting style guides your kid from the side. These parents often sit with their kids whenever they use tech. They may play digital games and communicate electronically through chats or videos with distant family members. Of the digital parenting styles, the mentor approach is the one that helps kids make responsible choices when it comes to using tech.

Kids with mentoring parents are far less likely to engage in inappropriate online behavior than peers parented in other styles.

The Neglectful Tech Parent

The fourth style of digital parenting is neglectful. This digital parenting style approach is a do-whatever-you-want-because-I-don’t-care approach.  This digital style is the result of not communicating with your kids. Laissez-faire, neglectful parents fail to guide their kids. As a result, the kid is left to their own decision-making judgment. Ignoring your kid’s tech exploration can result in destabilization. Kids who receive no guidance are less likely to function well in a digital world.

It’s up to you to decide what digital parenting style works best for your kids. You may even consider a blended strategy. You could limit the use of some tech for younger kids and increase the amount of trust you place in older kids who have earned it.

Many parents want to be a part of their kids tech use at school and home. The digital parenting style can determine how well your kid can navigate their tech and be a responsible digital citizen.

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