Today’s families use digital technology in every aspect of life — from learning and socializing, to gaming and shopping.
My 5- and 8-year-old boys already know how to pull up YouTube on the computer, play their educational apps on the family iPad and find freebies for Minecraft through Xbox Live.
Technology can be awesome, but it also reminds us parents that there are things we need to know to make positive, safe decisions.
One technology decision I have made is you won’t see pictures of my children on Mommy Evolution.
It can be challenging talking about kid crafts and activities without showing some of our great personal photos, but I’ve made the decision for my kids to keep their images private.
I’ve heard of too many other bloggers who have had their personal photos stolen and used for other purposes online.
Creepy, right? Instead, I choose to share the view of the experience and not my kids. It’s a personal choice, but one I’ve made.
Every Day is a Good Day to Talk About Technology
Here’s another tech story that if you haven’t run into yet, I’m sure you will soon enough.
The other day, my Kindergartener Hbomb was watching Minecraft videos on YouTube. It’s quite this crazy thing where millions of people watch others playing Minecraft.
I thought it was a strange thing only my kiddo does, but after talking with parents, it seems to be a common phenomena. When a video ends, YouTube lists other similar suggestions.
My boys know which users I have approved and can only watch those particular people.
On this particular day, YouTube pulled up a user that I had not approved with my kids. I looked over at the screen and didn’t recognize the person, so I asked Hbomb who he was watching.
He gave me a strange face, so I knew something was up.
I immediately walked over and suddenly realized this guy was dropping f-bombs left and right.
My children have definitely heard the F-word… they do, after all, live with me.
But the fact that he didn’t turn off the video or come tell me was upsetting.
I immediately looked up ways to censor YouTube even more, because I don’t believe that removing the channel will help my kids learn what’s appropriate or not. Instead, I want them to learn how to be responsible and make smart choices.
I’m actually glad this incident happened.
It was the perfect excuse to talk to my kids (once again, they will tell you) about how wonderful and fun technology is but only if we use it in smart ways.
In the end, my boys had a better understanding that not everyone has their best interest at heart, and that just because it’s available online and they can access it doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for them.
I talked with them that I would never be mad that they came across an inappropriate video, but that I would be disappointed if they didn’t turn it off and tell me.
Get the Technology Dialogue Started
While this conversation was a bit simple, I know that the technology discussion will get more complicated as they get older.
How does a parent handle Facebook, Vine, online gamers and goodness knows who else through the technology advances my kids will see in their lifetimes?