Health, Kids

How to Monitor Your Child’s Digital Wellbeing for a Healthier Lifestyle?

How To monitor your Child's Digital Wellbeing for a Healthier Lifestyle?
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In a technology-driven society, the digital world is a living reality. The pandemic pushed us further into this digital world. Not only adults but it has become a reality even for our kids. For two academic years, schools imparted education through online classes. I can’t thank technology enough for that. Moreover, Instagram and other social media platforms have given new dimensions to businesses. At this juncture without embracing the digital world moving forward is next to impossible. We also can’t deny this digital world’s dangers to our kids. How to monitor your child’s digital well-being for a healthier Lifestyle?

Digital Health and Wellness

Before we dive deep and explore ways to keep our children safe. It’s important to understand what is Digital well-being and health. It basically refers to the use of technology to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This includes digital tools such as apps, websites, and other digital resources, that are used to track health, manage conditions, and provide support and education to individuals and families.

Why it Matters For Children

In today’s tech-driven world digital health and well-being are increasingly important for children, as they are growing up in a world where technology is ubiquitous. Digital health and wellness assist children to recognize and manage health issues and provide support as well as education to parents, educators, and caregivers. Earlier children did not have access to health and wellness resources like mental health services, nutrition information, and physical activity programs.

How To Monitor Your Child’s Digital Wellbeing For a Healthier Lifestyle?

In this blog post, we are going to explore some of the steps that you can embrace to keep a check on your child’s digital health and wellness. To help them have a better future.

Three Steps to Improve Your Child’s Digital Health and Wellness

Steps to improve digital health of your child

1. Setting a Clear Goal

a. Set clear rules and boundaries

As a parent, we need to set clear rules and boundaries for our child’s digital health and wellness. The rules must be age appropriate like the time spent on devices, the type of content they watch, and when and where they watch for example no screen time on the dining table while having meals.

b.Set Reasonable Time Limits

Again this has to be age appropriate if they are using the internet for their school projects or to prepare for some exams you as a parent can be a little liberal. But encourage your child to take breaks and go outside to play or interact with friends. It’s a healthy practice to allow your child one hour or at max two hours of exposure to the digital world.

c.Designate Screen-Free Zones

This is very important not only for kids but parents too. Kids follow their parent’s said or unsaid. Designate a few areas of your house as Screen-free zones like the dining room, bedroom, kitchen, etc. Also, try avoiding using screen time when the entire family is out for some fun. This would help the child to inculcate healthy digital habits and encourage more physical activities as well as face-face interactions.

Understanding the content

a. Talk about appropriate online behavior

It is important to talk to your child about appropriate online behavior. This includes the usage of language that they use to converse and communicate. They should be also made aware of cyberbullying and how it can impact the mental health of others.

b. Monitor the content that your child is viewing

This is of utmost importance what kind of content your child is viewing as it can impact his attitudinal, behavioral & personality development aspects. Watching violent, sexual, or abusive content can bring paramount changes in the child’s behavior. Thus, it’s important to set parental control settings on devices and websites to limit access to age-appropriate content.

c. Utilize Parent Control Settings

Close to 25% of youths spend 5-6 hours online a day, while their parents think they spend only 1-2 hours a day. A more alarming fact is that 86% of youths post personal information online. Keeping track of your child’s online activities can be difficult because being questioned would arouse suspicion.

Here are a few apps that will not only limit access to websites but also help you track and block activities and provide alerts and reports.

  • mLITE – Family Phone Tracker – It is a popular cell phone tracking app that allows you to monitor every single SMS, To whom your child calls and receives calls, the location of your child with a real-time GPS tracker, and many more.
  • Kaspersky SafeKids – Kids mode has an array of features that provides screen time schedules, summaries of your child’s browsing history, notification of suspicious activities, etc.
  • Family Time – A must-have parental control app. This app helps a parent to monitor everything that your child does on his phone. From having a panic button ie. if your child is in danger, to app blocking, SMS tracking, access control, SOS, pick-up alerts, etc.

You can find a detailed list and description of several other Parental Control Apps here.

d. Monitor Social Media Usage

According to the study, “Digital Deception: Exploring the Disconnect between Parents and Kids’, published by the leading anti-virus company McAfree, 92% of the survey respondents, all teens and young adults had at least one social media account. So, it’s very important for a parent to monitor a child’s social media account activities. It’s important to know whom are they following and are in regular touch with. If they follow hardworking, passionate, self-made persons it’s fine as these accounts would definitely motivate and inspire them but not fake or wrong influencers.

Encouraging Positive Habits

a. Teaching them Digital Safety

As a parent, it’s important to ensure that our children are safe while interacting with the digital world. It’s essential to teach them to think before they post and be mindful of their online behavior as it’s going to impact them as well as others. Kids should be made aware of not sharing any personal information on the internet, being aware of online scams, and creating secure passwords.

b. Teaching about Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is nothing but harassing, threatening embarrassing, or targeting another person with the help of technology. It is a growing menace and it’s important to teach our kids about it. Here is the list of helplines in India for Cyberbullying that are helping people combat it.

c.Promote Active Screen Time

We should encourage our children to engage in active screen time activities that involve coding or playing video games which will foster creativity, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.

d. Build Healthy Connections with Others

People earlier used to mock that virtual friendship is never real but over the years we have found that the digital world is also a great way to build healthy connections and can nurture true friendship in the long run. As a parent, we need to tell our kids to have meaningful conversations with others and that will help them to build healthy connections.

e. Encourage Outdoor Activities

This goes unsaid that physical activities are of utmost importance for any child’s holistic development. It is important to strike the right balance that will ensure a child’s digital wellness as well as his physical health.

We hope that this article helps you to ensure your child’s digital safety and be well-equipped to navigate the digital world. We have tried our best to put forth easy, effective, and practical measures that can be implemented in our day-to-day life.

This post is a part of Wellness Hour Blog Hop by Rakhi Jayashankar and Swarnali Nath

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28 thoughts on “How to Monitor Your Child’s Digital Wellbeing for a Healthier Lifestyle?

  1. We are working on my son having healthy relationships with others. He has spent so much of time in the pandemic that he is unable to handle himself properly outside the house. Will surely take your tips.

  2. After reading your post, I am glad I am single. It’s surely not easy bringing up children. I can imagine the tough time my mom had with the three of us and it wasn’t even close to digital in the 1970s-80s. And now parents have to monitor digital health as well. You have really helped by sharing these tips.

  3. These tips are really useful, Debi. We do try to practice all with my grandsons but there is so much more to be careful about, The internet will scar the kids forever if we are not watchful enough.

  4. I appreciate the tips you shared to keep our children safe and have a healthy digital lifestyle. We cannot keep them away from internet as it has become a part of our life, but with these measures we can surely attempt to keep them away from harm and internet addiction.

  5. I am now a mother of a growing child and really disturbed to see the level of addiction he is having towards screen. I am working really hard to handle this with other tantrums of him. Digital well-being for a child is very important and I am to some extent manage to cope up with it but introducing him to playing with neighbor hood kids and to interact with others. Well its working and I am happy with improvement in him.

  6. As if parenting isn’t hard enough, here comes technology disguising itself as a helpful tool like any other but transform into a full blown disruption on an individual when mindlessly accepted to their lives. There’s no denying that technology has helped everyone in one way or another but when it comes to our children, I’m still one of those who try to limit screen time and make sure my young ones understand more about digital well-being. I guess it’s important to explain why there should be a limit to it rather than simply say “NO”. Them understanding the effects it gives them physically, emotionally, and mentally can help them follow with respect and not because of fear.

  7. I agree the pandemic has brought in such a shift in kid personalities from outdoors to indoors and we parents are baffled with the sudden on slaught, your tips are very handy buddy.

  8. A comprehensive guide for parents on monitoring their child’s digital well-being in a technology-driven world. It effectively highlights the significance of digital health and wellness for children and presents actionable steps to ensure a healthier lifestyle.

    The author’s approach of breaking down the topic into three key steps – setting clear goals, understanding content, and encouraging positive habits – makes the information easy to digest and implement. Each step is elaborated with practical suggestions, creating a clear roadmap for parents.

    Furthermore, the inclusion of statistics and real-world examples adds depth to the content and reinforces the importance of being vigilant about children’s digital activities. The mention of specific parental control apps and resources for cyberbullying assistance provides readers with tangible tools to ensure their child’s safety online.

    The article concludes on a strong note by emphasizing the balance between digital engagement and outdoor activities, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to well-being.

    Overall, this well-structured article effectively guides parents through the process of safeguarding their child’s digital well-being in an increasingly digital world.

  9. Debi, I’m really captivated by your blog post! You’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to the digital revolution that’s taken over our lives. The way you break down digital health and wellness, clarifying that it’s not just about gadgets but about improving overall well-being, really resonates. Your point about providing them with the tools and knowledge to manage their health digitally is bang on. And those apps mentioned by you indeed are like digital superheroes for vigilant parents like me ????. Your post strikes a chord with me, and I’m sure many others will feel the same way!

  10. Your detailed steps and insights reflect a deep understanding of the challenges parents face today. Your practical advice on setting boundaries, monitoring content, and fostering positive habits is incredibly helpful. Keep enlightening us with such valuable content!

  11. Great post Debi . Yes since the time of pandemic, kids are bound to use gadgets and digital technology for educational and other purposes. Thus , it is important to monitor their uses to keep them safe , thanks a lot for sharing the list of apps . I was looking for that information.

    1. I am glad that you found it useful, Surbhi. Hope those apps help you to monitor better.

  12. Very detailed, Debi. I agree with all your points. My takeaway from your post is to designate screen-free zones within the house. This is something I wasn’t doing. Also, I intent to follow no phone usage while we are out as a family for dinner or any other fun outing. Thanks for these tips.

  13. I am really struggling in this aspect. A once no screen mom has turned into an unlimited screen mom. I am unable to set clear time boundaries because I am juggling so much 24*7. The tab becomes a baby sitter for my kids. Thanks for the reminder to contro their screen times.

  14. It is very important that kids digital wellbeing needs parent attention and maintaining proper discipline on it. Breaking the rules does mess with our mental health as well. These tips are really useful for parents

  15. Oh yes we as parent are struggling every day to maintain our kids digital well being. Very nicely written post with crucial information for parents to protect kids form cyber bullying etc and all the useful apps to achieve this.

  16. In these current times we can’t ignore this role of digital well being. Children of All age groups are exposed to the same and it’s impact can be serious, proper monitoring and setting boundaries like you shared is crucial. You have picked up a very important aspect very relevant in today’s time.

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