Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

Last Updated: June 2, 2024

Parenting in the age of digital technology is a topic of growing concern for many parents and experts alike. With the increasing prevalence of digital devices and screens in our daily lives, children are growing up in a world that is vastly different from the one their parents experienced.

As a result, it is important for parents to understand how to help their children develop healthy habits and attitudes toward digital technology.

This article will explore some of the key issues surrounding parenting in the age of digital technology, including children’s engagement with digital technologies, parents’ attitudes and concerns, and tips for promoting healthy digital habits.

Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology


Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology (Infographics)

Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology Infographic
Infographic: Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

Digital Technology’s Impact on Parenting Styles

Digital technology has had a significant impact on parenting styles, bringing both benefits and challenges. Here are some ways in which digital technology has affected parenting:



  1. Improved education and entertainment
  2. Easier communication with children
  3. Access to childcare information online


  1. Increased use of technology and rapid changes in technology can be hard for parents to keep up with
  2. Technology gives kids access and exposure to things at a young age, which in turn makes parenting harder
  3. Digital technology getting in the way of parenting
  4. Difficulty in managing children’s use of and exposure to technology
  5. The need for parents to adjust their parenting styles to accommodate the digital influence and improve the mental health of children

Digital parenting styles have also emerged, such as authoritarian parents who make high demands on their children yet provide very little feedback or nurturance. Low parental control has been linked to children’s actual use of digital technologies.

To address concerns about parenting in the digital age, researchers have conducted systematic reviews to examine how digital parenting has been measured and quantified to date.

They have identified areas that current quantitative measurement has neglected or overemphasized, and pinpointed opportunities for improved, developmentally informed psychological research on parenting in the digital age.

Balancing Screen Time (Setting Healthy Limits for Children)

In the age of digital technology, it is important for parents to set healthy limits for their children’s screen time. Here are some tips for balancing screen time and promoting healthy habits for children:

Make rules about screen time and digital technology use: Work together with your child to create family rules or a family media plan that covers where your child can use digital technology when they can use it, and what they can use it for.

Aim for short screen time sessions: Encourage your child to have short screen time sessions and take regular breaks. For example, you could use a timer to set breaks, get up and move when the timer ends, or make use of natural breaks to move around.

Get your child moving, especially outside: Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and screen time should be balanced with other activities like physical play, outdoor play, creative play, reading, and socializing. Australian physical activity guidelines say school-age children should have at least one hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity like running or jumping.

Set device-free times and zones: Establish screen-time goals for yourself and keep distractions to a minimum. For example, you could set device-free times and zones, such as during mealtime or one night a week, and discourage the use of media entertainment during homework.

Be a role model: Kids learn how to use technology by watching their parents and caregivers, so model healthy habits early. Set an example by limiting your own screen time and being present with your child when you are spending time together.

By following these tips, parents can help their children develop healthy habits and balance their screen time with other important activities.

It is important to remember that screen time and digital technology use can be part of a healthy lifestyle when they are balanced with other activities that are good for a child’s development.

Educational Apps and Digital Learning

In the age of digital technology, educational apps, and digital learning have become increasingly popular. Here are some pros and cons of using educational apps and digital learning in parenting:



  1. Increased engagement: Using digital tools can make learning more engaging for children.
  2. Individualized learning: Educational apps can be tailored to a child’s individual learning needs and preferences.
  3. Improved communication: Digital tools can facilitate communication between parents and teachers, allowing them to work together towards ensuring success.
  4. Access to information: Technology provides access to a wealth of information that can help children investigate topics they find interesting.
  5. Improved technology skills: Using educational apps can help children learn technology skills in addition to the skill the app is designed to teach.
  6. Convenience: Digital learning can take place anywhere and anytime, making it more convenient for children and parents.


  1. Sedentary lifestyle: Using technology may promote a sedentary lifestyle for children, which can lead to health problems.
  2. Addictive nature: There are concerns about the addictive nature of mobile devices being used in education.
  3. Less social interaction: Technology can be isolating and may discourage children from learning together, which can be more effective than learning on their own.
  4. Less time spent outdoors: Children who spend too much time on digital devices may miss out on the benefits of spending time outdoors.
  5. Widening gaps: Children who do not have access to technology at home may be at a disadvantage compared to those who do.

Educational apps and digital learning can be beneficial for children’s education, but it is important to use them in moderation and balance them with other activities.

Parents should also be aware of the potential risks and disadvantages of using technology in education and take steps to mitigate them.

Safeguarding Online (Ensuring Child Safety in the Digital World)

In the age of digital technology, it is important for parents to take steps to ensure their child’s safety online. Here are some tips and resources to help parents safeguard their children in the digital world:

Create a family media plan: Involve your child in creating a plan that covers things like screen-free areas in your house, internet safety rules like not giving out personal information, and programs and apps that are OK for your child to use.

Use child-friendly search engines: There are search engines designed specifically for children that filter out inappropriate content.

Set up parental controls: Many internet service providers (ISPs) provide parent-control options. You can also get software that helps block access to sites and restricts personal information from being sent online. Google’s Family Link is a tool that helps parents manage their child’s accounts and devices as they explore online. It allows parents to set screen time limits, manage the content their child can see, and know their location when they have their device with them.

Talk with your kids: Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear online, who they meet, and what they share about themselves. Talk with your kids, use tools to protect them, and keep an eye on their activities. Start the safety conversation early and speak about it often. Remind kids that what goes online stays online and that they should never share personally identifiable or sensitive information.

Be a role model: Children learn by example, so it’s important for parents to model responsible online behavior.

Practice online safety together: Families can practice online safety together using resources like Google’s Be Internet Awesome program, which teaches kids how to be safe and responsible online.

Encourage quality family time without electronics: In a day and age where individuals are so immersed in their electronics, it’s extremely important to encourage quality family time without electronic devices and technology. Bond with one another, perhaps through a fun board game, pool night, or hearty family dinner.

While parental controls can be helpful, it’s important for families to both understand kids’ behaviors and explain to them why they’re using parental controls.

The best control may be the one young people feel as they learn about online safety and develop responsible online habits.

Digital Parent-Child Communication (Challenges and Strategies)

Digital technology has changed the way parents and children communicate, and it presents new challenges for parenting. Here are some strategies for effective parent-child communication in the age of digital technology:

Develop a plan for communicating with diverse families. Parents who speak a different language or who choose not to engage with digital technology for cultural reasons have the same interest in understanding their child’s progress and staying up-to-date with new developments at your center. Work to make special arrangements to communicate promptly with linguistically and culturally diverse families.

Meet each parent where they are. Equitable parent communication requires schools to consider and support parents with busy schedules and parents who do not speak English. Parents who do not have smartphones and personal computers should have the same access to their children’s teachers as parents with the latest technology.

Open reliable channels of communication. Not all parents communicate the same way. To determine a family’s contact preferences, simply ask them directly. Create a beginning-of-the-year Google Form, use an introductory phone call or email, or discuss the topic at back-to-school night. This is also a great time to learn what languages are spoken at home.

Establish back-and-forth communication. Two-way communication where parents can listen and receive information, as well as speak and be heard, ensures a healthy exchange of ideas that welcomes parents as partners.

Use technology to enhance communication. Educational technology can be a massive help for educators looking to improve parent-teacher communication strategies. Consider using tools like messaging apps, video conferencing, and classroom apps to keep parents informed and engaged.

Prioritize two-way communication. While one-way communication can have a time and place, too much can make families feel left out of classroom decision-making. Prioritize two-way communication with families through email, in-person or video calls, and teacher apps that include a messaging system.

Ensure equitable access to information. Electronic methods of communication must be mobile-friendly to ensure that parents with young children in all communities can access the information they need.

By implementing these strategies, parents and children can communicate effectively in the age of digital technology.

Modeling Healthy Digital Behavior (Parents as Tech Role Models)

Modeling healthy digital behavior is crucial for parents in the age of digital technology. Children learn and develop habits by observing their parents and other key role models.

Here are some ways parents can be tech role models and promote healthy digital behavior:

Use screens in healthy, balanced ways: Show your child that digital technology can be used in productive, creative, and social ways. For example, use your device to listen to music, draw, exercise, meditate, or have video calls with extended family or friends.

Set aside phone-free time: When playing or spending quality time with your child, put away your phone and be fully present in the moment. This sends the message that your child and the activity you’re engaged in are more important than the phone.

Avoid interrupting conversations: When having a conversation with your child, try not to immediately respond to text messages or notifications. Wait until the conversation is over to attend to your phone. This shows that you prioritize the interaction with your child over digital distractions.

Practice good screen etiquette: Demonstrate good habits and screen etiquette, such as not using phones at the dinner table, avoiding multitasking while using devices, and turning off the TV when no one is watching. Establish screen-time goals for yourself and stick to them.

Be aware of your own screen time: Be mindful of your own screen time and avoid excessive use of digital devices. Children are more likely to adopt healthy digital habits if they see their parents practicing moderation and balance.

By being positive tech role models, parents can shape their child’s digital behavior and promote healthy and responsible use of digital technology.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment (Equipping Parents to Respond)

In the age of digital technology, cyberbullying, and online harassment have become major concerns for parents. Here are some tips to help parents equip themselves to respond to cyberbullying:

Educate yourself: Learn about what cyberbullying is, how it impacts young people, and what you can do to prevent it. Websites like and KidsHealth provide information on bullying, cyberbullying, prevention, and response.

Talk to your child: Open up a conversation with your child, listen, and be supportive. Cyberbullying is something to be taken seriously. Talk to your child about what has been happening and try to get a clear picture of what has been happening and for how long it’s been going on.

Offer comfort and support: If your child is being cyberbullied, offer comfort and support. Talking about any bullying experiences you had in your childhood might help your child feel less alone.

Keep records: Keep screenshots of threatening messages, pictures, and texts. These can be used as evidence by the bully’s parents, school, employer, or even the police.

Get help: If your child agrees, meeting with a therapist may help work through the emotional trauma caused by cyberbullying.
Make sure they know that cyberbullying is wrong: Educate your child about the negative effects of cyberbullying and make sure they know that it is wrong and they shouldn’t do it.

Monitor your child’s online activity: Keep an eye on your child’s online activity and set limits on their screen time.

Encourage your child to speak up: Encourage your child to speak up if they or someone they know is being cyberbullied. Only around 1 in 10 young people inform a parent or trusted adult of cyberbullying.

Work with the school: If your child is being cyberbullied by someone at school, work with the school to address the issue. Many schools have policies in place to deal with cyberbullying.

By following these tips, parents can equip themselves to respond to cyberbullying and online harassment and help keep their children safe in the age of digital technology.

Digital Citizenship (Teaching Kids Responsibility in the Virtual Sphere)

Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology and the internet, and it is important for parents to teach their kids about it in the age of digital technology.

Here are some ways parents can teach their kids about digital citizenship:

Use digital citizenship resources: There are many digital citizenship resources available for family engagement, such as the K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum’s Family Tips and Family Activities. These resources can help parents and kids learn about digital citizenship together.

Make digital citizenship a priority: Whether it’s through teaching digital citizenship lessons at home or as part of a district-wide program, getting families involved and on board is essential. Parents can reinforce the lessons through conversations and expectations at home.

Share research: Parents and caregivers have firsthand knowledge of the impact of devices and media on kids’ lives, but research on digital citizenship can provide additional insights.

Introduce digital citizenship to families: Depending on the school’s community, parents’ and caregivers’ responses to digital citizenship may vary. Some will be relieved to know these lessons are part of the school curriculum, while others might be wary of a program that teaches what they feel are moral lessons. It’s critical to introduce digital citizenship to families from the start.

Use a digital citizenship guide: There are many digital citizenship guides available for parents, such as the Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents by Public Safety Canada and MediaSmarts. These guides cover key elements of digital citizenship, including respecting people’s feelings, respecting privacy, and respecting property.

Teach kids to be good digital citizens: Parents can teach their kids to be good digital citizens by setting clear rules about how they use devices, keeping them safe online with easy-to-use tech controls, and requesting digital citizenship lessons in their child’s schools. Parents can also help their kids be good digital citizens by modeling responsible technology use themselves.

By teaching their kids about digital citizenship, parents can help them become responsible and safe users of technology and the internet.

Maintaining Family Bonds in a Digital Age

Maintaining family bonds in a digital age is crucial for parents who want to ensure their children’s healthy development and well-being. Here are some tips and strategies to help parents navigate the digital landscape while keeping family relationships strong:

Make a family media use plan: This plan should include guidelines for how much time family members can spend on digital devices, what types of content are appropriate, and when and where devices can be used.

Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life: The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits and encourage playtime.

Set limits and encourage playtime: Kids need and expect limits. Encourage them to engage in other activities, such as outdoor play, reading, or creative projects.
Know your children’s friends, both online and off: Be aware of what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.

Limit digital media for your youngest family members: Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18 to 24 months other than video chatting. For children 18 to 24 months, watch digital media with them because they learn from watching and talking with you. Limit screen use for preschool children, ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programming. Co-viewing is best when possible and for young children.

Be a role model for healthy screen time and digital technology use: Your own digital technology use and how you talk about it sends powerful messages to your child about the place digital technology should have in family life. For example, if you switch your phone off when you finish work for the day, your child learns that focusing on family is very important to you.

Have regular, open conversations with your family members: Continuing the conversation with your family members about digital technology use is important. Parents and family members who have regular, open conversations are able to learn about each other and learn from each other.

Articulate your values about digital technology: Through negotiating the now-mediated activities of getting up, homework, family time, and bedtime, parents articulate their values not only about digital technology but also about family life.

Foster a positive, stable, emotional bond between parents and adolescents: Connection is an important factor contributing to child and adolescent health and well-being. Parents can foster this bond by spending quality time with their children, engaging in activities together, and being emotionally available to them.

By following these tips and strategies, parents can maintain family bonds in a digital age while helping their children develop healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship.

Seeking Professional Guidance (When and How to Consult Experts)

Parenting in the age of digital technology can be challenging, and seeking professional guidance can be helpful. Here are some tips and resources to consider:


When to consult experts:

  1. If you are concerned about your child’s use of technology and its impact on their well-being, behavior, or development.
  2. If you are unsure about how to set limits on screen time, monitor your child’s online activities, or teach them healthy digital habits.
  3. If you want to learn more about the latest technology and apps that your child is using, and how to use them safely and effectively.
  4. If you need support in dealing with cyberbullying, online predators, or other online risks that your child may face.

How to consult experts:

  1. Talk to your child’s pediatrician, school counselor, or mental health professional about your concerns and questions.
  2. Consider joining a parenting group or workshop that focuses on digital technology and its impact on children.
  3. Use online resources such as the Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide by the Office of Educational Technology, which provides tips and tools for parents and caregivers to support their child’s learning with technology.

Remember, seeking professional guidance is a proactive step toward ensuring your child’s safety and well-being in the digital age.


Conclusion on Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

In conclusion, parenting in the age of digital technology is a complex and evolving topic that requires ongoing research and attention.

While digital technology can offer many benefits for children, such as encouraging them to play more complex games, begin reading and writing, and listen to stories, songs, and rhymes, it also presents risks that parents need to be aware of.

These risks include children’s overuse of screens and social media, which can negatively impact their development and well-being.

To address these risks, researchers have proposed the concept of “digital parenting,” which involves using technology in a way that maximizes its benefits while minimizing its risks.

However, there is still much to learn about how to effectively practice digital parenting and more research is needed to understand the best ways to support children’s engagement with digital technologies.

Overall, the challenges of parenting in the age of digital technology require parents to stay informed, engaged, and adaptable.

By staying up-to-date on the latest research and best practices, parents can help their children navigate the digital world safely and healthily.

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Ahmad Ali

Ahmad Ali (Author)

Ahmad Ali has been a technology enthusiast and writer for the past 5 years having vast knowledge of technology.

Rehmat Ullah

Rehmat Ullah (Content Reviewer)

Rehmat Ullah is a software engineer and CEO of Softhat IT Solutions. He is an expert technologist, entrepreneur, and educationist.

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