EC&I 832,  Weekly Reflections

Week #1 Reflection: A Brand New Mom’s Worry

Recently, I became a mother and started to think about my responsibilities as a parent, and how am I going to raise my kid. I have never become this worried before. How can I keep my child safe in the digital age? As the article “To keep teens safe online, they need to learn to manage risk” mentioned, putting parents’ control over the phone does not solve the underlying problems. The more children spend time online, the more they are exposed to digital risks, such as cyberbullying, sexting and harmful user-generated content. Parents cannot always be there when kids use the Internet. Helping them learn how to protect themselves and to learn how to navigate the web safely is important.

How Babies Understand Video Chat - The Atlantic

It seems too early to think about this topic for me now, as my baby is only two months old, but it is good to start thinking about it as I joined this class. I not only set up parents’ control over the phone or iPad but there are many things I can do to teach them. As my kid grows up, she will have her things to enjoy, so I can start by discussing what she enjoys and why, such as apps, favourite websites, channels, social media platforms etc.. I got to know her friends and talked about how and why she shared their lives online to make sure I knew what she would share and would not share. Also, I can have a chat about what her online identity means to her and how she feels it reflects who she really is. Starting with a positive conversation with the kid is the first step to helping them create a healthy digital identity.

Secondly, getting them to think critically about online and offline influences. The article, “Political parties look closer at candidates’ social media histories after recent gaffes, ” mentioned, that people may share some inappropriate things, which will affect their future lives. Kids need to know that what they share online now may affect their future. Moreover, encourages them to think about their intentions. Is the news fake or real? How to self-check? How to check sources of information if they seem too good to be true.

Fake News Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts : All Tech Considered : NPR

Finally, it may not be an easy thing to do. Staying engaged with what they do online. To achieve that, I need to consistently familiarize myself with new digital tools and platforms. I can have regular check-ins about what she does online to be better prepared to offer my supports and steer her towards apps and platforms that will support her passions and help her express who she is.

As a brand new mom, I have a lot of worries about how am I raising a good kid. Digital identity is one of them on my list.

Help Your Child Build and Maintain a Positive Digital Identity | ParentCo.


  • RoxAnne Jordan

    Hi Echo, great post! I too am a first time mom. I have an 8-month-old and already I can see how much he wants to play with phones and other technology that lights up and has sound. I find that I’m already beginning to worry about monitoring his screen time and making sure that his interests in all forms of technology will be safe and responsible.
    I also find it a bit of a struggle to find advice or tips that are ‘tried and true’ because this whole ‘raising children in the midst of a technological world’ is quite new and there is really only 1 generation to have done it and therefore not a lot of data on the subject as of yet.
    Have you received or found any tips or tricks on this topic yet? I’m curious to hear what others are finding/hearing/doing.


      • RoxAnne Jordan

        I agree that the education of social media needs to happen and that it is inevitable that they’ll use it. So interesting, and daunting, to navigate something that has never had to be taught before. I typically call my mother, friends, or mother-in-law (not always in that order) for advice with parenting but we’re all learning this together – we’re truly in a new “digital” world.

        Thank you for the link inclusion, I have used this one during teaching and like the easy readability of it. Media Smarts has some questionable content but this is one of the ones I find valuable.

  • Shella Gonzales

    Hi Echo!

    Like RoxAnne, I’m on the same page as you when it comes to thinking about what I should be teaching my own children when it comes to this digital generation. My two children right now are school age (Grade 1 and 2) and I’m seeing more and more that they are VERY interested in apps such as Youtube. Luckily, my kids haven’t ask to get Instagram, TikTok or Instagram. I’m sure in a few years they will ask and to be honest, I’m not sure what I would do?

    I have a friend who has her child’s snapchat logged in on her phone and her daughters phone. I thought, that’s genius! But, what about privacy now? Does she trust her child? How does her daughter feel?

    So many questions! I feel teaching your child digital identity and risk is something that will help.

    • Echo

      Hi Shella,

      An interesting comment about monitoring kids use social media while protecting their privacy. I feel it is hard to take both sides into consideration. On the one hand, you worry about what content your kids see on their phones; on the other hand, you worry that it will provoke resistance and jeopardize your relationships with them. I think having open communication is the first step to teaching them to be responsible about social media as well as use parents’ control to monitor them.

  • Kimberly Kipp

    Hi Echo, congratulations! You are definitely not alone in this parenting concern. My children are now 9 and 7 and I am already feeling the digital struggle. After witnessing the challenges my middle-year students consistently face online, I have the reigns held pretty tight on my kids. They are allowed 30 minutes of iPad time (which usually involves creating together on Minecraft) and 30 minutes of TV time (long before bed). My son already questions why his 9 and 10-year-old friends have cell phones and he doesn’t. The struggle is real!
    I think you already have beautiful plans in place for your child. With more digitally aware and vocal parents like you, hopefully we can raise the next generation that is truly digitally wise.
    The article you mention – regarding political candidates’ previous online faux paus – is interesting to me. Without mentioning any names of former United States presidents, it is amazing what people can get away with saying online IF they have money and connections. Being good digital citizens often seems like something that can be overlooked by rich white people (particularly males). This only solidifies the digital divide, and I hope to see a more equitable digital world in the future created by our children and those we teach.

  • Matthew

    Congratulations on becoming a mother. With regards to your post I think all parents struggle balancing the desire to supervise their child’s interactions online while simultaneously teaching them the skills they need to (eventually) self-regulate. As you mentioned it is important that parents stay engaged in technology as the landscape alters very quickly. As a teacher I must confess that my use of social media lags far behind that of my students – it is almost embarrassing that when I walk around and talk to them I often feel like they are speaking a separate language. I think we’ve come to a point in which it will be just as important to be familiar with current platforms as it is meet the parents of our children’s friends. My parents certainly did not embrace new technologies until they retired, and in a way are now engaged with emergent technologies than they ever where when I was growing up.

    • Echo

      Hi Matthew,

      Your perspective on the challenges of parenting in the digital age and the need for educators to keep up with technology is insightful. Balancing supervision and teaching self-regulation is a delicate task, and it’s clear that both parents and teachers are navigating this evolving landscape. It’s not uncommon for educators to feel like they are playing catch-up with their tech-savvy students. However, your awareness of this gap is the first step in addressing it. Teachers who are well-versed in current technology trends can better connect with their students and provide guidance on responsible digital behavior.

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