Parenting in A Digital Age

Times have definitely changed and I am desperately trying to keep up in this digital age.

While raising my children I am faced with some of the concerns my parents may have had when I was growing up.  There were very few digital products with limited access.  My children are 11 years apart, so the concerns I had with my now adult adult daughter differ from the concerns I have with my 9 year old son.  The digital age is growing rapidly and I am trying to keep my eyes and ears open.  Basically, I cannot be naive to what my 9 year has access to.

Last week, I attended a Sprint event.  As I sat and listened to Tshaka Armstrong, of Digital Shepards , he touched on things I was aware of, but there were many things I was unaware of.   Yes, I have fears of my son watching the wrong thing, being in contact with the wrong people, etc.  but I needed to hear and watch Tshaka’s presentation.

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My son received a tablet last year.  I have not set it up with parental controls, but he does not have access to the internet.  After hearing Tshaka’s presentation.  I now know, I can set up parental controls on all devices.

 

I am monitoring what my son is viewing and we are having uncomfortable conversations.  My son is a good child, but there is so much available to him either online or being in contact with his friends face to face. If there is something he is not aware of, trust me there is always that one child that knows a little more.  Tshaka and his wife touched on this subject as well.    They have experienced it first hand.   They have allowed a child that had a little more knowledge than their children to spend time with their family, whenever the child came to visit they allowed him as long as he followed the rules of their home.  We have to understand that our children are going to be exposed to many things either through their own curiosity or through friends.

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Aside from having a tablet, my son has been asking for a cell phone.  I have been on the fence about giving him one.  We are now testing the waters with the Sharp Aquos phone I received at the event.   So far he is just using it to play games, call and texting me or  call and texing his sister.  As he begins to use it more often I am confident knowing I am armed with the wealth of information I received from Tshaka.  I also learned that Sprint has Sprint Mobile Controls.

·         Sprint Mobile Controls https://mobilecontrols.sprint.com 

o   Allows parents to clearly understand their child’s talk, text and app use habits
o   Lock their child’s phone on demand or schedule locks – during dinner, school or late at night – and browse their child’s contacts and apps downloaded to the phone.

o   $5.99 per month/per account

Mobile controls will come in handy after my son has been using the phone for a while.  Since he is not doing too much, I have not created an account.

Yes,  I have concerns about my son using his devices.  But, I am still concerned about my daughter although she is a young adult.  She is a pretty safe driver, but I have always I wished she did not have access to her phone while driving.  I have suggested she put in the trunk.  Of course she has not done so.  She claims she needs it for music and mapping.  Well, I have a solution.  While at the event, I learned about Sprint Drive First.

·         Sprint Drive First https://drivefirst.sprint.com 

o   Locks an Android-powered smartphone when the phone’s GPS detects motion above 10 miles per hour
o   Direct incoming calls to voice mail and silences distracting alerts. A customizable auto-response can be sent to all text messages, which are held until the driver comes to a stop.

o   Available on Sprint Android-powered smartphones for free.

When I told her about it she was excited.  Now she just needs to down load the app.

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Lastly,  I learned about Sprint/apps services.  My family needs this.  My daughter would be mortified if she knew I was saying this about her, but she needs this most.  She is always leaving things behind.  She is in junior year of college and has been in need of a tablet.  Well, now she has the Samsung, Galaxy Tab S and I know she needs the family locator.   Tshaka, shared a story about how his son left his cell phone at school and another child got the phone and tried to keep it.  After two weeks of tracking and asking  the kid to return  it, the kid to returned it to the school.

Sprint Apps/Services

·         Sprint Family Locator www.sprint.com/familylocator

o   Remotely locate children’s devices on a virtual map from your mobile phone, PC or tablet
o   Peace of mind knowing you can locate your child’s device on-demand or perform automatic safety check (sends text at a specific day or time you specify)
o   Free 15 day trial for Android or iOS. After trial, costs $5.99 per month/per account. (Allows up to 5 phones to be located). 

Below, you will find other resourceful links.

      Sprint Internet Privacy Site
·         Sprint Resource: Safety4Net, comprehensive toolkit for parents about smartphones & children, cyberbullying, sexting and other hot topics.

·         Sprint Resource: How you can protect your privacy
http://goodworks.sprint.com/people/customers/privacy/how-you-can-protect-your-privacy/
·         Sprint Resource: A Parent’s Guide to Mobile Phones

http://www.sprint.com/4netsafety/pdf/140512_CS_Mobile_Guide_Full_Version_English.pdf

Please do not be naive, it is difficult to parent in a digital age, but it can be done.

Disclosure: Product/compensation was received in exchange for post.
Don’t be afraid to be free!!!

Digital%2BShepards Parenting in A Digital Age

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for coming out and sharing what you learned here Keke! Your family and readers are in good hands because of you and people like you who ensure that the rest of "the village" is educated and aware.

  2. It was a pleasure meeting you. You have equipped me and my readers with some great information. I really enjoyed your presentation. It is awesome that you are keeping parents in the know. Thank you!!!

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