Surveys of 10,000 parents in the US found that there are 3 main parenting approaches to technology: —
- Limiters – parents who focus on minimising access to technology
- Enablers – parents who don’t restrict access at all
- Mentors – parents who actively guide their children in the use of technology
On the basis of this data, Media Mentor Month has been developed by Keri-Lee Beasley and Daniel Johnston, global educators based in Switzerland. A media mentor is like any other mentor, someone who establishes a trusting relationship with someone who needs guidance and support as they learn.
The idea behind the project is to help parents develop a positive relationship with their children around digital technologies with rich and engaging activities to help foster digital wellbeing during the month of March or at other times that fit in with your family schedule. Holidays and weekends are perfect.
Devorah Heitner, the author of Screenwise, suggests, “Take an interest in what your kids do in their digital lives. Learn together with your kids. Play Minecraft with them or share photos on Instagram with them. Show them what you are doing online and ask them for advice about your Facebook posts or LinkedIn Profile. Your goal is not to become an expert in technology but to get a window into how your kids think about, and interact with, technology.“
If as parents you feel your only connection with your kids around digital technology is the battles around screen time, then these activities are for you.
Activities are suggested for each day during the month of March [31 in total] that are suitable for parents and their children of ages 5-13 but can be modified on the basis of age and the access of digital devices in the family.
All activities and challenges have been developed to be simple and fun. The following are examples that you will see on the calendar as you move through the month:
- Listen to a podcast with your child
- Do a Google search of your name
- Have a conversation with your child using only emojis
- Talk to another parent about digital guidelines in their household
- Take a selfie with your child. You might want to try out Snapchat or Instagram filters just for fun
- Listen to a podcast with your child. Best Podcasts for Primary Students
Family Insights invites you to share images of your family engaging with the challenges using #mediamentormonth and tagging us @familyinsightsapp on Facebook.