I don’t know HOW often I hear these comments when I am out and about:
“My son manages all our computers.”
“My daughter sends my emails for me.”
“My teenage son has installed our security software … and the parental controls.” (No joke!)
So, why is it that parents don’t back themselves? Why do some parents automatically assume that their kids are best suited to these tech jobs?
Now, I know that our children are digital natives born with technology running through their veins. For many of us parents, aka digital immigrants, computers were something we had to learn at high school or university. And the Internet, well this came even later. It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that most Aussies had some connection to the web.
Like it or not, the Internet is here to stay. While some parents have embraced this others are feeling a little intimidated by how much the kids know, and how much the parents don’t. The kids appoint themselves IT Director and mum and dad just go along with it – because the kids understand how it all works.
Now if you are a parent who is concerned about their kids’ online life but has still supported the appointment of your 13 year old as Chief Technology Officer because you think you can’t do it, I urge you to have a rethink.
You are absolutely capable of being just as IT savvy as your kids. You just need to back yourself and invest some time in the online world. Somewhere along the journey as parents, we stop investing in ourselves. We’re so busy juggling that we don’t have the time to keep up-to-date with the latest developments whether it is movies, fashion or technology.
So, if you fall into this category (and don’t be embarrassed because so many parents do) I am going to set you some homework. For the next two weeks you need to spend at least 30 minutes each day familiarising yourself with your computer and the Internet.
Make yourself a nice cup of tea and get online. Search the web, see what all the fuss is about on Facebook and Twitter. You might know someone who can get you an invite to Pinterest.
And don’t feel guilty about taking the time to learn something new. By investing in yourself, you are also investing in your kids. Because as the weeks pass and your cyber knowledge grows, you will be able to take back some control and appoint yourself as Chief Technology Officer! And then, you can start establishing some ground rules.
Till next time.