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  • Writer's picturePaula Robertson

Teaching Kids to Become Good Digital Citizens: Practical Tips for Parents

In today's digital age, children are growing up surrounded by technology. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and gaming consoles, digital devices are an integral part of their lives. While technology offers numerous benefits, it also brings about challenges, particularly when it comes to navigating the online world responsibly. So how do we do that?

As parents, it's essential to teach our children how to be good digital citizens. Here are some practical tips and advice to help you guide your kids in this digital journey:

Start Early: Introduce your children to the concept of digital citizenship from a young age. Teach them about the importance of using technology responsibly, respecting others online, and being mindful of their digital footprint.

Lead by Example: Children learn by observing their parents' behavior. Model good digital habits by demonstrating responsible online behavior yourself. Show them how to use technology in a balanced way and prioritize face-to-face interactions over screen time.

Set Clear Rules and Boundaries: Establish clear rules and boundaries regarding screen time, content consumption, and online interactions. Create a family media plan outlining when and how devices can be used, and stick to it consistently. You can find a great template for a family media plan at:*1axe5mh*_ga*MjEzMjEwMzc3MS4xNzE0NTI0Nzg5*_ga_FD9D3XZVQQ*MTcxNDUyNDc4OS4xLjAuMTcxNDUyNDc4OS4wLjAuMA.

Educate About Online Safety: Teach your children about the potential risks of the internet, including cyberbullying, online predators, and inappropriate content. Emphasize the importance of safeguarding personal information and being cautious when interacting with strangers online. One useful resource is commonsensemedia:

Encourage Critical Thinking: Help your kids develop critical thinking skills to evaluate the credibility and reliability of online information. Teach them to question what they see and read online, fact-check sources, and be wary of misinformation and fake news.

Promote Kindness and Respect: Teach your children to treat others with kindness, empathy, and respect both online and offline. Discuss the impact of their words and actions online and encourage them to think before they post or comment.

Monitor Online Activity: Keep an eye on your children's online activity, including the websites they visit, the apps they use, and their social media interactions. Use parental control tools and privacy settings to ensure their safety online.

Encourage Open Communication: Foster open communication with your children about their online experiences. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable discussing any concerns, questions, or encounters they have had online.

Teach Digital Literacy Skills: Help your children develop essential digital literacy skills, such as online research, media literacy, and digital etiquette. Teach them how to use technology responsibly and effectively to enhance their learning and communication.

Stay Informed and Stay Engaged: Stay informed about the latest trends, apps, and platforms your children are using online. Stay engaged in their digital lives by showing interest in their online activities, discussing internet safety regularly, and addressing any issues or challenges that arise.

By following these practical tips and advice, you can empower your children to become responsible, respectful, and resilient digital citizens. By instilling these values early on, you'll help them navigate the online world safely and confidently, setting them up for success in the digital age and beyond.

Be well,


Dr  Paula Robertson is a busy mom and a paediatrician with over twenty years' experience working with young people and their families. She is also a certified children's mindfulness teacher and Positive Discipline Parenting coach. You can find out more at

Our AI wellness assistant has contributed to the writing of this article.

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