As we close our thoughts on this book, I just want to take a moment and restate that I’m very grateful for parents who are engaging topics like this. While I have found the book very helpful in terms of how I think about this topic, I keep wishing that there was some kind of silver bullet for conversations like these. Thankfully, we are not alone as we navigate these kinds of conversations!
The final chapter focuses on the future, and how we can prepare our kids to transition into digital independence. As much as we can control what they do and see while they are in our homes, they will eventually be making digital decisions for themselves.
I think the majority of what I want to reiterate about this chapter can be found on pages 134-137. There are five tips there that do a great job of summarizing the whole book, and are worth a re-read. Without spending too much time in the book though, I want to take a moment and share some of my own thoughts on our digital world.
While things like this are always helpful resources, and we should keep reading them, they are just that - resources. This book does an excellent job of leaving you “room to parent,” because there is no perfect solution for every family, child, or parent. When we get down to brass tacks, we find ourselves navigating an ever-evolving piece of our world that is simultaneously beautiful and destructive. Technology is a tool, and the way that our children use it will continue to be the subject of conversation well into the future. Lets keep talking about it!
If I could leave you with anything, it would be a plea to model for your kids how they should use technology, and make a point to establish clear expectations. I think the most significant thing we can do for our kids is clearly communicate expectations, and practice what we preach. I have gone on the record multiple times talking about my dislike of social media, and as a result of that, I don't have any. Imagine how ridiculous it would be if I told our students “that stuff is toxic” and turned around to check my Facebook or Instagram. This goes without saying, but if we want our kids to be “present” at the dinner table, we should start by making that a clear expectation, and ensure that we are modelling those expectations.
Finally, give yourselves grace and reach out to people when things get hard. Different perspectives and strategies are always helpful, and most parents are happy to share!
Josiah and I will work on setting up a small workshop around practical understanding and tips around technology and shoot to get that on the calendar early next year. We would also love your feedback on how this kind of resource was or was not helpful. We want to keep building bridges and relationships with you as we all strive to help our kids navigate this crazy world!!