#APSB2015: (2/2) Good parenting in the digital age

MP-KNN teamData and Research, Events, Netiquette, Society, The Changing Youth1 Comment

This is Part 2 of a two-part feature. Read Part 1 here.

At Ako Para Sa Bata 2015: Cyberprotection of Children, cyberwellness advocate Sonnie Santos shared his experience and advice in a simultaneous symposium titled “Good Parenting in the Cyberage.”

Personal experience

Santos shared his own experience with his children, who are both teenagers. He recalled when they first asked if they could open Facebook accounts.

The minimum age required for a Facebook account is 13 years.

At the time, Santos’ kids were under the age of 13. He asked them a series of questions. “Are you 13? No. So do you want me to lie and say you are 13, just so you can create a Facebook account?” Both children said no.

“Both of my kids waited till they were 13 to create accounts on Facebook. When they turned 13, I set up their accounts. I’m Facebook friends with my kids, but we have rules. I don’t like or comment on their posts.”

Santos finds other ways to monitor his kids. “When my son plays games, I say, ‘Turuan mo ako niyan, anak, para maintindihan ko.’ Your approach should not be preachy, like ‘Tama ako, mali ka.’ You have to be creative, you have to be one step ahead, in order to monitor your kids.” He also recommends finding other things parents can share and enjoy with their children. “Find something you both like. My kids don’t like Mazinger Z, but we agree on Transformers.”

Tech rules

Santos gave some recommendations on limiting children’s access to the Internet and social media. “Set a curfew for Internet access,” was one of his first suggestions.

Most homes with an Internet connection now use wifi routers. Santos strongly suggests using your own router, rather than the ones issued by the Internet service provider. Then use Open DNS to block specific websites. “Buy your own router, kahit CD-R King lang. If the router is issued by the telco, you can’t modify the settings. With Open DNS, you can block certain sites from any access.” He also explained the use of parental controls on computers and browsers.

But what about the gadgets used by children? Many parents are often confused, especially since children seem to know how to use the gadgets better than the adults do. Santos shared his family’s policy. “We never buy new phones for our kids. They just get our old phones.”

On one occasion though, he relented and decided to buy his son a new phone. “Naawa ako sa anak ko.” They went out and checked the models available in stores. “My son chose a cheap phone with decent specs, but it was 50% off.”

With his daughter, he tries to maintain the same discipline. “My daughter still gets our old phones. I said, is it okay if you still use this phone, until we can buy a newer phone? She said, OK. The kids are disciplined. If they want something new, they have to work for it: wash dishes for a month. They hate that chore. But they won’t complain because they’ll share the duty.”

Digital natives

Santos reminded the audience, “Youth are very outspoken. They’re very used to airing their opinions on social media. Youth can easily create their own content and put it online. It’s natural for them. For us, it’s not automatic.”

The important thing to remember is that the content they create should have value. “Content you create is part of your online personality, your personal brand, you add value to your identity.”

Santos is a multi-awarded blogger and speaker.

This is Part 2 of a two-part feature. Read Part 1 here.

Learn more about APSB2015 on its website and Facebook page. For details on the topics discussed in the conference, check out this program.

Check out photos from the event on Facebook and live social media coverage on Twitter!

One Comment on ““#APSB2015: (2/2) Good parenting in the digital age”

  1. Pingback: #APSB2015: (2/2) Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN)

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