7 Ways of Supporting Digital Resilience in Your Child

children and technology Mar 01, 2018

by the editorial team


Supporting your child’s resilience has never been more important than now in our digital day and age.

The technology that allows your child to watch educational videos online is the same technology that can be used to access inappropriate adult content.

The social network that lets your child stay in touch with their friends can also facilitate cyberbullying and harassment.

As a parent, you have an opportunity to encourage digital resilience in your children by giving them the tools and resources they need to cope with the challenges of the digital world. Here’s how!


Why Digital Resilience is Important for Children

Developing digital resilience means your child will be well-equipped to handle the challenges of the modern world.

Sometimes the internet can be a pretty scary place.

Due to the anonymous nature of online conversations, children and adults alike often face harassment and cyberbullying.

They run the risk of coming across inappropriate content and having to deal with privacy invasion issues.

Supporting your child’s digital resilience will help them understand if they are at risk online, and what they can do if something goes wrong.

They will be able to learn from their own online experiences and take steps to avoid ending up in uncomfortable or unpleasant online situations in the future.


6 Ways of Supporting Digital Resilience in Your Child

1. Avoid going offline completely

Digital resilience grows by interacting with the online world.

In other words, there is no way to build digital resilience by keeping your child away from the internet, especially because technology is now such a big part of our lives.

Technology can be a great way for your child to develop social skills or learn something new, and there is no need to take that away to protect them.

Instead, set clear boundaries, make use of parental controls where appropriate, and help your child build digital resilience by exploring the online world safely.

2. Make it clear that offline rules still apply

When it comes to supporting your child's digital resilience, employ the same parenting rules you do when dealing with offline situations.

Talk to your child about what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behavior both online and offline.

Don’t be afraid to discuss difficult subjects, like adult content or abusive harassment.

3. Set fair and consistent rules regarding online activities

Most importantly, talk to your child about the reasoning behind these rules. They will be much more likely to follow rules if they understand the “why” behind them.

As your children get older, try to age the rules with them.

The way we use technology changes as we go through different stages of life, so it makes sense to loosen the boundaries a little more as your child becomes a teenager.

4. Encourage your child to think critically about what they see online

Critical thinking is an important part of building digital resilience.

For younger children, this might mean asking “What would Mom or Dad say about that?” when they encounter something new online.

As they get older, teach children how to assess whether they're in a risky place, or interacting with someone they should not be interacting with.

5. Help your child understand the impact of what they say online.

Online communication is more impersonal, and, in most cases, completely anonymous.

This is why it is so easy for trolls and bullies to post horrible messages online.

Helping your child understand this will help them handle situations more effectively and avoid getting caught up in it.

It will also teach them how to regulate their own behavior online.

6. Maintain a positive attitude towards their online activities.

If you frequently criticize the apps and games your child uses, they may not want to share details of their online life with you.

This does not mean you avoid asking questions about their online activity.

Just try to maintain a positive outlook and consider online activities from their point of view.

7. Make it easy for your child to talk about their mistakes.

Children who can recover from an online mishap will be able to develop much stronger digital resilience skills.

If they feel like they can talk to you about what went wrong without the fear of being judged or punished, you will have a chance to teach them how to handle the situation.

If they are open and honest with you about what’s happening, you can show them how to handle similar online situations in the future.

You will also be able to step in if you see they are not handling a particular situation well.


Final Thoughts

Digital resilience is not a fixed concept.

It is always evolving, just like modern technology.

If you would like to learn more about supporting digital resilience and living with modern technology in a safe and healthy way, check out our Ultimate 21 Day Digital Detox.

It will show you how to set healthy boundaries and keep your family protected without going offline completely.

Check it out here.

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Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


This article is for informational purposes only. This information is provided “as is” without warranty.

It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. We do not offer medical advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other opinion on your conditions or treatment options. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ruan Living.

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