Far from the myth of parents and kids isolated in their own online bubbles, pausing only to message that they’ve fed the dog or dinner is ready, the reality is that our easy access to digital technology in and out of the home is deeply integrated into family life – and enhances family feelings of closeness.
Last year’s Parenting for a Digital Future report, based on a survey of 2,000 parents by the London School of Economics and Political Science, found that watching films, playing video games and keeping in touch via calls and messaging apps brings families together rather than dividing them.
Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp have made it easier than ever before to stay in touch with family members, whatever the distance separating us. Tech sustains independent relationships with children and grandparents across physical distances, so when they do see each other in real life, there’s a real bond and shared experiences rather than best manners and small talk.
For parents, sensible use of digital tech has so many positives. There’s valuable peace of mind when teenagers taking their first steps to independence can send texts to say they’ve arrived or plans have changed.
There’s the bonding experience of playing FIFA together or discovering the very real appeal of Minecraft and even Fortnite alongside your kids. Nothing beats finding a box set or eagerly awaited (and much cheaper than five tickets to the cinema) film you can all sit down together to watch, sharing theories and pulling rank for whose turn it is to put the kettle on. And modern internet packages, such as Vodafone Together with unlimited mobile data and home broadband, ensure your family stay connected.
Whether you and your kids love documentaries, reality TV, sport or films, access to Amazon Prime, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and NOW TV make staying in together at home a whole lot more appealing.
For younger children and tired parents, the opportunity to enjoy a cuddle and an episode of their favourite CBeebies programme is a treasured moment of calm.
After school, parents don’t need to helicopter over homework but can simply guide kids to find some good online and interactive resources to help make their own discoveries and learn to work independently.
Teenagers leaving home for the first time to go to uni or a new job can keep in stress-free contact, sending 360 degree views of their new room and messaging for the best spag bol recipe.
Away from the home, all those family bonding experiences like going for a walk together off the beaten track, or stopping to paddle in streams or lift up old logs, can be supercharged with tech. What’s that beetle? Where does this stream end up?
That’s one of the many joys of digital tech for parents and children – access to a vast digital library to explore and share, whereas before the internet kids were dependent on the cursory knowledge of their parents, school and the local library.
It’s well worth checking out Vodafone’s Digital Parenting Guide, which is all about building children’s confidence and resilience so that they get the very best out of the fast-moving, awe-inspiring, sometimes-overwhelming digital world.
Children love playing games and competing with their parents, from who can run the fastest to who’s the Monopoly champion. Activity trackers and game apps give endless opportunities to add another competitive dimension to these traditional games.
All these extra abilities to connect through tech are all huge positives in the parenting space. Learning and having fun with your children has never been easier.
New Vodafone Together allows you and your family to enjoy unlimited home broadband and unlimited mobile data in one great deal. Still in a contract? No problem, simply start with a mobile plan, before adding Home Broadband and you’ll start saving when you have both. And with Vodafone Together you don’t just get a discount, you get peace of mind. There’s no need to worry about being offline with our Stay Connected Promise.
Vodafone Together: Minimum term agreement, subject to RPI increases, credit check, acceptance and availability in your area. Discount only applies while both the home broadband and handset/SIMO plans are active. Minimum term of each service will only coincide if you purchase both plans at the same time. Selected plans only includes unlimited Home Broadband + unlimited data, texts & minutes. Terms & verification: vodafone.co.uk/vodafonetogether.