Generation gap occurs when there appears to be a difference between a younger generation and their elders, in most cases, the between children and their parents. These days the generation gap between the elders and children still in their school uniforms is not a matter of simple communication. While before what causes the gap is the different situations and experiences of the tow generations, this time around there is what we call a digital divide. Digital divide actually refers to the gap between those people with access to digital and information technology and those with limited or no access at all. But it can also be used to describe the gap between the parents and the kids these days.
Children are now called the digital generation where they have their own digital landscape. They are digital natives and speak digital as their first language while parents and the older generation are called digital immigrants who speak digital only as a second language. The world they live in is vastly different from the other generation's world. Whatever technology they have right now is shaping who they are, how they think and in the long run, who they will become. These technologies we either take for granted and never tried to learn continues to bombard these children and have become a part of who they are. The fact that we do not understand the digital technology means that we are not able to understand these children too. This inability to understand the digital landscape and the need of the children is the reason why there remains a digital divide between parents and children.
What parents have to understand is that the digital world we live in is here to stay. Children who are not even in school uniforms are able to hold the mouse and move it around. They know more than their parents when it has anything to do with the digital world. A child of three would know how to surf and children in school uniforms know how to blog and use the social networks. In order that we can nurture our children, we need to step into their world and understand. We cannot simply ignore it nor can we lock them out of it. We have to let them lead us into their world so that we can guide them. If we continue to see the digital world as the enemy, we may not be able to guide our children properly. There are more reasons to be careful in this digital or virtual world but we cannot do what is necessary if we do not know what it is.
Safety and Privacy
If there is one thing that we need to guide our children, whether in school uniforms or tweens, is that there should be limits on how much information they can put. It is imperative that we keep communications open so that parents and children can traverse this technology and culture together. Depending on the child's age and maturity, parents can talk with their children on the limitations and boundaries that should be accepted and respected by both sides. If these children are still in school uniforms then parents can set up their accounts so that they can be a presence in the online life of their children. Just because your children might know more than you, it does not mean that you cannot enforce the same discipline you enforce in real life.
Proper Balance of Real and Virtual World
The internet is not the enemy but rather a tool that can be used to improve communication skills and mental sharpness learning. The type of learning they get while in their school uniforms is different from the self-directed learning they get online. Having said that does not mean that they can spend 24/7 online. There should be a proper balance of the real and virtual world, internet and the extra-curricular activities. Both worlds have their own pros and cons and proper balance will provide a more wholesome growth and development for your children. The real world is where you will be able to define who you really are as a person especially because there is a personal interaction with real people and real friends. Again, parents should remember that there is no better application than great parenting. And guiding your children in the proper balance definitely fall in this.
Look for Safe Social Networking Sites
Taking parental control is never a problem especially if you are able to explain to a child why there is a need for it. They may at first think it is a way of limiting their online life but the danger that lurks the real world can also be found in the virtual world. Understanding the digital generation, especially those who are in their school uniforms, is important if we want to avoid the digital divide and in order that the architects of our future has the proper foundation.