Even though we started Cool Mom Tech in 2010, this past year, we saw an exciting parenting trend emerge: tech-positive parenting. But considering how powerful this movement has been, I’m pretty sure that it’s a trend that’s going to be around for a very long time.
We’ve always been pretty tech positive on Cool Mom Tech, sharing tips, tricks, and in particular, helpful information about apps parents should know about without necessary raising alarm bells. In fact, in 2019 we published an entire Ultimate Guide to Digital Parenting. It’s always been about informing and empowering parents, versus scaring them. Our belief has been (and still is) that we live in a digital age; instead of avoiding technology, we need to learn how to embrace it and set a good example for our kids.
But when we interviewed author and research Jordan Shapiro on our Spawned Parenting Podcast, something clicked for us. We truly understood what it meant to be raising kids in a digital age, where they have never known a time without a smartphone or tablet. And how powerful our role could be in teaching and mentoring them into being good digital citizens. (If you haven’t listened to that episode, or read Jordan’s book, no surprise that we highly recommend it).
And since then, we’ve seen tech-positive parenting movements on social media, including our own Out Tech Your Kids Facebook group, which is a fantastic example that there is a world of parents who can be positive and protective, keeping their kids safe while also fostering independence and growth, and most importantly, parenting without fear. Yes, there are lots of bad things on the Internet (PS: there are lots of bad things in the world, unfortunately). We don’t let our kids drive a car without a license, so why would we just hand over gadgets to them without any sort of education and safety measures in place? We also let kids earn their independence and privacy in other ways, so why can’t they do that with technology too.
The internet (and social media) is an exciting, but very new (and sometimes scary) frontier that is unavoidable for parents. So this year, we want to celebrate our colleagues, like Jordan Shapiro, Devorah Heitner, Anya Kamenetz, Mike Brooks and many others who are doing the hard work to help parents raise smart, savvy digital citizens as part of this tech-positive movement. And we’re going to give ourselves (and Cool Mom Tech) a hearty pat on the back, too.