Digital Parenting During Covid-19 Pandemic
Digital Parenting During Pandemi. Along with the development of information technology and the internet, so is learning can be done online.
Then came many terms such as e-learning, which is learning to use electronic devices. Learning done with the internet or web worldwide is called online learning or online education.
Online education connects students with subjects through the internet (Johnson and Manning, 2009: 10). Some refer to online education as cyber education or cyber space (Palloff and Pratt, 2002: 20).
Now some people use smartphones as a learning tool, it is called m-learning or mobile learning because teachers and students can move wherever they are.
Parental protection for children must be strong and disciplined, so that children’s daily behavior can be well controlled, especially when using electronic media such as the internet, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which conducts online-based learning or e-learning.
Continuous use of the internet for the long term will affect its users, both positive and negative effects in the future (Nugraha, 2013). If not managed wisely, this learning method can place children to always use the internet all their time.
In addition to the positive effects expected by the educational community, the emergence of adverse negative catalyst effects for children also needs to be acknowledged, identified, and addressed seriously.
The main problem with the emergence of e-learning policy is concern about the expansion and dissemination of Covid-19 in education units as the virus has grown and spread in the community.
This policy has met a clear and scientific formulation of the problem, which is based on complete, accurate, and up-to-date data as the policy was issued after observing the increasing number of Covid-19 patients in the community and observing the availability of internet access in schools.
The purpose of e-learning policy is to protect the health of schoolchildren from the threat of Covid-19 and to ensure the continuity of learning through e-learning. Therefore, all three policies have an element of purpose or fulfill a good policy because these policies have a clear purpose and objective.
Digital parenting or parenting in the digital age is very important to be understood and not done by parents but also for teachers. Such a tremendous development has enabled students who are still in the stage of concrete operations to explore and learn a variety of information faster than their teachers at school as well as their parents at home.
The speed and ease of accessing information and knowledge should be maintained and observed so that there are no irregularities, irregularities, and violations in the use of the internet, especially those related to device addiction. To overcome the addiction and tool prevention efforts, teachers and parents can implement the following steps.
Literally, parenting means a pattern of interaction between parents and children. These patterns of interaction include, how parents behave or behave when dealing with children. For example, how the attitude or behavior of parents in applying rules, teaching values / norms, giving attention and love as well as showing good attitudes and behaviors so as to be an example / role model for their children.
Advances in communication technology have influenced the views of many people on matters of daily life, including views on parents. In the past, parents still allowed their children to play outside with traditional games with other children. However, nowadays parents rely more on digital technology as a medium to play games for children.
Many parents then compete to give access to digital technology to their children and provide digital technology directly in the hands of their children. Human interactions have been replaced by interactions through digital technology and it is often unnoticed that this can reduce a person’s direct interactions with close people, for example between parents and children in their home who are busy with their devices. Although tools are not at all a child’s main need.
The sophistication and ease of operating technology enables young children to control products that are the result of technological sophistication. Technology offers convenience and diversity in the process of children learning many things.
Technology that makes it possible to present sound and visual stimuli at the same time allows children to learn many things at one time. Especially since the advent of multi-functional smartphones at affordable prices has caused more and more people to own them.
In the end, many parents have passed the technology on to their children. Without realizing it, many children are addicted to tools. This is still considered trivial by parents, as parents think that now is the digital era, the era of using gadgets.
Parents control the primary responsibility for the process of shaping the character of children. Currently there is a shift in the value of decency in society regarding correct and inappropriate terminology. At that level, the role of parents is very important to provide understanding to children as the main preparation before they enter society through school and other social interaction media.
Therefore, parental example is essential for the development of their children. This is important because in the human developmental phase, childhood is a stage to imitate the attitudes and behaviors of those around them.
Parents need to educate their children in the digital age by using the type of parenting that is relevant or appropriate to the child’s life.
- Child eye health. Excessive exposure to smartphone use can cause poor vision in children;
- Sleep problems. Child sleep problems are caused by children who are too long looking at digital screens and the effects of digital media content;
- Difficulty concentrating. The use of digital media has an influence on children’s attention-altering skills, resulting in increased overactive behavior and difficulty concentrating;
- Decreased learning achievement. Excessive use of digital media can reduce children’s learning achievement;
- Children often suffer from hunger, thirst and the desire to defecate, which disrupts the digestive system, which causes an imbalance of weight (too fat or too thin);
- Social development. A child will grow up to be a more selfish person so that it is difficult to get along directly. A child has difficulty recognizing various nuances of feeling;
- Brain development and its relationship with the use of digital media. Children need to pay attention to the balance of activities between playing digital media and playing in the real world;
- Slows down children’s language development. Research shows that the use of digital media can slow down the language development of children, especially children aged 2 years and under.
Second, parents need to support their children as the digital generation. Children talk late due to lack of training, playing alone, being too passive, watching too much TV. Therefore, parents need to provide assistance to children as a digital generation.
- Parents must add knowledge. Parents will find it difficult to set proper rules for the use of digital media if they do not understand what a blog is or how to use Twitter or Facebook. Therefore, parents need to have knowledge or a brief description of digital tools or media. Parents need to take the time to look at the websites their children visit;
- Parents clearly instruct children to use digital media devices. If the child is exposed to digital devices, it is best to direct them with effective communication to decide how long and when they can use them. Parents and children need to agree on when to use and when to stop using digital media devices at night;
- Balance the time using digital media with interaction in the virtual world. Parents can balance digital media exposure by introducing real-world experiences such as leisure activities, outdoor activities, sports, interactive reading, music and movement, traditional games, etc. to children;
- Borrow children’s digital devices as needed. Parents provide children with digital devices such as ipads, smartphones and computers so they can learn to control themselves and learn to use them with their families;
- Choose a positive program / application. Parents need to identify programs / applications that are educational in nature and have a positive impact on children’s growth;
- Accompany and enhance interactions. Parents need to help and interact with children during the use of digital media. Parents must also accompany their children while browsing the virtual world using a digital device as well as family activities;
- Use digital devices wisely. Parents need to use digital devices wisely when interacting with their children. Parents who are less prudent in using digital devices become abusive or neglect their children. Parents accustomed children not to use digital devices before bed;
- Virtual world activities. Remote communication, reading news, viewing photos and videos are all activities in the virtual world. At this time, parents need to prepare their children to visit cyberspace;
- Track children’s activities in the virtual world. Parents can monitor the websites their children visit, and ensure that children do not visit websites that are not age-appropriate. Use of digital media according to the age and stage of development of children. Parents and children need an agreement on the use of digital media, not to protect children but to provide the right opportunity when children are exposed to information from the media, as parents may not always be able to monitor children’s activities.
At this stage, parents need to accompany their children according to their age and stage of development.
1. Children aged 1-3 years. Parents accompany children at the age of 1-3 years
- has a broadcast time limit on digital media;
- use digital media in audio form to improve vocabulary, numbers and songs;
- use programs / applications to enhance prosocial behavior in children, such as empathy or sharing;
- use information about different people from different backgrounds to learn to recognize diversity
- Avoid broadcasting digital media programs that contain elements of violence and sexuality;
- avoid broadcasting scary digital media programs, such as ghosts;
- avoid broadcasting digital media programs that use indecent and aggressive language because children can remember and repeat it;
- avoid advertising ads on digital media with content that is not appropriate for early age;
- accompanying and interacting with parents / guardians while using the media;
- Avoid using digital media and devices as “substitutes for parental roles”.
2. Children aged 4-6 years. Parents accompany children aged 4-6 with the following objectives:
- have a collective agreement that is understood and complied with by the child, monitors its implementation, consistently applies the consequences of the violation and gives appreciation for the child’s success in implementing the agreement;
- utilize educational programs / applications related to school readiness. For example, the introduction of letters, numbers, and basic knowledge;
- utilize programs / applications that teach friendship and respect for differences and diversity
- discuss the similarities and differences between children and favorite characters seen through the media, with the aim of improving the skills to distinguish between the bad and the good;
- avoid broadcasting digital media programs full of violence and sexuality;
- avoid digital media programs that are biased towards gender recognition and bias;
- avoid digital media programs / broadcasts that show character solving problems by force;
- guide children to find out which facts and fantasies.
3. Children aged 8-12 years. At this age, parents accompany children with the following objectives:
- have an agreement that is understood and appreciated together, monitor its implementation, apply the consequences of breaches consistently and give appreciation for success in implementing the agreement;
- make use of programs or videos that show positive experiences that stimulate the imagination;
- discuss good and bad character behaviors in the media they know;
- discuss matters related to the roles of men and women;
- avoid broadcasting digital media programs that show aggressive, antisocial and other negative attitudes;
- provide an overview of jokes about the limbs;
- avoid excessive advertising, especially on unhealthy eating and eating patterns;
- Avoid displaying pictures or cigarette ads.
Various forms of positive and effective parenting actions or parenting aim to shape the character of the child so that the child experiences a pleasant atmosphere of life. Children need to be protected from the family with positive, good and right things so that they can thrive in the next life and be able to control themselves in the face of the destructive influences of the digital era such as the addiction to tools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Parents can adopt a wise, positive, effective, constructive and transformative parenting model or style. The main parenting style is effective parenting or effective parenting.
Parenting like this is not the only way to educate children effectively. Effective parenting is closely related to mentality and character. Parents need to practice thinking. Parenting needs to be built in the parents and trained continuously, so that the parents can be the role models that the children want. In other words, parents must be willing to apply all parenting tips to them.
If the mentality and character of the parents have been formed into an ideal parenting figure, then the parenting tip information can be easily applied to the pattern of students with children. Generally, the parenting pattern of children in the family is divided into three categories (Hurlock, 2000: 205), namely:) authoritarian parenting; (2) democratic parenting, (3) permissive parenting.
The family as one of the centra of education is the first and most important place of education for the formation of the character of children. Families as the location or place of character formation of children need to develop an educational and effective parenting style.
Parenting style between parent and child is shown in meeting the physical and psychological needs of the child. In addition, this parenting style can be implemented in the form of socialization of norms that occur in society so that children can live in harmony with their environment.