Tech Gifts Offer Teachable Moments Tech Gifts Offer Teachable Moments

From games to smart phones and devices, you’d be hard-pressed to find a holiday wish list that doesn’t include at least one new tech device. These gifts provide kids with the tools to connect with friends, and empower them to learn and explore; while also presenting an opportunity for parents to start a conversation on how to live safely in an increasingly digital world.

Technology access starts as early as 6 years old in many families, according to a recent survey by LifeLock, an industry leader in identity theft protection. At this young age, a whopping 74 percent of children have access to laptops/desktops. The rate of technology use increases from there – by the time kids hit their mid-teens, 80 percent have a smartphone.

Four out of five parents surveyed reported having technology agreements with their children that define areas such as safety and privacy, screen time, apps and downloads and respectful behavior. As you think about gifting your child or grandchild a device this holiday season, it is also a good time to establish, or update, the ground rules you’d like to have as a family, and discover new resources that can help create a positive conversation.

One such resource is “The Smart Talk.” LifeLock and National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association, recently teamed up to create this free digital tool which is designed as an interactive experience between parent and child, guiding families through a series of questions and conversations. After agreeing on healthy limits, a personalized family agreement can be stored on the computer or printed out and posted inyour home. By doing this, it will help serve as a daily reminder for the whole family to follow the agreed upon guidelines.

It is also a good exercise to remind parents that they also should practice healthy online habits and safeguard their family’s identities.

Start the conversation by visiting thesmarttalk.org to begin setting ground rules, learn best practices and protect your children’s safety and security when using technology and living in today’s always connect world.

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