Dear Nigerian Parent, You Need to be Digitally Educated and Social Media Savvy to Avoid Conflict With Your Kids

Ejike Kanife

It is quite common to overhear parents complaining about how much time their (teenage) kids waste looking through their phones.

According to them, the children’s obsession with their phones has not only affected their domestic output as well as their academic and social awareness.

According to the Responsible Digital Parenting survey carried out by the global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky, 55% of Nigerian parents clash with their kids because they spend too much time on their phones. The study suggests the kids are not to blame for this conflict as digital responsibility ought to be an integral part of modern-day parenting.

“Being digitally educated and involved in social media activities is a must-do for a parent nowadays as the lack of knowledge in this field can trigger some conflicts in the family.

Andrey Sidenko, Lead web content analyst at Kaspersky

Nigerian parents would beg to disagree

According to the survey, not all the parents keep up with current trends online and have enough knowledge about the content that their children prefer. 27% of Nigerian parents do not watch video blogs and are not sure what is popular among modern kids.

If parents do not know what is popular on the net, they can have misunderstandings or even conflicts with their children.

In defence of parents, digital activities weren’t a part of parenting as they understood it to be. Many of them bother about food, shelter, clothing, academic education and general welfare of their families to join their kids in their digital wanderings.

The truth is most kids nowadays live very digital lives. From social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to online shopping, watching video blogs and YouTube and even video games.

According to the Responsible Digital Parenting survey, one-third of children in Nigeria watch video blogs, including those dedicated to games and toys (60%), movies (51%), music (43%) and computer games (32%).

85% of Nigerian children play video games, 20% are involved in multiplayer ones where they are able to communicate with other people participating there.

In essence, this is where the kids spend most of their leisure time. Therefore, would it be such a bad thing to spend time with them where they are most comfortable? At least to better understand them?

Nigerian kids fight back

It is also imperative for parents to understand what their kids think about them about their complaining that they spend too much time on their phones.

Consider this for a moment, parents need to spend more time with their kids, true.

But kids typically want to spend more time with their peers. And all their peers are online. So, do the kids think parents are just attention mongers for complaining about them?

Right now, with the dire economic state of the country, social commerce mostly is the bridge between many young adults and a life of crime. Thus many of them spend a lot of time on social media to establish the necessary networks to make their small businesses thrive.

Furthermore, we can’t stress it enough that the future of work is remote. Therefore a lot of young people spend a lot of time on their phones and other devices just to work.

Dear Nigerian parents, are your complaints killing the hustle?

Maybe parents shouldn’t do it for their children, maybe they just need to do it for themselves. At least just so the kids won’t find it funny when they try to hold the phone for a video call or to place an earphone over their heads. Or when they probably need to record a voice note…

Dear Nigerians parents, maybe it’s time to consider that you really can’t win this digital war. Not with the current strategies at least. Maybe it’s time to change models and meet these kids exactly where they are; online.

Maybe it’s time to act like a monkey to catch one. Maybe it’s time to go digital in a bid to win this digital conflict.

The way forward…

As earlier stated, it is imperative for parents to meet their kids where they are most comfortable. They can be digitally aware even if they can’t be savvy. To understand the internet, social media, video games and blogs and what makes their kids engross themselves in their phones.

In order to understand your child, to be able to communicate with them and discuss certain modern trends of the evolving world, you have to read more and be present on the Net. It can possibly save the parents a lot of trouble and make their children respect them

Andrey Sidenko, Lead web content analyst at Kaspersky
Nigerian Parents Need Responsible Digital Parenting to Avoid Conflict With Kids
Andrey Sidenko

To successfully develop and maintain a great relationship with your kids in this digital era, understand what they indulge in during their spare time and to avoid digitally-motivated conflicts, Kaspersky’s Responsible Digital Parenting report recommends the following:

First Educate yourself. Read more on the topic of the Internet trends, challenges, video games and new technologies – not only will it better your conversations with children but also keep you informed.

Communicate with your child, ask them about their digital hobbies and problems, help if it is needed. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Safe Kids to know about the interests of your child in the digital world.

Nigerian parents, are you ready for responsible digital parenting?

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