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Keeping Kids and Grandparents Connected and Protected Online

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One of the biggest differences between our children’s generation and that of our parents is the enormous technological difference that often exists between the two. Where our kids grew up with things like smartphones, the internet, laptops, tablets and other handheld devices, many of our parents had these technologies thrust upon them. For many of our parents, the term “text” was something that preceding the word “book,” and a notebook was something they wrote inside of and not operated.

According to the Huffington Post, Google surveyed 6,000 Boomers (aged 45-66) and seniors (aged 67 plus) and found that older Americans are embracing more technology today. These two groups are currently using the internet more than television, radio, magazines and newspapers. Many of them are also on board with social media, with 71% of Boomers and 59% of seniors using sites like Facebook daily.

Grandparents, Social Media, Smartphone, Seniors, Technology, Children

TEACHING THE TWO

For most children, operating a smartphone is almost second nature and seniors sometimes struggle with this device. For most kids today, they must learn how to use their devices safely and less often, while their grandparents may need to understand how to operate their smartphone efficiently and more often. Naturally it would seem that these two groups can help each other out in this arena.

Encourage your kids to help your folks to figure out how to do more complicated maneuvers on their grandparent’s smartphones beyond simple texting. Perhaps they could show them how to: 
  • Take and send pictures and videos

  • Access the internet and use email

  • Install and use apps like Facetime, Instagram and Snapchat
Children could bond with grandma and grandpa over their handheld devices instead of having our parents feel alienated when using this newer technology.

CONNECTING ON SOCIAL SITES

According to AARP, more grandparents are looking over the cyber shoulders of their grandkids on social networking sites like Facebook. For many, especially those who live a distance away from their younger relatives, it’s the only way they get to see pictures of their grandchildren.

With services like Skype, today’s grandparents don’t have to miss out on some special events in their faraway relative’s lives. Sixty-nine year-old Rosalie Espinosa, has four grandchildren who live in Texas, many miles away from her home in Missouri and says, “It was great when I wanted to see something special from my grandkids, like my granddaughter dressed up for her prom or seeing a new baby,” when using this free online way of staying connected.

Grandparents, Social Media, Smartphone, Seniors, Technology, Children

ANOTHER PAIR OF EYES 

While most parents say they monitor their kid’s internet activity, only 47% of parents are aware of what their child is doing online. But with more seniors staying connected with their grandchildren on the internet, it would appear that this would be an excellent opportunity for an extra pair of online eyes on our kids through their grandparents access to their social media channels.

Grandparents, Social Media, Smartphone, Seniors, Technology, Children

Another statistic tells us that nearly half of all teens admit to posting something online that they later regretted. Perhaps if they knew that their grandparents were monitoring their social sites, children might be a little more hesitant about risky internet behaviors. By better connecting our children with our parents on the internet, this is a good idea for everyone involved, including those of us folks caught in the middle.

Are your parents and grandparents on social media?

My parents and my grandparents are and it sure does make me think about what I'm posting!

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