BrightCanary

Digital Parenting Resolutions for the New Year

By Andrea Karin Nelson
January 2, 2024
Mother and son looking at laptop

What are your resolutions this year? Start an exercise routine? Learn a new skill? Make regular date nights an actual thing? As you write your list for 2024, don’t forget to include New Year’s resolutions for parents to help you keep your kids on track with reasonable device use and a responsible social media presence. 

Here are some suggestions to add to your 2024 resolution list: 

Have regular tech check-ins with my kid

Sit down with your child on a regular basis to look at their device. View some of the content they’re consuming, including their social media feeds with them. During your check-ins, talk to your child about how to use their values to inform responsible online decision making. Regular tech check-ins not only help you keep an eye on your child’s online activity, but they also set a precedent of open communication — making your child more likely to come to you if they run into a problem online. 

Practice what I preach and stop using my phone as often at home

Our kids are watching. And if they see us glued to our phones nonstop, it’s much harder to enforce reasonable device restrictions for them. Practices like no-phone zones, device “bedtimes,” and screen-free family dates are great ways to model appropriate digital behavior for our children.  

Talk to my child about cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is an unfortunate reality of modern childhood — one that can have serious consequences for kids. But there are steps you can take to help your child navigate these tricky waters. For more information on talking to your child about cyberbullying, check out our comprehensive guide

Implement a digital device contract in the New Year

Digital device contracts are an effective way to enforce household expectations and help your children use technology safely and responsibly. You can download our customizable device contract template here. We suggest including things like daily time limits for devices, rules around websites they can visit, and the expectation they respond promptly to texts and calls from parents.  

Sign up for a monitoring service to keep tabs on my child’s online activity

There’s no substitute for hands-on monitoring of your child’s online activity. But a service like BrightCanary can help fill in the gaps. Using advanced AI technology, BrightCanary scans your child’s text messages and online accounts, alerting you to concerning content so you can address it. 

Set up parental control settings on my child’s device and accounts

Between the parental controls already available on Apple and Android devices and the options available on specific apps, caregivers have a lot of ability to customize what their child can access online. For more information and platform-specific guides, check out our parental controls resource page

Talk to my child about online predators

It’s as important as ever to talk to kids about stranger danger, but much of the risk has moved online with as many as 20% of children contacted by an online predator last year alone. It’s never too early (or too late) to have the conversation. Here are some tips to get you started. 

The bottom line

The start of a new year is the perfect time to set goals, establish new habits, and devise an action plan. While planning your 2024 goals, consider how you can play a more active role in your child's online life, whether they're getting their first phone or are already a pro at using their tablet. You’ve got this, parent!