Originally published: December 2023

Download PDF

French (PDF)

Kids these days are growing up digital. They’re using technology (like smart phones, tablets, TVs, computers, and video games) to play, learn and spend time with friends. They’re doing things online that many adults did in-person when they were growing up.

As a parent or caregiver, you play an important role in helping your child develop a healthy relationship with the virtual world. This is known as supporting their digital well-being. It means helping them enjoy the benefits of technology, while lowering the risks of harm.

Supporting digital well-being isn’t about enforcing strict limits on technology use. Instead, it’s about building kids’ skills to use technology responsibly and safely, and in ways that promote their overall well-being. Here are some practical things you can do.

Teach digital citizenship

Show your child how to be a good online citizen. Explain why it’s important to protect personal information online and model the behaviour you want them to follow. For example:

  • Ask your child for their permission before you share photos or videos of them online. Remind them to do the same for other people.
  • Involve your child in setting up accounts for apps, games, and streaming services. Help them understand the privacy settings and permissions you’re setting up.
  • Talk about what appropriate behaviour looks like and feels like online. Emphasize respect and kindness.

Have open conversations

Talk with your child about what they’re doing online. Having open and honest conversations builds trust and boosts the chances your child will come to you if they have an uncomfortable experience or problem. Try these ideas:

  • Ask your child for their views on different apps, games, and social networks. Listen to their opinions, even if they’re different from your own.
  • Join your child in digital experiences. For example, play video games together or try a new app. Watch how your child is engaging with digital media—ask them questions and talk about what you notice.
  • Remind your child that you’re there for them, always. Encourage them to come to you if they need help handling an online situation.

Try media agreements

Consider making a family media agreement— it can help to set clear expectations around technology use and online safety. Work together to land on something that’s in line with your family values and flexible enough for each person. For younger kids, talk through limits on time and content. For older children, be open to negotiation. Let them take responsibility for shaping and respecting the rules.

Promote meaningful experiences

Try not to dwell on the amount of time your child is spending on devices. Instead, focus on the quality of their online experiences. Help them take part in digital activities that are engaging and interactive, instead of passive or solo. Here are some ideas you can do together:

  • Video call a long-distance family member
  • Watch how-to videos to learn new skills (like crafts, magic tricks, or recipes)
  • Use digital tools to set goals and challenges for physical activity
  • Try apps to explore interests and hobbies (like history, space, or nature)

Prioritize time offline

Try not to let digital devices interfere with offline activities in your home. Try these tips:

  • Go screen-free for most meals and snacks. Shift the focus to family conversations.
  • Encourage everyone to put their devices away at least an hour before bedtime, and to keep them out of bedrooms.
  • Aim for a few days each week with less time on devices, and more time being physically active. Play outside or go for a nature walk. Try active games, yoga, or dance.
  • Put away your own digital devices when your kids are around, especially if they’re interacting with you. Give them your full attention—they’ll appreciate you for it, and you’ll set a great example.

For more information, go to:

CMS Shortcuts
 Edit Page
 Edit in CMS