As a parent, also ask your children: 'How was your day online?'

Four school children using their smartphone in the classroom
Portrait picture of researchers Chiara de Jong and Esther Rozendaal at the campus

Professor Esther Rozendaal and postdoctoral researcher Chiara de Jong will speak on the topic of 'Increasing digital resilience in children' at the Leven Lang Leren Festival on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 May 2024. How can children take advantage of the benefits the digital world has to offer, while averting the potential risks?

The online world is very attractive to children, for example because of the instant gratification they get there. "The attraction lies in the various needs that can be satisfied online in a short period of time. These are dopamine shots, so to speak." Especially children around 9 to 12 years old who are still in a developmental stage are especially sensitive to this.

Two kids playing with a smartphone

Children see the risks themselves

In their research, Esther Rozendaal and Chiara de Jong note that children see many opportunities and risks in the online world. Social contact with others is seen as very important, but entertainment and education were also often mentioned by children. "Experimentation is something they enjoy doing. They are quickly inspired to start doing things they see." The algorithm also plays a big role here. "As a user, you have relatively little control over what you get to see. Digital media has become much more intrusive and plays on impulsive behaviour, habitual behaviour, emotional reactions rather than conscious choices. As a result, children also get to see content they don't want to see.

How was your day online?

How can you work with your child to ensure they take advantage of the opportunities of the online world and arm them against the risk? The researchers find that children are already very good at reflecting on this. As a parent, it is therefore important to engage in open conversation and dare to put autonomy with the child. Don't just ask "How was your day at school?", but also ask "How was your day online?" Most importantly, as a parent, show understanding and reassure children that it is okay to make mistakes.

Two children are using their laptop outside

Supporting parents

At the festival, Esther and Chiara will talk more about digital resilience with a focus on children's views. "We want to give people insight into how they can start supporting children and improve their ability to resist the risks online, but also continue to be able to take advantage of those opportunities."

More information

About the Leven Lang Leren Festival
Erasmus University Rotterdam is celebrating its 110th anniversary! We are celebrating this special anniversary, the lustrum, throughout the academic year, which runs from September 2023 to June 2024. One of the ways we celebrate our anniversary is with the Lifelong Learning Festival. From Monday 13 to Friday 17 May 2024, Erasmus will take to the neighbourhoods to talk to the residents of Rotterdam. With something tasty, because when it's your birthday, it's your birthday! Take a look at the full programme.

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