What school will look like this Fall is a hot topic as school districts, charter schools, and private schools decide how students and teachers will learn safely. Whether learning happens online, in-person, or hybrid this fall, the fact is many parents and caregivers are returning to work – in some cases, leaving grandparents to care for children during school hours.
Raising children in today’s world is hectic enough without the added stress that comes with the current health crisis. Conventional forms of parenting have shifted and may not be applicable to today’s children and the challenges they face.
Nancy Cook, a Lincoln County, S.C. grandmother, perfectly sums this up in a recent article from the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “This is a different age that we are dealing with,” said Cook, “a different century, a whole new way of learning, and being a grandparent, you know you’re supposed to be the one to spoil and send them home. Now you have to be the parent, the teacher, everything you were as a parent, but now you’re much older.”
Compounding the generational gap, there is a technological divide between most school-aged children and their Baby Boomer or even Generation X (those born between 1965-1981) grandparents. Forty years ago it was unfathomable to access information and people across the globe on a computer or gaming console, let alone on a device that fits in the palm of your hand.
With these technological advances, hundreds of thousands of child predators now have direct access to grandchildren. Predators may already be in a child’s bedroom – chatting with your grandchildren in an online game or social media.
If you’re a grandparent providing care or supervision for a child learning online, it is critical to know what you can do to protect your grandchild.
Here are 4 things you can do right now:
- Make sure you know how your grandchild is actively learning online or engaging in a safe online activity. Download and sign an Electronic Device Agreement and talk with your grandchildren to help set proper expectations and boundaries for online use: www.BeauBidenFoundation.org/ElectronicDeviceAgreement.
- Download our FREE eBook – Seven Things You Don’t Know About Your Child’s Digital Life – to better understand what children are doing online these days.
- Learn how to recognize the signs of being bullied or cyberbullied. Learn the signs at https://www.beaubidenfoundation.org/resources/bullying.
- Ask your grandchild’s school if they have a robust child protection policy that covers online interactions with staff and volunteers.
The Beau Biden Foundation is working on a brand-new workshop to help grandparents navigate this new world and protect children. If you’re interested in helping us pilot the new workshop (for free), please fill out the form below.