TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With apps, social media sites, and video games constantly evolving, it can be hard for parents to keep up with what's happening on their children's devices.
Experts say turning a blind eye can have serious consequences, but a new class being offered in East Texas aims to help parents navigate through the digital world.
While the younger generation quickly adapts to the latest tech, Jake Womack, the youth director at Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, said it's time for parents to get with the program.
"It's hard to parent in a day and age like this," Womack said. "We want to help families be able to use this in a healthy way."
Digital Parenting, a class the church is offering to the public this month, is intended to point out those dangers. Taught by digital expert Christina Jontra, the lessons will help parents monitor what's happening on their children's screens and how it could be affecting them.
"You don't know what the problems are if you don't know what the dangers are," Jontra said. "You know there is a problem when you ask to see the device that they are using, and they throw a fit, or when you say it's time to turn that off, and they lose it."
When it comes to the digital world, Jontra said parents need to know the warning signs, model good behavior, and set boundaries to avoid negative impacts.
"As school starts, now they are feeling the effect of kids who spent the whole summer playing Fortnight, and the kids having a hard time focusing on something that's not as entertaining as a game," Jontra said.
She added that when it comes to kids and digital media, pulling the plug isn't realistic, but a balance is key.
"What I want to do is to help you be safer with your technology and have a more healthy view of its place in your home and your family," Jontra said.
Digital Parenting lessons will be offered on Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. at Marvin Methodist Church from September 12th through the 26th. The class is free, and those wanting to attend can register online.
The class will also focus on specific apps, privacy settings, and open opportunities for open dialogue among parents about what is working in there.
For those wanting more tips on Digital Parenting from Jontra visit: Neptune Navigate.
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