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Educating 21st Century Children

Emotional Well-being in the Digital Age

image of Educating 21st Century Children

What is the nature of childhood today? On a number of measures, modern children’s lives have clearly improved thanks to better public safety and support for their physical and mental health. New technologies help children to learn, socialise and unwind, and older, better-educated parents are increasingly playing an active role in their children's education.

At the same time, we are more connected than ever before, and many children have access to tablets and smartphones before they learn to walk and talk. Twenty-first century children are more likely to be only children, increasingly pushed to do more by “helicopter parents” who hover over their children to protect them from potential harm. In addition to limitless online opportunities, the omnipresent nature of the digital world brings new risks, like cyber-bullying, that follow children from the schoolyard into their homes.

This report examines modern childhood, looking specifically at the intersection between emotional well-being and new technologies. It explores how parenting and friendships have changed in the digital age. It examines children as digital citizens, and how best to take advantage of online opportunities while minimising the risks. The volume ends with a look at how to foster digital literacy and resilience, highlighting the role of partnerships, policy and protection.

English

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Childhood in the digital age

What is the nature of childhood today? On a number of measures, modern children’s lives have clearly improved, thanks to better public safety and support for physical and mental health. Many children have access to smartphones and the limitless opportunities the digital world provides before they can walk or talk. At the same time, 21st century children are reporting more stress and anxiety, and the omnipresent nature of the digital world brings new risks, like cyberbullying, that follow children from the schoolyard into their homes. This chapter provides an overview of trends in child physical health, emotional well-being, families and peers, and digital technologies. Setting the stage for the rest of the volume, it takes a special look at the intersection between two of those themes: emotional well-being and digital technologies. It ends with an overview of the publication and the policy questionnaire that generated the country-level solutions to shared challenges.

English

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