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.


Youth inequalities in digital interactions and well-being

This chapter focuses on examining disparities of digital outcomes against the backdrop of social inequalities. In particular, it explores how information and communications technology (ICT) access, skills and uses relate to different socio-cultural and well-being outcomes. Well-being is referred to widely in research and public discourse though its definition and components are debated. In this chapter, it is used to describe the positive outcomes related to civic and social participation and leisure pursuits. Inequalities for young people are examined from all socio-economic backgrounds but highlight the experiences of the most disadvantaged – young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET). This chapter is of interest to those who seek to better understand how the digitisation of everyday life might exacerbate existing patterns of disadvantage as well as those looking for ways to ameliorate inequalities.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error