AVG has completed the latest stage of our Digital Diaries study, which surveys parents around the world is covering the crucial age of 10-13. The survey shows that parents with 10-13 year old children are trying hard to make sense of a complicated digital landscape. This challenge is made harder as their child’s developmental needs are changing all the time.

Basic questions like “Who knows more?” “Who has to follow the rules?”, “Is it spying or is it good parenting?” are questions that have been around for years. But for this generation of parents, new technologies add new twists to the old conversations.

Life in your child’s digital world leaves plenty of room for risks that are both positive and negative.  Never before have there been more opportunities for communication, gathering information, and learning about oneself and others. Help your child to make the most out of this time by being a good listener. Be a person who is easy to come to when life gets confusing.

So how do you achieve that? Ultimately it comes down to parenting styles.

What’s your style, and how do you connect with your child’s digital world? How is it working for your family? If your child is having trouble in school, or seems irritable after being online or playing video games, it may be time to shift your style and become more involved. You have the right to limit how much time and how your child spends time online.  You have a responsibility to teach your child how to navigate this complex technology landscape. Some children have the technical skills of an adult, but they don’t have the maturity or life skills you have.

There are also tools and software that have been developed to make parenting and protecting your kids online an easier task.

Here are some tips about how to thoughtfully integrate Internet safety software in a way that supports a strong relationship with your child: Your attitude and ability to communicate respectfully will impact the experience that the whole family has in making sure that Internet safety software truly sets limits and guidelines.  The conversation that you have around safety, trust and respect is often as important as actually using Internet safety software.  The great part about these conversations is that they can provide a blueprint for other areas where the balance between freedom and restrictions needs clear limits and guidelines.