Family Online Safety Institute Releases New Video Series and Digital Parenting Toolkit

May 7, 2019

Washington -- Today, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) launched the newest element of its Good Digital Parenting initiative to help parents foster constructive conversations with their children around technology. FOSI has released new videos and materials covering a range of issues that address the challenges of parenting in a digital world.

According to FOSI’s research, more than half of parents across the United States think that technology has improved communication among family members. In fact, parents of connected children are nearly twice as likely to say that technology makes their job as a parent easier. These benefits, however, come with certain drawbacks when it comes to how technology is used in connected homes. Parents consistently cite a need for better guidance and resources when addressing issues such as safety, screen time, and the content their children interact with online.

“We’re dealing with something of a moving target with technology,” said FOSI Founder & CEO Stephen Balkam. “It’s important that we help parents get as comfortable as possible with the digital lives that today’s kids are living in. Our hope is that the tools that we’ve created will help foster a healthy shared experience for parents and children.”

The video series is a way to bring to life the 7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting:

  • In Episode 1, viewers watch a young family navigate Steps 1 (Talk With Your Kids) and 2 (Educate Yourself). By talking about online safety early and often, parents are able to establish healthy digital habits sooner.
  • In Episode 2, viewers watch a family discuss Steps 3 (Use Parental Controls) and 4 (Set Ground Rules and Enforce Consequences). By setting family rules and enabling parental controls, family members gain clarity on technology privileges and how to use devices and services safely.
  • In Episode 3, viewers watch a family with older kids navigate social media with Steps 5 (Friend and Follow But Don’t Stalk) and 6 (Explore, Share and Celebrate). By respecting your child’s online space and encouraging thoughtful interactions on social media, families can learn from each other and have fun online.
  • In Episode 4, parents showcase ways in which they follow Step 7 (Be a Good Digital Role Model). Parents agree that taking their own advice on online safety benefits everyone involved.

“It’s critical that parents not only understand the challenges their children might encounter online, but also how to then address those issues in a constructive way,” said Diana Graber, author of Raising Humans in a Digital World and founder of Cyberwise. “FOSI’s new tools help parents tackle difficult conversations head-on and ensure that the entire family is on the same page.”

The online toolkit includes:

“We want parents and their kids to be on the same page when it comes to using technology,” said Andrew Testa, Verizon spokesman. “Verizon is a true partner to parents through their technology journey and we are proud to support FOSI and their new tools that help make important conversations about digital life easier.”

The Good Digital Parenting initiative is funded by Google, Verizon and Facebook. New resources were created with the support of the Charles Koch Institute. Follow along with FOSI’s initiative on social media at #GoodDigitalParenting.

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute is an international, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all. FOSI's membership includes many of the leading Internet and telecommunications companies around the world.

Contact: Heather Janik (216) 339-5568