Maintaining Internet Safety for Teens with A Parental Control App

image not found

Adolescence is a period of big change. Teenagers who were once dependent on their parents try to be independent. As they move towards adulthood, they want to be more free and able enough to make their own decisions. This is also the time where teens struggle with teen identity and morality issues, thus knowing themselves through different relationship experiments.

You might think they have grown up due to some body changes but their brain, especially the frontal lobe (the area responsible for impulses), is not yet fully grown. One of the most prominent and struggling challenges for teens is autonomy. Parents don’t think that teens can make their own decisions so they intrude on every matter. In turn, this attitude irritates the teens and they drift away from the parents.

Although teens are not really in the decision-making phase, encouraging them to make the right decisions and being with them can help a lot in the long run. This is why we stress so much on maintaining internet safety for teens.

The internet has also become the biggest source of entertainment for teens. It is seen that teens are more likely than the younger and the older ones to look for sensitive information like physical health, sexuality, mental health, and relationship problems. They are also using these social networks to have their personal space and identity cultivated. Research shows that 60% of teens have pretended to be older to have access to adult websites.

With their identity issues rising every day, they are also being prone to digital dangers. Suicide and other self-harming acts are rising due to cyberbullying, blackmailing, and other issues. Not only kids are expressing their disturbing emotions on social media, but also they are unable to process that information. They have just learned that they should post whatever comes to their minds.

While using the internet, teens are prone to many risks including terrorist content, exposure to pornography, substance abuse content, violence, cyberbullying, sexting, online scammers, online predators, and much more. With the technology evolving every day, teens need to be taught well about the proper and healthy use of the internet. Otherwise, if left unguided, teens can disturb their mental health.

What Parents Can Do?

Parents need to be updated and involved with the teens’ social life to make sure that they are on the same page as teens. Teens nowadays become a rebel and don’t like to be interrupted all the time. When parents do that, it drifts them away.

Moreover, parents cannot just leave their teens as they are. Parents are the only ones who can play a significant role in the proper growth and well-being of the teens. They can make key changes in this process. So, they shouldn’t back out thinking that they can’t do anything.

Here are a few tips that parents can follow for better children internet safety:

1.    Be Updated and More Involved

The technology is changing every day and so should we. Parents need to learn continuously about social media trends and activities. First, educate yourself, and then share that information with your kids. Tell them what are the risks associated with the social media platforms they use and what precautions should they take.

2.    The Privacy Should Be the Priority

According to CyberSafe BC, 55% of the teens have shared too much personal information on these platforms with strangers. And, 24% percent of the teens have their embarrassing and private information shared on the public platforms without their permission.

If we don’t keep a good eye on this issue, who will? They are young and they love to connect. They found some platform interesting and they get engaged on every level possible. But is this right? This is your responsibility to first keep the privacy settings on the apps they are using, on the check.

When you have made sure that the privacy on the apps is checked, then educate them about sharing personal information on these platforms. Tell them that they should accept the friend requests of the people they know.

3.    The Age-Appropriate Rules

When social media platforms have restricted the age of the user to be at least 13 years old, it should be followed strictly. Don’t allow them to use electronic devices overnight. Kids have this habit of using the internet and mobile phone in bed. Don’t allow that.

Many parents are well-aware of the risks, so they discuss the smartphone rules with the kids before giving them one. This way all the things will be pre-discussed and there will be no sudden restrictions.

If they require the internet for the homework, schedule the time for them to make them follow the rules.

4.    Teach Them to Think Critically

No one should make them fool easily on the internet. Educate them properly that everything has two sides, and they ought to weigh them before taking any step. You can’t be there with them all the time. That’s why you need to teach them to be careful on their own.

5.    Start Discussing and Monitoring

Often parents consider social monitoring apps to be suffocating. But do you know how much they help you in making better decisions? Do you think your kid tells you everything? Well, if you do then you don’t know your kid well.

Kids have now learned to hide things from their parents in the best way possible. They are growing smarter than you. So, using a parental control app will guide you towards smart parenting.

You can look into their social media accounts, call logs, messages, and other stuff. Not to suffocate them but to know what is going on with them. Use the app wisely to make sure you are making your kid a rebel.

Though parenting was never easy, the technology has made ways to make it better for smart kids. Communication and proper monitoring is the key to successful parenting. Once you have trained them to be good, you can leave them on their own. But when they are open to so many dangers, you can’t just leave them and not look back. Be with them and support them through every stage of their life.

Reference Articles:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/internet-safety-tips_b_3728322

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/08/23/social-media-safety-kids_a_23504337/

http://mediasmarts.ca/tipsheet/internet-safety-tips-age-14-17

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/05/15/social-media-self-harm-suicide-how-can-parents-help-kids-help-friend/

https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/entertainment-technology/cyberbullying-internet-safety/internet-safety-teens