+1 845 259 2974 (11 a.m to 7 p.m CST)
Nearly all people have access to smartphones and the internet now. Among those people, teens are the most common users. Where the internet gives children access to endless information and entertainment, it also exposes them to certain dangers. For example, children might face sexist, racist, violent, hateful, or false information. They may also come across explicit content which is harmful to their mental health. Worse, children may encounter actual predators who look for their victims in the internet chatrooms and social media networking sites.
As mentioned in this article published on justice.gov, some parents tend to completely deprive their kids of the internet. However, this is a decision made in hassle. Such restrictions can’t be enforced on them, especially when they can get great information through these platforms. However, some thoughtful steps can be taken to handle this issue in a better way.
Since children nowadays have indulged themselves completely in the digital world, they hardly obey the restrictions you enforce on them without any mutual acceptance. Parents need to strike a balance between the risks and benefits of the internet for the children. This balance can be achieved by implementing strategies.
The apps and technologies are an easy source of making parenting easy. You can use filtering technology that lets the intended content to pass while blocking some material. Not only this, but these apps also enable you to monitor your kids’ activities on their smartphones. You can also restrict their screen time. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat - you can keep an eye on their all social media accounts. Moreover, you can monitor their chats, call logs, and other things.
This way, you can not only protect them but also understand them better. You can know the issues they are facing in the digital world and talk them through it. However, teens these days, become rebels when restrictions are imposed on them. That’s why you need to have proper communication with them about this.
Theresa Payton, a national authority on cybersecurity talked to HuffPost about kid’s safety online, saying that parents should make it their priority to understand the activities of their kids. Parents should educate themselves about the impact of online posts on real lives. They must know what their kids are sharing these days.
Kids learn very fast about the ways to protect their social lives. Unfortunately, they don’t use those tactics on strangers, but only on parents and teachers. Studies have proved that parents are the only ones who can prove to be successful in keeping the child secure online.
Once you know about the things that are going on these days on the internet, you can face your child confidently. Let them know that you know what it is like to be in the digital world. Once they understand that you are on the same page with them, they will start talking.
As discussed in this post published on The Guardian, one of the key things to start the process of educating them is that you start it when they are a bit younger. As soon as they start using the internet, discuss it with them.
This might be the time when they are using the computer with you. That’s a great opportunity for you to teach them a thing or two about the safe use of the internet. You can educate about safe and unsafe things. It also enables you to make them aware of the things that can protect them such as passwords, internet security protection, apps, etc.
As they grow a bit older and start using the internet on their own, be their guide. Teach them how to make accounts and choose sensible passwords. If you are with them on this journey, they will share stuff with you later as well.
Along with the use of parental control apps, you can set some of the basic rules to have made them accountable for their acts. Just like house rules, these will be the digital rules. You can first discuss it with them and then make the final decision. These rules can be about:
If you design them with your kids, this will help them follow the rules.
Parents have a great role in telling the kids about the possible risks of the internet. It is often hard for the child to avoid certain things if they don’t know what to avoid. To communicate with them, first know what the risks are.
You must think you already know these things, but the internet world is evolving every day. So update yourself accordingly and share with your kids. Tell them what they post will remain with them forever. Also tell them whatever information they share online should not disturb them when revealed in the future.
You can share with them that the digital world is partially fake. People don’t share their real lives there and that makes it a whole new fantasy. Most of the people don’t use their real personalities there because they are afraid to accept who they are.
Teach your child to be what they are. They don’t need to change and they are lovely the way they are. Also, teach them about the people who might cause them real danger from the digital world. Educate them about using sensible passwords and protection over the internet to keep their information safe.
Once you walk with your child side by side, you will create a good connection with them. Make that connection because being a parent, you have this responsibility of saving them from the dangers of the outer world.