Are you a parent and you feel lost with guiding your children with technology? If yes, then you are not the only parent facing this problem. Presently, many parents often feel like they have nothing to help them solve problems regarding digital parenting. That is because they only experienced minimal technology during their childhoods.
Technology has influenced the way we live our lives. This includes the way we talk, work, learn, and play. As a parent, it is normal to feel you are swimming through unfamiliar waters when guiding your child with technology. You may have even experienced anxiety, guilt, fear, or confusion about the role technology plays in your kids’ lives.
Parents play a large role in guiding their kids into becoming responsible, safe, and productive digital citizens. However, you shouldn’t worry because parents don’t need to be experts. Listed are the tips that will assist you as a parent to guide your kids with technology.
- Top Safety Tips
- 1) Allow your child to use technology.
- 2) Take an interest in your ward’s internet activities.
- 3) Always remember that you are in charge.
- 4) Set rules for your child regarding the use of the internet.
- 5) Teach your child about privacy.
- 6) Teach your children how to think critically.
- 7) Communicate freely with your kids.
- 8) Ensure there is balance in your family.
- 9) Respect age restrictions.
- 10) Be enlightened.
Top Safety Tips
1) Allow your child to use technology.
Even though the internet is packed full of risks, especially for a young individual, you shouldn’t stop your child from accessing the internet for educational and personal purposes. It is important to know that we live in an era of technology, and when technology is used properly, the benefits can outweigh the risks. Children enjoy doing fun things online to kill boredom. Keep reading to find out the ways you can help your child to use the internet properly.
2) Take an interest in your ward’s internet activities.
Discuss with your child what he or she is doing online. Ensure you take an interest in their internet activities. You can also try to use the internet with them from time to time. Besides, you should find out about the websites they visit, how the websites work, and the benefits they are getting out of them.
3) Always remember that you are in charge.
You must always remember you are the parent. You need to set boundaries and try using filtering software and parent controls on devices. This will help you choose the websites your kids can visit and the ones they can’t. By doing so, you are sure of the contents or activities that your kids are being engaged with on the internet. If you aren’t sure about what websites are good for your kids, search online for guides to help you out.
4) Set rules for your child regarding the use of the internet.
You can put in place rules or guidelines regarding the use of the internet in your family. Don’t you know what such rules should be like? Don’t worry; we are here for you. Below are the types of rules regarding the use of the internet for kids;
- The rules should discuss when and how long your kids may use the internet.
- It should tell your kids how to treat personal information like Name, Address, Phone number and personal photos.
- It should discuss how your kids are to interact with others on the internet.
- The rules should include the websites and internet activities that are allowed in your family.
- Ensure you follow the rules yourself. Children learn by emulating the actions of the surrounding adults.
5) Teach your child about privacy.
The value of privacy cannot be overemphasized, especially with the use of the internet. That’s why you must teach your children how to keep their personal information private when online. To pass this information in a way your children can remember, use the acronym, YAPPY. It helps to remind your kids about some personal information they are not to share on the internet. YAPPY stands for:
- Your full name.
- Phone number.
- Your plans and birthday.
Besides the personal information your kids shouldn’t share on the internet, there are others. They include sharing opinions, information concerning others, sharing private content with a public audience, etc.
6) Teach your children how to think critically.
As an internet user, you need great skills to sort whatever piece of information you find on the internet. That is because not everything you see or read on the internet is true. You need to teach your kids how to discard distractions and unverified pieces of information on the internet, especially when it is of no benefit to them. Children will, at some point, come across information off-limit to their age, according to Webwise, you need to seize this opportunity to educate them about the need to abstain from said information.
7) Communicate freely with your kids.
Always talk with your kids about the things they see on the internet. It is important you know what activities your kids are engaging in on the internet at every time. Encourage your children always to discuss whatever problems they are facing on the internet with you. If you can provide solutions to help them solve these problems, it will be great.
8) Ensure there is balance in your family.
Encourage your children to develop offline interests and engage in activities that don’t require the internet. This will allow them to live a life outside the confines of the internet. Besides that, it will prevent them from health relating to posture, hearing and poor eyesight resulting from the internet’s overuse. Above all, you must balance the time your family spends online and offline.
9) Respect age restrictions.
Some websites have age restrictions. These websites include popular social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. You must prevent your kids from registering on these social media platforms if they are underage. If your children are old enough to register on such platforms, ensure their social media accounts are set to private, this is to limit communication to only people, they know.
10) Be enlightened.
To educate your kids on their use of the internet, you need to be educated. Children look up to you as their role model, and you can only lead by example. Read articles that discuss how parents can guide their kids on the use of the internet. If you are educated on this topic, it will be easier to educate your kids. To better protect your kids, get familiarized with tools that help you determine who is on their social media handles. For this consider using Nuwber to get acquainted with people you may see as friends of your kids online.
Parenting in this era of technology is a tasking venture. However, you need to pay close attention to how your children use the internet and the online activities they engage in. This is to protect and keep them safe while ensuring they grow up to become responsible adults.