A Parent Guide To Keeping Children Safe In Cyber Space
In this age, when everything is digital, parents must teach kids the safe ways to use technology. If you are a parent of school-age children, the chances are high that they are inclined to using the latest tech gadgets for schoolwork, homework, or fun.
Knowing how to use technology is an important life skill in today’s society. Teaching and learning are no longer possible without technology. Schools are giving students devices to access information, do research, and engage with peers and teachers.
As one-to-one study models are being implemented globally, children these days are dependent on computers, mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and other devices to use the internet for academic or non-academic purpose. Because children are starting young, unsupervised use of the internet brings up a few safety risks.
According to a UNICEF report, technology can positively and negatively impact children. Many research reports highlight that while the internet inculcates children’s developmental skills, technology also exposes them to violence and child sex abuse.
Children are unaware of online privacy, viruses, phishing, cyberbullying, and other issues that can severely affect kids. Thus, researchers believe that it’s crucial to monitor the exposure of technology and children’s activities online.
How To Make Kids Get The Best From The Tech World – 13 Tips
In this digitally-fueled age, teaching children how to use technology safely is crucial for being a successful digital citizen. Here are a few ideas to help your children stay safe online.
1. Create a family media use plan:
Technology can enhance your child’s life and learning experience when used right. But the excessive use of technology can displace other crucial family activities. Hence, it’s vital to create a family media plan. You can cover things like internet use guidelines, safety norms, screen-free areas, and children friendly apps and programs.
2. Be involved and set limits:
Have open discussions with your children and set clear boundaries. Encourage your children to take part in creating a media use plan. While you are putting time limit for technology use, don’t forget about the devices and where they can use them.
3. Co-engage with your children:
It doesn’t matter if your child is using media to search for study material or playing a game; make sure you are present with them and participating with them. Let’s say your child is playing a video game, tag alone and co-play. Don’t merely monitor their online activities. If they are working on an English assignment help online, them. It will improve bonding, etiquette, and interactions.
4. Establish a balance:
There’s no doubt that technology is here to stay. Tech-savvy children tend to have a brighter future in a predominantly digital world. A balanced approach is necessary for online and offline activities. Offline activities also play a significant role in your child’s overall development. While many debates on the suitable screen time for children, you can set your limits to maintain balance.
5. Set an example:
They say children are innocent and learn what they see. Because of that, it’s highly imperative of you to be a role model. Reduce your screen time and invest that time to teach your children good manners and online etiquettes. Even if you are searching for an English assignment writing help in the UK, sit with your children and interact with them. When you stay available for your kids, it will help them interact with you.
6. Focus on digital interactions:
As kids grow, so does their involvement with technology. Children learn through two-way communication both via face-to-face interaction and video chat. Researchers believe ‘back-and-forth communication’ enhances language skills more than one-way interactions. So take interest and boost your computer knowledge. Encourage your kids to share their online activities. Spend time and learn the ins/outs of your child’s favourite sites.
7. Limit digital use for toddlers:
Experts advise parents to restrict toddlers from using any media devices apart from video chatting. If your child is between 18 to 24 months, sit with them and watch digital shows with them. That way, they learn by watching and talking to you. As I mentioned earlier, limit screen time for preschool and school children and co-view quality programs with them. If your child has learnt about alphabets, reiterate that later.
8. Create media-free zones:
Avoid putting a computer or other media devices in your child’s bedroom. Not just that. Make sure there’s no use of devices during mealtimes and social gatherings. Keep the computer or media devices in the common area so that you can monitor them. Make your kids turn in their devices before going to bed. These little changes can build healthy tech using habits and encourage healthy living.
9. Technology is not an emotional pacifier:
I have seen many parents rely on media to keep their students calm and quiet. While it may be an effective way of managing a ‘crying child’, it isn’t ideal. Teach your children to handle emotions. Take some time and come up with fun activities to help your kids overcome boredom. Finding suitable strategies for channelling your child’s feelings will prove beneficial for him or her in the future.
10. Research for high-quality apps:
Thousands of apps are available online that are claim to be educational, but the reality is far from the truth. Whether you are looking for an English assignment writing help service online for your teenager or study apps for your school-going children, do your homework.
Find age-appropriate apps, games, and study programs to help your children gain knowledge. Install tracking software to protect your children from inappropriate content online. However, don’t entirely rely on apps and tools; a direct conversion will do more good than you can imagine.
11. Monitor your child’s use of social networking sites:
Trust me; it is okay for your teenager to have a social media account. Social media can vastly help your child explore and learn more about the outside world. Just make sure your child’s innocence isn’t exploited anyway. Sit with them and explain the private settings. Have an open conversation with your children on what’s appropriate to share online and what’s not. Let your children know that you are always there for them if they have any concerns.
12. Keep lines of communication open:
The internet is lurking with sexual predators that are waiting to exploit children. You need to explain how vast the internet is and how negligence can ruin a life. Explain why they should never trade personal details and photographs or meet anyone in person they have met online.
Always tell them to remain anonymous and make them understand why they should come to you if someone tries to make them uncomfortable or scared with an online conversation.
13. Don’t be aggressive or over confrontational:
Lastly, remember that kids will remain kids. They will make countless mistakes using media. Don’t be harsh. Handle them with empathy and explain to them where they went wrong and how sexting, bullying, or exchanging self-harm images online can prove to be disastrous. Observe their behaviour and guide them. If needed, talk to a professional for assistance.
Technology now plays a significant role in life. If used appropriately, the outcome can be incredibly beneficial. Although it is essential to give your children space and respect their privacy, be sure to let your children know your concern over media use. Your active role will help your child get the best of the technology without falling prey to any potential dangers.
Robert Smith is a digital educator, and academic counsellor working on behalf of a reputable firm in United Kingdom. He is also an academic expert at MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk through which he assists students with English homework writing and overcome academic writing challenges.