Being a parent is tough. Technology has helped make this job easier and harder at the same time. Living in the technological revolution era has meant that children are more comfortable with technological innovations.
More children own mobile phones from a younger age. This also means that they have easier access to social networks and other online activity. As a parent, it’s important to guide your child through the inner workings of the internet – just as you would with any other life experience or skill.
Have the necessary conversations; communicate:
Teach your child the ways of the online world. Outline what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Show them what’s appropriate to share online and what signs to look out for in terms of other people sharing inappropriate material or messages.
Run them through security and privacy settings too. Remember that this is an evolving conversation and that it’s important to set up rules together and to let your child know that they can come to you if they have any problem.
Don’t rely on software only:
There is various software available for parents to monitor childrens’ online activity, but don’t only rely on it. Use your parental instincts to help, guide and supervise your children.
Check in regularly:
Make sure you regularly monitor your child’s online activity and remember to keep the conversation going.
If an issue comes up, deal with it immediately:
If your child comes to you with a problem they’ve experienced online, deal with it straight away. Show your child how to report inappropriate content and how to block people if necessary. Teach them about cyber bullies and help them with dealing with such issues immediately before they escalate.
Getting the balance between giving your child certain freedoms and invading their privacy may be a tricky process, but it can be done. You’ll be better off being super vigilant though – you can never be too safe.