Kids need an online police force. Your house is the internet’s equivalent of a big city, but you have one thing that the police in the city don’t: connection to your kids.
Many families spend more time at home these days due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the contagious coronavirus. People at home often spend hours on their computers. Kids might spend their time on school, homework, socializing with friends, and playing games online.
But not everything online – or every online activity – is appropriate for kids. That’s where you come in! You can help monitor how much time they’re spending on their devices and what they’re doing when they’re surfing the web. Create guidelines with them and check in once in a while to make sure they follow them! You can also consider installing parental-control apps to help manage some of these things for you.
If you’re worried about your children’s exposure to the internet, here are a few ways to help them stay safer when browsing the web:
- Set parental controls on devices
- Have discussions about social media’s limits and boundaries
- Monitor what sites are being visited through parental control software or firewalls
1. Schedule screen time limits for kids and devices.
By implementing screen time limits for children and devices, you can help ensure that your child is not spending too much of their time on a device or looking at inappropriate content. Some ways to limit your child’s screen time are by setting a daily limit, having specific times when devices must be shut off, taking breaks throughout the day, and making sure they’re viewing appropriate content while they browse. You can also monitor your child’s screen time and adjust the limits as needed. Following these tips will help protect your children online.
2. Use Those Parental Controls-
With all the options available these days, you don’t have to be a tech genius to manage your child’s interaction with the internet. All you need is one of the many parental control systems available for Wi-Fi routers and devices. With any one of these, you can monitor and set limits on internet access, set the time of day children are allowed online, and filter which websites they can visit. It may take some tinkering to customize it for your specific needs, but there will be no arguing about being over-parented or micromanaged.
3. Set rules about using social media.-5 Ways to Protect Your Children Online
Social media can be challenging for teens. On the one hand, it can help strengthen relationships. On the other, it can also distract them from in-person communication, potentially cause low self-esteem, and expose them to cyberbullying.
The effects of social media vary greatly. Social media can be helpful for some teens and harmful for others. It all depends on how they use it and what platforms they choose to navigate through their accounts. Talk with your kids about smart social media habits and the best ways to use their devices. By comparing their experiences before, during, and after using social media sites, you may be able to identify certain triggers that are causing problems in their lives: are they talking more than they’re thinking? Are they posting too much? Talk about social media alternatives and consider imposing limits if necessary. Keep setting a good example by limiting how often you spend time on your own smartphone.
4. Limit access to websites.
If you miss a keystroke or click on the wrong link, you can end up on an inappropriate website. In addition to teaching your kids how to evaluate trustworthy websites, you might also want to set up restrictions on websites and downloads. This will depend on your child’s age and maturity level.
5. Have “The Talk”-5 Ways to Protect Your Children Online
We’re often told not to talk about sex at schools, and the same taboo doesn’t seem to exist when it comes to data privacy. Just as you might ask them questions about sex and learning how their bodies work, you should pose questions like “What are your internet safety rules?” or “Can I see what websites you visit in a day?” Remember that it’s your job as a parent to educate them and make sure they understand why these rules exist. You want your kids to cooperate with you because they’re making a good decision, not because you’re forcing them.
As a parent himself, Albert Einstein said: “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of evil people, but because of those who don’t do anything about it.” For sure, parents must take action to protect their children from the dangers of the world.