We use the internet for everything and our children are even more fluent in all things online than we are. Our kids have instant and unlimited access to information, communication, and scams; and that alone is a major reason for worry. But there are things we can do to help eliminate their vulnerability to things we’re not ready for them to see. Let’s look at ways we can protect them in the process.
If you worry that your child is spending way too much time online, it’s okay to unapologetically limit their daily access. They may not like it but there are plenty more mind-engaging activities they could be doing!
know where they are
Being able to connect and communicate with anyone at any time can make online activity very dangerous for kids and teens. And as children get older they also tend to get a little more secretive too. Even if you don’t think you have a reason for concern having safety measures in place that allow you to track their whereabouts is not a bad thing.
get clear on what bad communication is
Kids don’t always fully understand how to protect themselves from unsolicited or unwanted communication. First, make sure that your child understands the difference between playful banter and communication that can lead to harassment and violence. For example, your middle school aged daughter may know when someone’s threatening her. But she may not understand that she’s being lured or baited by an older male or someone with ill intentions.
There are ways to monitor your kid’s online activity. In fact, there are even apps and online screening tools that you can use to be notified every time your teen accesses a website that you deem to be inappropriate. It’s worth it to do your research and take the time to put the proper safeguards in place.