Our children spend more time on the Internet now than ever before.
Most children have access to at least one digital device of their own and many children use these devices in their own rooms unsupervised.
Children are very tech-savvy and they are great at learning how to use their devices.
However, it is extremely important that we remember children are not always safe online and there are a lot of potential dangers and risks out there.
We need to make sure that we are making a consistent effort to keep them safe online.
Here is some of our best advice in this area.
Keep Devices in Communal Areas
It is important that your children use their digital devices where you can see them.
They are too young to use the Internet in private and it is good for them to be aware that an adult is close enough to see what they are doing.
Very often our children are partaking in harmless activities and games online, and we shouldn’t discourage them from using such resources. Entertainment aside, the Internet will be a big part of their education and it will help them connect with their friends.
However, it does no harm to keep a close eye on their activity.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
Set Parental Controls
You can stop your child from being exposed to a lot of harmful content and media by setting parental controls on their computers and devices.
You can block anything you want to, it doesn’t have to necessarily be explicit (but that is a good idea too).
If there’s anything you don’t want your child to visit or anything you want them to need your permission for, setting a parental lock is the easiest and most foolproof way to keep them from accessing it.
All you have to do is enter the websites you want blocked through device settings and then set a password for unlocking that your children don’t know.
Talk To Your Child Openly and Honestly
Children can be protected online without being excessively restricted from or scared of the Internet.
The best way to approach these issues is to talk to them openly and honestly about why you are doing what you are doing.
Without scaring them, tell them how you are keeping them safe and how you are protecting them as a small child.
Keep things casual and fun, and reward them for the good behaviours and habits they do engage in.
Limit Screen Time
Even if what your child is doing on their device or computer is completely harmless, it is still important that they do don’t it too much.
Spending too much time looking at screens is one of the biggest issues facing our children today, and they need to be limited.
They cannot make adult decisions just yet and so it is our job to keep them safe, even if they don’t like it.
Stay strong in the face of tantrums and backlash, and know that you are doing the right thing by keeping screen time to a minimum.