In the technology-driven digital age that we are living in, more and more people are finding easy access to the Internet. And children are even finding easy access to it, whether their parents know they are doing so or not. And because children are now discovering the Internet both so easy to access and so easy to use, they need to be protected when using it. As their parents, it’s your job to do this — for help on how to do so, read on.
Involve yourself with your child’s Internet usage
When a child first gets a taste of freedom on the Internet, the endless possibilities of things to do on it can make them take full advantage of it. And, most of the time, taking full advantage of all the Internet has to offer can lead them to its deepest, darkest corners. And, if you want to keep your child as far away from these angles as possible, you have to involve yourself with your child’s Internet usage. What this means is that you should use it with them at all times and actively show them what they can and cannot be looking at. By doing so, you drum it into their brains what is acceptable to do online and what the perfect cool links for kids are, rather than what is not acceptable to do and what sites should be avoided, as they grow older. This could mean spending hours upon hours with your five-year-old son or daughter playing tedious children’s games — but if you want them to be Internet savvy by the time they are seven or eight, you have to do it.
Set rules for your child’s allotted time to use the Internet
Depending on how much time you, yourself are comfortable letting your child use the Internet for is entirely up to you, and the rules you set in regards to it should never be influenced by your fellow moms on the playground. However, there should be a rule in place. And to enforce this rule and set time, you should continuously remind your children of it. This could mean writing the rule on a sticky note and posting it to the device your children use to access the Internet. Or it could mean you continually reminding your child how long they have left to use the Internet today. Whatever way you decide to enforce the rule you set in regards to your child’s allowed Internet usage time, just make sure it is enforced!
Teach them about safety and privacy on the Internet
Although you don’t have to go into full detail about what can happen to your child on the Internet, it never hurts to give them a rough idea of what can happen. And it never hurts to teach them how to protect themselves against these dangers, and how to remain as private as can be. Children are always learning, and whether you like it or not, because of the generation they are growing up in, they are going to learn about the Internet either way. So, teach them what is right, and what is wrong, regarding it.
If you don’t want your child to grow older and have something terrible happen to them over the Internet, and make yourself wish you’d done something differently during their childhood regarding it, then take action as soon as you can. Specifically, teach them about the Internet as soon as you can.