Internet Safety and Our Kids
Internet safety is a HUGE issue in our house. The dangers of the net are real. Texting, Facetime, House Party, YouTube, it never seems to end. There’s always something you have to watch out for, for the sake of our kids’ mental heath and safety. No, really.
We live in a day where our kids are accessing the internet younger and younger. It’s almost as if there’s a prerequisite for kindergarten that your child knows how to use a computer. While it may not be said that your child should know how to use a computer by Kindergarten, the reality is that’s part of the learning stage in today’s world. Kids as young as age 5 are expected to start learning how to properly type and utilize a computer at the basic level. For some parents that were raised in a different time, this may be scary. Today I want to share some tips for those parents who are nervous about letting their young kid access the internet. Here are some tips to help you keep kids safe on the internet.
Setup a Protective Device
Within your home, you can use a variety of products to help with online safety. There are also a lot of products arriving on the market for parents to use as a means to go a step deeper and monitor their kid’s internet usage through the router. These products range in price and often have a slight learning curve, but you can invest in them to feel more secure letting your kids access the internet.
Have Open Communication
You must be realistic with your kids about the dangers of the internet. Having open communication with your kids from day one access will help them know the dangers that their internet use provides. With so many predators lurking behind a computer screen, it’s important that you discuss the warning signs of a predator to your kids so that they feel comfortable coming to you when a sketchy scenario happens to them. Along with this discussion, you need to set forth expectations. There will be some websites are your “do not ever visit” list and some websites that you allow your kids to visit, but set forth the guidelines as to what they can access on those sites.
Limit Internet Usage
Though kids love the internet, you have to spend quality time together as a family. Learn to limit internet usage for your kids so that they are less likely to get into an unsafe environment online. Limiting internet usage will also help to teach your kids about balance. Consider setting up specific times that your kids can use the internet and remain firm on those rules. This will lead to online safety. They have to know how to be “human,” too!
Communication and setting forth appropriate guidelines as well as purchasing a device to keep your home internet safe will go a long way to ensure internet safety. It’s a major issue today, something that’s still so new and raw. It keeps me up and night and it’s scary. We have to always try and do your best for your kids, even if it’s scarier than heck for you.