Internet is filled with enough content and of such varied genre that it could be horror for adults and an amusement park for children. The content on the web ranges from inappropriate or adult content to unkind and simply rude comments to dangerous predators. You might want to look out for the last one.
Even after all these disadvantages is also provides opportunities to socialize with others and to learn or create. From now on trying to keep your children off of the internet would be futile. It would be like keeping them away from food or electricity. They’re bound to get online with or without your consent. Your job here in this case is to help them in taking good decisions when they are on the web.
There do exist some parent-friendly routers that you can buy, and software that you might want to use, to limit the access of your children to the internet and keep an eye on them. But even if we ignore the fact that this idea is not completely efficient, you need to create a mental framework that can keep your children safe online.
You might want to put more thought into this because there are no concrete rules governing children and the internet because of the fact that no two children are exactly alike. This exercise is just like keeping children safe after their homecoming. Some children might only need a curfew of some sorts, others a heavy grounding. Children in different age groups require different amounts of oversight and rules. Even within a specific age group, different children can have different inclinations and interests, and with them comes the problem of different needs.
Some legal guidelines do exist. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule was established in 1998, it creates various safeguards like keeping children under the age of 13 off of social media. Facebook has very recently attempted to outsmart the law with a version of its Messenger aimed at children of 6 years of age and above.
Problem is, even after such laws have been in force, millions of children under 13 years of age have found their way onto Facebook over the years, with or without parental consent. You need to buckle up and don’t give your consent as a parent. The rules are there for a reason.
The more you feed the sense of responsibility and rules to your children the dividends you will receive over the years will be larger. As the children grow they will find ways around any parental controls that are put over them. Your goal is to make sure that there is no need at all for such restrictions.
When and if you give your kid a smartphone, it is your responsibility to help them through the process of setup. You need to make sure that they know exactly how to create a strong password, and you need to establish strict ground rules over which kind of applications can the kid download.
You need to make sure that you are a good example to them. It is no good if they complain that you don’t spend enough time with them due to always being hooked on that smartphone or tablet of yours. Critically examine your own digital habits. This goes for not only the amount of time you spend on your devices but also for how you maintain them. If you keep up with standard security practices, like keeping strong passwords and updating your software, it would be beneficial for the whole family in the end.
You need do make rules about device usage for the whole family. Help your kids when they run into trouble, this way they can go on to help their friends by themselves.
It’s pretty easy for parents to track every text message and know every single app that their kids use, but that’s not the best solution. If they are surfing over non dangerous areas, keeping their grades up and have a good social circle you don’t need to meddle in their online habits at all. The key here is to communicate.
This way, if and when they do run into a trouble online, may it be harassment or some disturbing content, you’ll be the person the children would come to for help. This is way better than them looking for a solution on the internet.