How your children use the internet and engage with technology is something that you will have to manage and think carefully about as a parent. No parent wants their child to be exposed to things that are not suitable for them, and no parent wants their child to become too reliant on technology at the expense of other things. So how can you get this right as a parent of children these days?
By putting a few rules in place and approaching this tricky subject in the right kind of open way, you will be able to deal with it much better. It doesn’t have to be particularly complicated, but that’s not to say it won’t be challenging for your family. We’re going to look at what you can do differently to manage your children’s use of technology and the internet now, so read on to find out more.
Be Communicative About It
Being as open and communicative as you can be will definitely help you out a lot as you aim to manage this issue. If you’re talking to your children about technology and about why they shouldn’t rely on it too much, they will grow to understand where you’re coming from. Like most aspects of parenting, communication is key, and it can really help everyone get on the same page with this, so talk and be as open as you can be.
Educate them about the dangers
There are many dangers associated with using technology too much and too frequently. These are things you should be discussing with your children. In particular, you should talk to them about the importance of not talking to strangers on the internet. This is something that happens very commonly, and it can be hazardous indeed. Try to make them understand why this is not alright and why they shouldn’t do it when they’re online, the same way they wouldn’t in the real world.
Don’t take away devices entirely
Parents can sometimes overreact to technology and how their children use it. It’s important to remember that banning things and taking them away completely is rarely the best way to deal with this matter. When you do this, you make them want to rebel more, and they’ll always find other ways to get online and use the tech they want to. It’s best to keep them on your side and be monitoring what they’re doing rather than having them do it outside of the controlled environment of your family home.
Retain control over their phone plan
Spending and money is another issue that must be overseen because you’re probably paying for things like their phone plan. It’s probably best to choose SIM only deals that you can track and monitor. You don’t want them to be overspending without you knowing. To retain control over their phone plan and keep it this way until you’re no longer paying for it, which might be many years in the future yet.
Encourage them to report things to you
There will always be some risk in place when your child is using the internet because you can’t monitor what they’re doing and be looking over their shoulder 100% of the time. That’s not very realistic these days without how internet-enabled ubiquitous devices are. That’s why you should encourage your kids to report any issues or bad experiences to you. That way, you can deal with problems head-on, and your child won’t be dealing with them alone.
Check the content of their devices until they’re old enough to be trusted
While they’re still young, you should definitely be monitoring how your children are using the internet and their devices. You should retain this control as a condition of allowing them to use these devices by themselves. When you do this, you can see what they’ve been looking at and which websites they’ve been visiting and spending time on. It allows you to stay one step ahead of any problems developing in how your kids use the internet.
Keep encouraging outdoor activity too
As well as allowing your kids to use technology and the internet in their spare time, it would help if you also were taking steps to ensure they’re also spending time outdoors and doing things that allow them to get active. This is important because childhood obesity is a growing problem and one that you won’t want your children to fall victim to. The best way to combat these health problems is to encourage your kids to get outside and spend more time being active.
Don’t give in to pressure to buy the latest expensive gadget
Maintaining your family’s love of gadgets and new devices can become pretty expensive if you’re not careful. You mustn’t give in to the pressure they put on you to buy all the latest tech items. For a start, this encourages a kind of consumerism that’s probably not helpful for your kids as they get older. Teach them to be patient and appreciative of what they already have instead.
Use child settings
Most devices these days have child safety settings on them, so if you have young children and you really want to make sure that they’re not doing anything they shouldn’t be doing when you’re not looking, you should make sure that you’re using these settings. They’re pretty simple, but they place the control in your hands as a parent and allow you to prevent any problems with how they interact with tech.
As a parent, your task of managing how your children use and engage with technology and the internet is a daunting one. There is no easy way to get this right, but if you use the tips and ideas above to guide you in this mission, you should start to move things in the right direction.