One of the most crucial parental strategies is having an open conversation with children. Parents must focus on constant talks with their kids, especially now with all the online possibilities.
Talking with our little ones about staying safe online should be our priority as parents because there are tons of possible dangers online.
This communication must include guidelines and advice on how our kids should behave online and why staying safe online is crucial for their well-being.
What are The Common Risks Associated With Children’s Internet Use
Our kids use the Internet for several things ranging from learning and searching to social media activities, playing video games, and watching videos. Therefore staying safe online is a must.
One major risks are hackers and scammers that want to steal your children’s personal information.
Teaching your children to not share any info with other online users is as important as teaching children not to trust real-life strangers.
Moreover, cyberbullies and online predators are also major online threats to children. Studies show that 46% of children have been cyberbullied at least once!
And last but not least, the enormous spread of inappropriate content such as violence, discrimination, and nudity are things that risk children’s online safety.
Practical Tips for Talking to Your Child About Staying Safe Online
Talking to our kids can keep them safe online. They need to understand and accept the importance of passwords, public information, online risks, and such.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over some ways to easily contribute to your child’s online safety.
Setting Early Habits that Stay a Lifetime
The moment we allow our kids to use tech devices, we can start with the conversation about how to stay safe online, and continue it as they grow.
Installing these habits is like downloading an app from the App Store or PlayStore. So, we must guide our children:
- To limit their tech usage;
- To keep track of their passwords;
- To be aware of online dangers;
- To be careful and avoid sharing personal information with others;
Tips for appropriate conversation are different depending on the age of the kids, so you must align your behavior with your children’s age.
Encouraging Trust and Communication
Having children demands building strong and trustful relationships with them. So, if you want your child to listen to your tips, you must teach him/her to be straight with you about any problem that comes along.
Building this trust starts from the day your little one is born. As your child grows, you should be the one that helps them in every trouble.
When your child gains the habit of you always protecting them, they will also inform you about any online problems they have.
How to teach Children to Identify and Report Online Scams
Identifying and reporting scams and other threats is the first step in ensuring your children’s online safety.
But how can an 8-year-old be aware of such a threat? It’s simple. The only thing you need to do is prepare your child for such things.
Just like you teach your children not to accept candy from strangers, you should act out potentially dangerous online situations and properly educate your children on how they should behave.
Along the way, you can teach your children about other important things, such as creating strong passwords. A fun way to create strong passwords is the password game. Every family member makes up a password, gives hints about it, and the other family members try and guess it.
Modeling Good Behavior
Studies show that most children see their parents or caregivers as their biggest role models. For example, if you often swear at home, your children will too (swearing definitely isn’t OK, but let’s leave that for another article).
So, we can’t expect our children to be safe online if we don’t practice safe online habits as well. But how can you do that? We all know that both parents and children often use the same social media.
Therefore, a perfect way of setting a good example for your child is by being careful of what you post and what comments you post.
Other ways you can set healthy examples are limiting your screen time (it can be tough but it’s for the sake of our cutie pies), setting strong passwords, and avoiding inappropriate sites.
Resources for Parents
The Internet offers countless apps and programs that can help you in ensuring your children’s online safety.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss some of the best ways tech helps us keep our children safe online.
Parental Control Apps
These apps are hated by children because the line between parental controls and stalking is really slim. But we are their parents and it is legal to control your children’s online activity.
Many apps like mSpy, Panda Dome Family, Norton Family, Google Family Link, Qustodio, and such offer you the chance to keep track of your child’s activity, locate them in real life, block inappropriate websites, and limit screen time.
There is an app that specializes in helping parents teach children the importance of online safety. It’s called Internet Matters.
It is available on the App Store, so don’t wait to download it because it’s one of the best ways to talk to your child about online safety.
Today’s digital world offers countless threats that our little ones must avoid. With constant talks, and open communication we can ensure our children’s safety.
Also, building trust and open relationships with your children can help solve problems even before they emerge.
All in all, you must be present for your children, talk, and implement what you think are the best ways to ensure their online safety.
How can I ensure my child feels comfortable talking to me about their online experiences?
Often ask about what they face online in a comforting voice. Don’t be harsh and strict. Instead, often engage in debates with your children about the topic.
What should I do if my child has been cyberbullied?
Firstly, you should comfort your child. Hug your sweetie tight and say that everything’s going to be alright. After that, make sure to report the cyberbully.
How can I balance my child’s need for privacy with my need to monitor their online activity?
By informing your child that you will monitor them. And also, don’t check on your children’s messages with friends, only see whether they chat with strangers, or what websites they look at.
How can I teach my child to use the internet responsibly and for educational purposes?
You can do this by setting habits from an early age and also engaging yourself in your children’s tech usage.