My friend Clara was freaking out about her 10 year old son’s attachment to his phone the other day. Although she made sure he does his homework and the chores in the house, it still disturbed her how much time he spent on the phone.
I don’t blame her. During her time, internet was not something 10 year olds had much access to and even if they did it was to play games. Now kids play games, read articles and books, chat with their friends and stream videos online.
Even though modern day living has helped kids to enhance their learning, it’s scary to think about the dangers on the internet.
Top Ten Reviews revealed that the average age of first porn exposure on the internet is 11. And the older your child gets the more the risks they have to face.
In fact Cyberbullying Research Center confirms this when they revealed that the phone is the most popular medium for cyber bullying as over 80 percent of teens use their smart phones regularly.
Cyber bullying is just one out of many other problems children are likely to face or are probably even facing right now due to their exposure on the internet. And with each passing day new threats keep showing up and more children are being innocently exposed to this. What is the best way to go about it?
The frightening statistics are enough to stir parents into action. But parents are up against a huge dilemma. On one hand you want to keep your kids safe and on the other you don’t want to appear too intrusive.
It’s a tough decision to make but here are some ideas that you can implement to help protect your child from the negative influence on the internet or what’s going on outside your home.
1. Let your child know about your concerns
If you want to monitor your child’s activities you need to get their “permission” to do so. What we do is to force ourselves, our rules on our children and they begin to resent us. But there is a better way to do this.
Get real with your kids. Tell them about the benefits and dangers of the internet, social media and the dangers lurking outside. Let you child know what your concerns are. Don’t be afraid to let them in on the current statistics.
Being open with your children will help you gain a little access to their lives. When you check up on them or monitor what they do on the computer or their phones, they will be more understanding and you wouldn’t appear intrusive.
2. Monitor your child through their phone
Where does your child get the most exposure to the internet? The answer is pretty obvious, right?
In fact, kids are having their first mobile phones long before they get their first car. If you’re reading this, that was probably not possible during your time.
Fast Company mentioned Common Sense Media’s report that 75 percent of kids under the age of 8 are using mobile phones. If children today have access to their phones when they are barely 10 years old, then that’s the best place to start.
Parent apps proved to be helpful in monitoring children’s activities online. Some child monitoring apps like Kidgy go further to locate their kid’s location, view their text messages, restrict access to sites or apps and even set tasks remotely.
There are so many parent apps with nifty features to choose from. All you need to do is to find the right app that suits your purpose.
3. Stay close and be vigilant
As much as you don’t want to intrude in your child’s privacy, you need to be on your toes when it comes to your child’s use of the internet. When your child is engaging in something bad online, it’s bound to show in their behavior. Do they act distant or are they a lot sadder than usual?
Try simple changes like asking if your child came across anything interesting on the internet or moving the computer to a more central and open place instead of keeping them alone with their computer in their room.
Another way to stay close and keep up with your child is to be friends with them on social media. That will give you an idea of what they are up to.
With all the troubles of raising a child in the modern world, the best you can ever do as a parent is to keep up with your kids and put in your best.
Even if the studies, reports or statistics are creeping you out, you shouldn’t let your paranoia stop your child from living a normal life. If you have all the precautions in place and plenty of love to give, your child will be just fine.