If you’re like any parent we know, you may be a little nervous about technology in your household! Does your child know more than you do? How do we use technology as best as we can for our families? What are the latest apps? How do we keep our children safe online? Here are some things to mind so that your family can enjoy media and technology in a safe way.
Talk With Your Kids About The Internet Regularly
Technology, its contents, and its complexities change all the time – the good and the bad. If you are going to manage your household and take care of your family, technology can help you do so much. From helping your children do their homework to scheduling their activities, it would help if you worked with your children to be as efficient as possible. They may teach you a thing or two, and you can marvel at the latest technology hacks together! Frequent conversations will also mean you will be able to navigate through the big world of the Internet with them in a mindful and thoughtful way. From regrettable selfies to safe searching, talk with your children in an honest and open way. This will also allow you to bond, learn new things and understand what they are interested in.
Help Your Kid (And Yourself!) Manage Screen Time
How will you give your children the independence to manage their screen time? How do you not hover over their learning, or give them their own space in a protected way? Learn about apps or tools such as software timers, which will allow your kids to take responsibility for managing their own screen time. Sit down together with them to plan digital ‘off’ days or schedules on calendars. Most importantly, be the best role model for your child. If your face is perpetually in front of a screen and you don’t know how to switch off, your child will follow your lead too. So those digital free days also apply to you – give yourself some rules and manage your own tasks and screen time!
Make The Rules Clear And Obvious
Once you have started talking to your children about the pros and cons of the Internet, set up some rules. Agree on rules, reminders and restrictions. Can photos be shared and how? Must new friends be vetted? Is there an approved list of sites they can go to? If children know the rules and know you are serious about them, they are more likely to make the right decisions. Crucially, make these rules conspicuous and clear. Pin it up on the fridge as a reminder if you have to. And be consistent. They must know that if they break the rules, it is bye-bye devices for a while.
Privacy and Passwords
Teach your children about the importance of privacy and keeping certain information safe. Explain how their actions now can affect their future or endanger themselves. Talk to them about crimes, data attacks and scams when a suitable occasion arises. Your children will probably have even more accounts and passwords than you in the future, so teach them how important it is to keep them secure.
Get Basic But Necessary Knowledge For Yourself
Arm yourself with basic but necessary knowledge. Do you know how to add content filters to your browser to limit what your children can search for? How do you keep track of the thousands of family photos you have? Learn how to set up parental controls. Know how to use your phone’s location services and find your phone – it could also mean finding your child on a map. Find out how to track and restrict mobile phone usage, or just know how to check Internet history to see what your kid has been surfing. It’s not spying, it’s called keeping them safe!
All in all, improving your own knowledge about technology and the Internet can only be a good thing. You are not only updating yourself with useful know-how, you are setting up an enjoyable, safe and meaningful digital ecosystem for your family.
|Join us on November 25th for Google x Makchic presents the ‘Google Cafe for Parents: Life Hacks & Being Safer Online.’ We’ll help parents navigate technology use with children, and show you how to use all the Google tools and apps you have in the best possible way. From safety filters to photos, and homework to games, this Google Cafe will arm you with all the digital parenting skills you will need! Admission is free, just register yourself here!|
By Nellie Liang