The world of Internet really is a wonderful thing – that is, if you know how to use it to your advantage properly. It is important to educate the kids how to browse online content, expand knowledge and seek fun safely so that they too get all the benefits of modern age and virtual data without feeling threatened or being exposed to inappropriate content.
Making friends online sometimes is as important to kids as making friends in real life. Obviously, this can be a great concern for parents because there are many predators online that can bully and even sexually harass younger kids. In order to avoid these unfortunate circumstances it is essential to talk with children patiently and explain them how to treat strangers and recognize a potential threat.
Completely forbidding online friendships and communication will not be a good approach in this case since children might feel that you are being overly strict, especially if you do not take the time to explain your reason for such an act. But, if kids are constantly told about potential dangers while being recognized as trustworthy and responsible enough to use the knowledge you gave them, they will definitely adopt the habit of being careful and vigilant in their need to communicate online.
Always Be There
If you are open with your kids, willing to accept the generation gap concerning the use of technology and have good relationship with them, it will be much easier and effective for you as a parent to instill safety measures in your children when surfing the Web. First of all, kids need to know that you will not yell at them and blame them for different kinds of online threats such as cyber bullying. Kids need to be able to come to you for help.
Still, in order to avoid more serious problem such as identity theft, you should be prepared to thoroughly explain what kind of information is safe to be put online. When kids feel secure in your calm behavior when they have some kind of problem or think that some information is too much, they will also be ready to ask for your help as soon as they encounter a potential threat so that you yourself can check out the website content, required information or person trying to contact your kids. If you think that kids will be more willing to inform themselves about Internet safety through an engaging material, you can always play them a video related to this subject and talk about the things they have learned afterwards.
Create a Purpose
Kids who are 12 years old or younger are definitely in biggest danger when it comes to the misuse of Internet and therefore there is no such thing as being too young to understand once you allow the children to go online. With kids in this age group you will have to control their online movement and sometimes even check the browsing history so that you can put up a parental control with the help of specific software if necessary.
Also, in order to explain the main purpose of Internet, which is learning, introduce some educational games such as CRYPTIds at early age so that the kids can get used to using the Web as a source of valuable information and expanding knowledge, not just meaningless browsing.
One of the best means to avoid constant danger online is to provide kids with enough fun daily activities that do not involve technology and set a time range when Internet can be used. Moreover, create enough opportunities for them to socialize with others so that they would seek face to face contact more than online communication.