Safe online habits are more important than ever for everyone, but particularly for children. The relevance of the Internet will only increase, so it’s important to teach your children how to deal with the constant barrage of information that comes with the social media age.
Have one-on-one conversations with your children about internet use, misinformation and the importance of setting limits to the amount of time we spend online. Establish and enforce clear boundaries regarding when and where they can use their devices.
Also, pay close attention and be alert if your children become secretive or evasive about their internet habits. In that case, don’t hesitate to ask questions and try to understand what’s upsetting them.
Use the Right Tools to Protect Them Online
While technology poses many challenges for children, it also offers ways to protect them. These are some ideas you may consider:
- Enable parental controls on your child’s device
- Make sure the privacy settings minimize data collection
- Install updated antivirus programs
- Use content-filtering software
- Let them play only games appropriate to their age
- Keep webcams covered when not in use
Use Internet With Them
Parental example is the most effective way to help children learn new habits. Spend time online with your child and encourage positive experiences. For example, you may make an online search together and comment the results to weed out information that is dubious or unreliable.
Empower them and get them involved by allowing them to manage their online presence. Show them the family pictures you share on social media and take down whatever images they don’t like.
Set a Positive Example
Above all, embody the attitude you want your children to adopt. Don’t let your internet use prevent you from listening to them; if they ask a question, put down your device and give them your undivided attention. It’s also important that you remember to observe yourself the house rules regarding internet usage. This will help your children understand that while online communication has a place in our lives, it should never get in the way of meaningful communication with those we care about.
The sheer amount of information we receive every day is a challenge. The following past posts will help you equip your children with the skills they need to use internet and social media more effectively:
- 3 Guidelines to Teach Your Children Critical Thinking
- How to Raise Assertive Children
- How to Get Your Children Interested in STEM
- 5 Secrets to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read
- 5 Free Resources to Teach Children How to Code
Akoma Unity Center (AUC) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, grassroots organization committed to the progress of African American youth, families, and communities.
We are located in 1367 N California St., San Bernardino, California. Contact us today by telephone (909-217-7956), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to learn more about our programs and services specifically designed to meet the needs of historically excluded African American youth and communities.