Do you really know what is under your Christmas tree?
This Christmas, many parents, with no intention of harm, will gift their children with their first laptop, tablet or phone without also equipping them with the tools needed to prepare for the online world.
Consider these tips as you confidently establish internet safety in your home:
- Teach and train your children how to identify and avoid harmful content. Teaching young children age-appropriate internet safety is essential. Encourage your child to come to you should they have questions about any of the content they may come across on their device. If your child wishes to download an app or create a social media account, discuss why they desire to have the app, set up the account together and walk through each of the potential dangers of the app together. As a parent, you do have the authority to say 'no' to an app if you feel it is not appropriate.
- Guard your children from seeing or experiencing what they do not know exists. Investing in an internet safety software like Covenant Eyes is one way to help guard the eyes and ears of your children. This software gives parents a report of the websites their kids visit, the search terms they use, and the YouTube videos they watch. Parents can tailor the filter to their needs and block the Internet completely at certain times in a day. For additional help on setting up filters and parental controls on any device, Protect Young Eyes has created these guides just for you!
- Discuss healthy boundaries on devices and create a parent-teen phone contract with your child.
Boundaries are essential to creating a healthy and safe environment within which to enjoy technology. These boundaries will vary by family, but some items to consider would be keeping devices in a common space overnight or no devices in bedrooms. Discuss these boundaries and consider downloading and personalizing your free parent-teen technology contract.