Kids are becoming increasingly tech savvy today making it tedious and challenging for parents to monitor and control their tech activities.
They work hard to find a proper balance between keeping up, and staying ahead of their kids when it comes to technology. Kids use a variety of gadgets and access the Internet, play video games and have an increased exposure to media which makes it vital for their parents to make sure that they are only being exposed to the appropriate content. The Internet is undoubtedly one of the greatest tools for learning, but like other technological developments it is not risk proof. Students often develop a passion for venturing online and using social media and it is the duty of wise parents to empower their kids to be safe while they’re being tech savvy.
Kids seem to be the first generation of digital natives; they love the technology and usually understand it better than their parents. But, parents cannot just be passive observers and should know that though technology is a fantastic tool for learning, entertainment and communication, it can be addictive and downright dangerous. It can hinder the emotional development of a child by making him neglect other activities that involve physical play, socializing and being outdoors. This calls for the need for parents to take control of the tech activities that their kids are carrying out by regulating them and also teaching the ethics related to the right use of technology
There are many considerations that parents should take care of to raise their tech savvy kids successfully and help them navigate the worlds of technology and media. Here are some things to keep in mind for parenting your tech savvy kids:
For parents with children under the age of 5, limit the television time to 2 hours a day or less. For children below 2 years, there should be no TV time at all according to the pediatricians. Use your TV guide to decide in advance what’s good to watch for your child and what programs should be avoided. Make sure that the TV time for your kids is productive and isn’t just meant for entertainment.
Pay attention to online safety especially with younger kids. Content blockers and filters are great tools for the purpose. They allow you more control over what your kids access and do online. Content blockers block sites with explicit materials and limit a child’s search to a predetermined set of sites. Content filters scan sites and images and block those that contain certain words, key phrases or content.
Single or working parents can provide their young kids with kid-friendly cellphones that are easy to operate, so they can easily stay in contact with them. Cellphones are very useful at the times of emergency and through them kids can always feel secure and can get support anytime they need.
Not all sites post an industry rating that can be identified by blockers or filters. Hence, you should always talk to your kids whenever they encounter some inappropriate content and tell them how to avoid the sites that portray it.
Parents of older kids can consider using tracking software. This software enables you to see which sites your children have visited to track their online activities. Your kids can enjoy the freedom of exploring the Web and at the same time you can constantly verify that they are using the Internet responsibly.
Make your kids understand the privacy settings associated with social networking sites so that they can decide which information to share with all and which should be restricted. Using these settings effectively can help your kids avoids any unwanted embarrassment or vulnerability.
Set downloading rules by warning your kids against downloading anything from the Internet without your permission. Some programs, plug-ins and games threaten your privacy and the security of the computer. Viruses and spyware can spread through popular sharing networks where digital content is shared for free.
Limit who sees your kid’s online profiles. You can adjust the privacy settings on your kid’s social networking profile. Help your kids understand why these settings are important and why they should connect with limited people online.
Explain online shopping and discuss the use of credit cards with older kids so they can avoid online financial disasters. Online shopping for kids should be restricted and whenever they wish to shop online they must do it with your assistance.
Teach your kids to communicate politely online by discussing online manners and teaching them online ethics. Make them understand that even though online communication is virtual, it has all effects of a real communication.
Explore technology with your kids and also try to learn from them. You may not be as digitally savvy as your kids, so kids can always teach you how to use a device effectively. Explore new devices and the Internet along with your kids to understand how they use technology.
You should remember that nothing can replace involvement and supervision by adults. You need to keep monitoring how your kids use media and technology on a regular basis and at the same time give them the freedom to explore. Raising socially savvy kids requires teaching your kids how to minimize their online risks.
Share other things that you feel should be kept in mind for parenting tech savvy kids. The Comment Box awaits you.