Children these days have all kinds of new gadgets, games, as well as the internet, to learn from. BUT before they should be allowed to use it, parents should know about the technology that their child is using. In today’s digital world, parents need to teach their child safe and responsible ways to use technology.
10 tips to help you get started:
1. Know your stuff!
Learning the technology that your children are using can help with interaction and knowledge for you and your children. Technology is a big part of our lives, as well as our kids’ lives, and knowing how to use it can help teach your child responsibility. It’s not difficult to grasp a basic concept of technology – it can even be educational and fun for the whole family.
2. Talk to your kids!
Finding out about what your kids are doing and what they are learning is a good thing. Explain to them the importance and dangers of technology. Find out what they already know about technology.
3. Get informed!
Know what technology your child uses, what games they play, which web sites they visit and with whom they are communicating. For young children, give them an approved list of web sites.
4. Be interested!
Let your child know you’re interested in what they are doing. Ask them questions about the technology they are playing with. Maybe even play a game, surf the web or have them explain how a gadget works. You know they sometimes know better on how to use a type of technology than you do.
5. What is inappropriate behavior?
If you or your child encounters inappropriate behavior — whether it’s violent video games, cyber-bullying or online predators — don’t just let it go. Act on it, whether it’s talking to your child, bringing the subject up with another child’s parents or reporting it to the appropriate authorities.
6. Get a Family computer!
Encourage your children to regard it as a resource for everyone to use. Give each of them separate IDs and passwords, so they have a sense of ownership and privacy.
7. Personal information over the Internet – BIG NO-NO!
Explain to a child that he or she must never give out personal information. Family e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, birth dates, home addresses, family details, photos, etc. should all be closely guarded and for family use only. Although social networking sites ask for and encourage sharing this information, your child should know that protecting his and his family’s identity should be one of his top priorities.
8. Use Internet filtering or monitoring software.
It’s not necessary to check up on your children 24/7. If you have the right website blockers, family setting or even software to help monitor what they can see and do, then you don’t need to check up on them all the time.
9. Don’t open unknown or suspicious files.
Help your child understand what a suspicious file looks like and what they might do.
10. Talk to other parents.
Find out what other parents might have gone through. They might also have things or ideas that you haven’t thought of.
Do you have any more tips to share?