Kids nowadays have been spending more and more time on the internet for various online activities. Even before this pandemic happened, we have already observed that less and less children spend their free time outside their houses. Gone are the days when the streets are filled with children running around and playing traditional games. Today’s generation uses the internet to keep themselves entertained through watching Youtube videos or playing online games. As responsible parents of these millenial kids, are we aware how safe they are in this digital world? Well, you can take these tips:
- Always keep track of our children’s online activities. Monitor our kids even if they are just playing games offline or watching videos on Youtube. Always check what games they installed on their gadgets or what kind of videos they are watching. Make sure that the contents of the videos and games are kid friendly.
- Make sure to turn on/enable Parental Controls. This is a feature in the computer or a browser that restrict contents and websites that are inappropriate for kids. Most children applications also have this feature where children have to be in a certain age group for them to play a particular game or a parents’ intervention is needed in order to move to the next level. In this way, parents are able to filter what the kids can see and do online.
- Always remind our children not to give out private information. This may be a little tricky since kids may not have that sense of privacy yet but as parents we have to instill into their young minds that there are information that they cannot tell others especially to people they do not know. This is also the reason why most children’s apps do not let the kids use their real names and addresses so that private information will not be compromised.
- Don’t let our child talk to strangers. Let’s go back to basic, online or not let us always remind our kids not to talk to anyone they do not know. It is much harder on the online world because we do not see who we talk to so there is a greater risk to be deceived. We have to let our kids understand that by doing this, they are able to protect themselves from people that may hurt or use them.
- Set up rules on the use of gadgets/internet. As busy parents, we really can’t deny the fact that we let our kids use their gadgets as much as they can so that they get distracted and we can go about our daily house chores peacefully. But we have to keep in mind that children still needs our guidance when it comes to using their gadget or the internet. One way to guide them is to setup a time schedule. They can only use their gadget on a specific time frame. Or you can also do the reward system. Say for example if it is a school day, they can only use their gadgets once they are done with their homeworks or done studying. Let them understand that being able to use their gadget is a privilege and that they have to work for it for them to enjoy it. It is like a win-win situation for both the parent and the child.
The advancement of technology is inevitable and is becoming a very crucial part in our kid’s development. Letting them explore the internet is also letting them keep up with the fast evolving world. Nowadays, the internet has been reaching more and more kids, it is our responsibility as parents to ensure that the digital world is a safe place. Through our guidance, we will then be able to raise our kid’s generation to be responsible netizens.
By: Alve Anne Christy B. Bendijo
Administrative Assistant II