It is not easy for the modern age parent to navigate the responsibilities of watching children safety online in today’s technology age. The headlines today are full of online dangers regarding identity theft, cyberbullies, predators, sexting, and it can be trickier for parents who are not conversant with online matters.
Today, many teenagers are connected online and admit the internet is important to them; parents can guide them using a well thought out choices and harness technology to strengthen family connections. Teens mostly spend their time online to play games, watch videos on YouTube, and to chat on social media with friends and strangers as well. If parents were to spend more time learning about their teen’s safety online and what they do, it could enhance our family life through the responsible use of technology. Below are ways that parents can use the internet to help strengthen family bond:
Guide Children ways of identifying trustworthy People Online
Some of the dangers that happen online today are whereby cyberbullies and predators use fake profiles and employ phishing tactics to lure their victims. You should accompany your children as they go online to help them know the kind of people to interact with, know, and trust in real life. You can even friend them online to learn more about their activities. Going the extra mile to know their passwords, usernames, and familiarizing yourself with the sites and the apps they use is a way of knowing them online and offline, which may encourage them to trust you with any information.
Use Social Media Apps to Socialize and connect with the Family
As a family, you can take advantage of free texting within your family as nowadays, most phone providers promote that. As your children grow, you can make it a condition to be on their friend’s list to keep in touch and learn more about their activities. You can even encourage your broader family network to have a social media account where you connect, talk, share family moments, photos, and updates rather than waiting until for many days to meet as a family.
Enjoy the Internet Together
Technology is a great tool and can help you as a family to have fun by connecting with your children and even other family members. You can take some moments to share funny pictures or playing online games together.
Use Online Calendars to Organize Everyone’s Schedules
Rather than creating family schedules using the traditional methods, you can take advantage of digital calendars available. You can use Google calendar to plan an event together with your children, reminders, appointment, and more. The good thing is these online are accessible across all gadgets, including computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
Follow Your Children Online Activities
Make it a habit of checking your teen’s online activities to learn more about what they post and who they interact with. Many young people will not tell you the truth about what they do online, and while you may trust them, personally spying in a friendly way can help you learn more about them. A recent US study showed that around 70% of teenagers admit hiding their activities online from their parents.
You may not learn all things they do as some teenagers are very smart to conceal their activities, but learning a couple of things and talking to them can turn away their habits altogether.
When you train your children to use the internet the right way, not only does that benefit your family, but the society as well. Responsible use of the internet to your children can be instrumental by avoiding them to learn negative habits online and instead engage in good ones openly without hiding from you.