Keeping tabs on our children’s online activities is tough, and shielding them from online dangers is a huge challenge. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA was enacted to protect children against inappropriate online content. However, almost a third of social media users are minors, according to an article released by Consumer Reports. Most of these children (below 13 years old) are either subjected to cyber-bullying or online harassment. These online incidents could’ve been prevented through parental supervision.
High-speed internet connectivity and smartphone have become daily necessities. This worries most parents since technology continues to evolve. However, they play an important role in digital literacy. As schools are teaching the basic principles of online safety, parents can help reinforce digital literacy at home. Here are some cyber parenting tips on digital literacy and teaching our kids about online safety.
Follow the latest trends in technology
Technological innovations occur at break-neck speed. Every day, new smartphones, mobile apps, and social media platforms are introduced. Following these tech trends could be difficult for most parents. Organizations such as iKeepSafe offer workshop to guide parents about online safety and the latest trends in technology. These include online ethics, relationships, and behavior. These workshops give parents a perspective on how their children use their smart devices and the internet. When parents begin to understand how technology affects our lives, it helps them in guiding their children’s online behavior. Following the latest trends in technology will help you make better decisions based on the first-hand experience.
Digital literacy starts at an early age
Kids today are spending more time online. These tech-savvy, digital natives connect, communicate, and create through different digital spaces. Although the Internet is an excellent resource for learning and communicating, it also brings several parenting challenges which need to be addressed. Kid are naturally curious and digital literacy needs to start at an early age. Start by teaching them about the Internet and how it works. Tell your kids about online safety and why certain websites should be avoided. While browsing online, teach them to be courteous to the people they meet online. Encourage them to ask questions as you both explore the Web. Remember that digital literacy is an important part of raising today’s children.
Set boundaries but give them space
Parents and their children (especially teens) argue about boundaries. Children see boundaries as a form of punishment and they find ways to go around them. Setting online boundaries is important to keep them safe online. Online security experts believe that a 2-hour per day of online use is ideal for children. Set areas around the house and hours which they’re allowed to use their gadgets or browsing online. It’s like enforcing the house rules with added restrictions. Discuss these rules with your children to avoid arguments. Offer screen time or online usage as a reward for good behavior, finishing assigned chores, or good grades. Setting boundaries are important but don’t forget to give them their virtual space.
Parents should always be their best source of information
Keeping a balance between having an open mind and respecting your children’s privacy is part of digital parenting. A digital-literate parent means teaching our kids to be critical thinkers in the real and digital world. Their schools teach them how to solve both simple and complex problems. As parents, we need to remind to think critically while online. They should be able to make critical decisions on their own, especially when you’re not around. Always pay attention to their activities and interests. This will encourage them to discuss anything with you. Create a strong bond with your children by becoming the best source of information. Good parenting helps children become responsible Netizens.
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