As children become more and more exposed to the internet and digital media at an early age, it is more important than ever to begin educating them about the dangers of the internet and how to stay safe online as early as possible.
The internet can be a helpful place for children – they can use it to keep busy with games, access online learning resources such as Frog Street, and more. It can also expose them to potential dangers, however, so it is more important than ever to teach them how to be safe online.
Here are a few tips for talking to your child about internet safety.
Start the Conversation ASAP
If your child is one of many who will be using the internet on their own tablet or computer device, it’s important to begin conversations about keeping them safe as early as possible. The younger your child is when you begin teaching them about protecting their privacy and safety online, the more likely it is that this conversation will stick with them and shape the way they use the internet as they grow up.
Include Your Child in Decisions
Unfortunately, when parents tell their children what they can and cannot do, children oftentimes are more likely to do the opposite. Allowing your child to be included in the decision making process when it comes to rules and big decisions can help. Set firm rules and let your child know what is and is not okay to do online, but also hear their input and allow them to make decisions as appropriate.
Be a Good Role Model
The best way to ensure that your kids are staying safe online is leading by example. Show your child that you are able to follow the rules you have set for them; for example, if there are certain times in the day that they are not allowed to be online (during homework time, before bed, etc), you should also refrain from using your phone or personal computer at this time.
Maintaining open and honest communication with your child as they begin navigating the digital world is the key to ensuring that they will stay safe. Talking to your child about internet safety and being a good role model for them will ensure that they are protected.