Technology and the internet have grown to be such a huge impact in our modern lives that it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it.
It has even come to the point that excluding our children from it is no longer an option. With such a widespread influence, it is important to remember that cyberspace is still unpredictable and erratic.
However, by creating a safe environment, parents can protect their children and make their cyber experience a fun and healthy one.
Teach Them How to Stay Safe
Educating your children is the first step parents should take when introducing kids to the computer and the internet. By making sure they know how to use both hardware and software properly, you will safeguard your kids against hidden dangers. This is very important due to children’s innate curiosity. Make sure that they don’t tamper with the electricity by themselves or open the various computer components. Moreover, teach children what programs they can run, in order to ensure the safety of your important documents and files. Possibly the best thing to do when getting kids started into the cyber world is getting an older or a less advanced computer model.
Create a Safe Environment
Child-proofing your internet is a quintessential step in ensuring your child’s safety online. First off, it is very important to install an anti-virus program because viruses are unpredictable, sometimes visual and explicit, and they can pose a serious threat to children. You can also do a lot to create a safe cyber environment by blocking pop-ups, adjusting privacy settings, and creating passwords for specific files or folders.
Set Up Rules
Another vital step in your children’s cyber education program is to teach them how to take care of themselves online and how to interact with other people on the web. The most important rule is “Never give out personal information”. Teach them that if a site or person requires personal information from them, they should always come to you first. Also, create an environment that satisfies their curiosity so it doesn’t get the better of them and expose them to unwanted content. This can be done by getting them involved in a particular topic that they find interesting.
You should spend time with your kids when they are online. This will give you the opportunity to monitor their online activity and indirectly control what’s going on. Apart from this, you will have a chance to learn what interests your child and introduce them to similar material online. By interacting with your children, they will let you into their world. Once they let you in, you will get to know their thoughts and feelings about various subject matters. Not only that, but you will better understand your child and cement their trust in you. This subtle way of parent supervision will teach children that your presence is a good thing. It will create a fun, healthy, and safe cyber environment both of you can enjoy.
The Value of Games
Teach your children to learn during their time online. By mixing entertainment and knowledge, children can develop skills and expand their minds. Children-based online brain games are great in achieving that. Online Sudoku games can improve their ability for logical thinking and pattern recognition while math games for kids are a great way to get them into simple math and develop their abstract thinking. Correspondingly, word games provide a great way of developing their vocabulary and language skills. Also, since most games have time limits, they improve children’s quick thinking, decision making, and hand-eye coordination. Their interactive nature also lets parents participate, so both of you can have fun playing them.
Limit Time Spent Online
Limit your child’s cyber time. Even though there are numerous positive advancements your child can achieve through their use of the computer and the internet, parents should never let their children spend their entire day in front of the screen. By setting rules about how much time they can spend on the computer, children will learn to appreciate it more. Not only that, but they will get less bored with the subject matter you provide them. Moreover, this enables them to obtain other important developmental aspects of their character through exercise, interaction, and play.
With technology and the internet becoming a major part in the world, opening children up to it is essential. By teaching children the right way of using it, setting up simple rules, and getting them involved in the right kind of content,you will create a safe and healthy environment for their development.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”