Our children all grow up, and their increasing independence can come as a shock to many parents. In years gone by it was hard enough to manage but nowadays parents have the internet to deal with as well. The reality is that children will extend their new found independence online as well as in the real world, yet sometimes they are unaware of the dangers that lurk there.
Anyway here’s a few pointers that might help parents stay in touch with their children’s online life.
Stay Involved – This is important, try and keep involved with what your child is doing online. For instance if they spend loads of time on Facebook, create your own account and send your kids a friend request, this will allow you to see the majority of their public activities and stay in touch.
Set Boundaries – kids on the internet respond just as well to limits and boundaries online as they do in the offline world. Make the boundaries reasonable and discuss them with your children.
Consider Parental controls – these help you implement boundaries. They can work on virtually any online platform and can help control your children’s online activity. Again be reasonable, don’t try and behave like a despotic regime and block everything. If you do your children will soon discover avoidance sites and proxies like this site – and your parental controls will end up being null and void.
Tell them What to do if something goes wrong – every child should know what to do if they have a problem when online. Knowing what to do when you’re worried or need help is vital for children exploring their online world. Be there for your child to approach without fear of repercussions or punishment.
Of course your children will push back the boundaries in the virtual world, it’s called exploring. However an involved parent will get an early warning if there are issues or problems happening with regards to your children. The internet is a part of all our lives now whatever our opinions on it, parent’s would be well advised to stay up to date !