It’s important that you teach your kids techniques so that they can protect themselves when they’re online. This task will be more difficult with younger children. You may need to consider other options until your child is old enough to understand. Here are some of the things to consider for how to teach your kids to use the internet properly.
Set Usage Restrictions
Putting time limits for online usage is no different than time limits for watching TV. Your kids don’t need to spend all day plugged-in. Consider setting a timer so that you can keep better track of how much time your kids are spending online. This may be easier to do if the computer is in a centralized location. It will also allow you to see the sites that your kids are visiting. This may spark a conversation about which sites are appropriate for them to use.
Install Parental Control Software
Another safeguard that you can use to protect your kids is to install a parental control software program. Some companies, like Phoenix Internet, know that you may be able to talk to your internet service provider for recommendations about this. Some providers have a built-in service or know of one that works well for your needs. Another feature that you may be able to install is a timer. This would lock the internet out after the assigned time had expired for your child.
Monitor Their Screen Time
Anytime your child is on the internet, you need to be aware of what they’re doing. This provides you with the opportunity to instruct your child about the appropriateness of the internet if you know how they’re using it. You may find that some sites are more prone to inappropriate pop up ads than other. Investigating and being involved will help to keep your children safe online.
Discuss Safety Precautions
Have the conversation about the dangers that the internet can pose. Your child may not be aware that what they’re doing could be a problem. Don’t try to sugarcoat things with them. Be as honest and straightforward as possible. Some kids may be following the rules that you’ve stated, but have found a loophole that you didn’t consider. Social media posts are a good example of where you can provide constructive feedback. Look at other people’s posts and ask your child if they’re appropriate or not.
The internet is becoming fair game for younger and younger children. You have to be even more vigilant in order to teach your kids the right way to use it.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter @RachelleWilber