As a digital parent, one of your top missions is probably helping your child avoid the threats of the Internet and become a proper digital citizen. 🙂 One of the ways to do that is having a proper conversation on how to avoid digital dangers. Before you do that, check out these 10 mistakes parents make when talking about Internet safety.
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1. Not providing with examples
Giving only cold facts and commands that have no application in the reality: that’s the first step to NOT conveying your message. By giving examples not only your child will remember the tips better, but they will also realize why they are so important.
2. Using over complicated tech words
The vocabulary you use should be adjusted to kid’s age, their knowledge about technology and the situation. Using complicated technical vocabulary will most likely confuse them.
3.Too much information at one time
It’s important to remember that you should not have only one talk, but several conversations with time. As your child grows up, they also gain new information about the technology. Which leads us to….
4. Making it one talk only
Technology changes all the time and so does your child’s online behavior and their interests. Therefore, you should not make it only one talk, but frequent chatts on a regular basis.
5. Not doing proper research before the conversation
The worst thing you can do is giving advice based on stereotypes and prejudices. Do the proper research first, get to know how certain platforms and programs work. One way is reading the tips on the platform you are interested in (Twitter, Instagram). Another is following sites that deal with the issue of children’s safety online like Common Sense Media.
6. Not exploring as a family
Spending time together online (and offline as well 🙂 ) has many benefits like getting to know each other more. Encourage your child to tell you what they like doing online. Also, make it a habit to explore Internet as a family. It will benefit each one of you and your kid won’t be the only one who will learn something new!
7. Not willing to learn more
Even if you think you’ve mastered everything about technology, there is always some room for more knowledge. Technology keeps changing all the time, new software and programs appear every day, so learning about it is an ongoing process.
8. Not being a role model
Obviously, as an adult, you are allowed to do more online, but stick to general safety rules that apply to everyone using the Internet (for example the rule of not sharing personal information).
9. Forgetting the positive aspects of the Internet
If used correctly and responsibly, Internet can turn out to be a great educational and entertaining tool for children. If you worry about your child ending up in shady places, you can install some free Internet filters/parnetal controls like K9 Web Protection or Qustodio. Also, make a list of kids-friendly sites and frequently monitor their activities online. For a starter, check out this list of 30 fun and safe kids’ websites.
10. Setting wrong priorities
Think about the most important things you’re gonna talk about with your child. Don’t miss out on topics like cyberbullying, sharing personal information online, dealing with strangers or installing new software.
Thanks for reading and see you soon!
Magdalena | Appetite For Education