Christmas is over, the year 2018 is here, shocking right? This may not come as a surprise to you but the most wanted items on Christmas wish lists for 2017 were new technology devices.
Is your house now over come with PS4’s, Xboxes, iPods, iPhones, Tablets, Nintendo’s? The list goes on. Are you wondering when devices that used to be fun became dangerous? Do you have a million questions running around your head now about how to protect your child online?
If the answer is yes and you are feeling like a duck out of water with all the “newness” then don’t panic, we’ve got some tips for you!
We have compiled these 5 steps on how to survive the new technology in your house.
1. Don’t be afraid of technology.
It’s a new era. Don’t be afraid of technology, embrace it. Our children are lucky to be growing up in a time when education is available at the tip of their fingers. Literally.
Yes, this does come with a lot of concerns but if managed properly, keeping your child safe on the Internet is actually pretty easy and it can be a fun way for you and your child to bond and earn each other’s trust.
We recommend that you sit your child down with their device and you set some rules in place for what you will and will not accept in regards to the Internet. Download our free printable “house surfing rules guide” here.
2. Learn something new!
Take time to learn what your kids are into. After all, we are the ones who buy them the technology so why not learn what is so good about them?
Our kids are so tech savvy these days and they might enjoy teaching you about new apps, games etc. Why not meet your kids where they are at and communicate in the new way they are used to.
Pop them a WhatsApp or Snapchat to let them know dinner is ready and use iKydz to stop the Internet to all your kids’ devices for the duration of your meal. It’s kind of nice to be able to chat to your kids every now and then!
3. Set screen time boundaries.
Set some new rules in place with your children. Decide on a sufficient amount of time that you are happy for your child to be online or in front of a screen and talk to your child about it. You can apply these agreed schedules using iKydz, and that makes it easy for you to ensure that your “contract” is not broken! You can always give your kids more time online, if you feel that you want to.
This may sound easier said than done we know, but early implementation of screen time rules is crucial. Published reports show that our children are spending over 3 hours per day in front of a screen.
Our information from actual, recorded usage shows that this figure is higher, and can be up to over 5 hours per day. When you take into account that they are in school for 6/7 hours of the day, this is a lot of time.
We are all really busy as parents these days and it can be easy for us to forget how long the kids have been online. Maybe we need to consider applying some easy-to-use controls!
4. Open up lines of communication
Whether your child is new to the world of the Internet this year or they’ve been watching random people play games on YouTube for a while, you need to have the talk with them about online safety, cyber bullying and the effects of it.
Once kids know that they can come to their parents/guardians with any questions or worries about something they may have seen or being effected by, they are more likely to open up to you about how they’re feeling etc.
If your child feels unsafe to be honest with you then they are more likely to keep quiet about what is going on in their world, online. We all want our children to be happy and safe. Don’t be afraid of opening the lines of communication.
5. Stay up to date on the latest apps that kids are using.
Yes, we know that this seems a little overwhelming but as the old saying goes. Better safe than sorry. We don’t expect you to learn the ins and outs of every mobile app that is trendy but it can do no harm to do your research on some of the more popular ones.
Arm yourself with education about these apps which will allow you the freedom to check your children’s devices but also allow you to set boundaries with your kids.
If you know that Yellow app is now Yubo, or Snapchat has just updated their Geo settings, you’ll be able to discuss this with your kids and instead of just telling them “No” and risk a nasty teenage backlash, you can discuss your reasons and concerns regarding said apps and why they are restricted.
The good news is that we’ve made it easy for you. If you want to keep up-to-date with all the latest on what the kids are using these days, just subscribe to our regular newsletter and we’ll send you the information. How easy is that?!