Parents around the world want more than anything to have trust in their children. And they should. There is no reason why there should be a break of trust in children up to their teenage years before they begin to discover adulthood.
But unfortunately, even the most innocent of children will at some point in their young lives, stumble across online material either through a video trend, accidental search engine results or through a friend.
The Internet is an excellent tool for information and education but when it is used correctly. Without restrictions, we are simply sending our children into an adult world and are completely unaware of how their minds are being shaped as a result of misuse of the Internet.
What Can We Do?
Education, communication and parental controls. These are the 3 key points to put in place once the Internet becomes a part of a family’s life.
Schools play a vital role in a child’s education. When it comes to the Internet, there are Company’s such as Cybersafe Kids who have the necessary skills & services to provide that education for both staff and pupils in schools
For Parents, it is all about that communication. Internet usage at home doesn’t mean a Parent can set that particular activity to automatic even if they have restrictions in place. Instead, use the internet as a tool of communication between parents and children. Explore, research, play games, educate and by doing this, you will have an open channel of communication with your child of the positive use of the Internet. You can be aware of the kind of material your child is accessing and you can make them aware of what signs to look out for if something potentially harmful should arise.
In conjunction with the above, Parental Controls are an absolute must have within a home and ‘On The Go’ mobile devices. There is a reason why adult films have an age rating, there is a reason why alcohol is not served to people under 18 and why we always advise our children not to speak with strangers. There is no difference with the internet. The outside world exists within your home and it has that access through your internet devices. This is why as Parents, we need to have those boundaries in place so we have the confidence that our children are protected while using the Internet and can turn this powerful tool into something positive, instead of leading them down a dark path.