Let’s face facts! In today’s world, everything is about screens and connectivity. The human body is so wired up that apart from our phones, people wear smart watches and have earphones dangling from their ears.
As we live in such a world today, it is important as a parent to ensure that our children are raised in a safe digital environment.
These are 5 ways in which parents can do in raising digital youths.
#1 Don’t just make the rules, spend time with them too!!!
It is important to build trust between parent and child. This applies especially to young children as they have easy access to all sorts of ills on the internet. It is very easy to use a search engine to find pornography or violent videos on the internet. If you are in the room with them while they are surfing the internet, it reduces the chances for youths to visit dangerous site.
Furthermore, it is not possible to know who is communicating with your youths when they chat on social media or are playing online games. If both of you are in the room it is easier for the child to sound out to you if she/he receives any weird messages from strangers on the internet.
Having the trust is important as the child is able to come to you to report of any suspicious stranger who is talking to them online. This enables them to seek advice on what to do. It also enables them to come clean when watching inappropriate content on the internet. This gives parents the opportunity to educate instead of scolding them.
#2 Parental Controls
It is often a tug of war situation between giving youths freedom and having to assert parental control. However, there are moments were parents have to put down their foot down to ensure the safety of their children. Introducing Parental Controls!
Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO go and other streaming platforms have content that are not appropriate for children. There are parental controls embedded in the software. However, some parents place easy passwords and are often easily assessable to children. There are tips on creating strong passwords. See video below.
#3 Antivirus software
It is important to have a virus protection software especially if you use a windows PC. For people who are using a MAC, there is no need for virus protection as MAC operating system has their own protection software. There are many ways to get the best software for computer. See the comparison below to see which the best is for you.
|Basic Protection||Helps defend against ransomware, viruses, spyware, malware and other online threats||Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Anti-Spam, Ransomware Protection||Blocks spyware, virus and malware|
Click into the different links to access their website!
Watch video below to see the top 5 antivirus software and what they can do.
#4 Limit Screen Time
Limiting screen time is very important for children these days. There are more children that are wearing glasses due to myopia. It is becoming a problem as blue light cases deterioration of the eyes. Helping children to ensure that their eyes continue to be healthy is a parents’ responsibility. See the harmful effects of blue light below.
#5 Spending Online
Online shopping is very big nowadays. Getting a debit card for your child is something that parents have to take note of. A child in Singapore can get their own bank account at the age of 15. This means that they are able to get their own debit card to shop online. However, it is important that parents understand the ills of their child having a debit card. See the table below for more information.
Steps that we can take to ensure that the child is protected when using a debit card:
- Limit the amount that is able to be used on the debit card.
- Do not spend on unprotected websites.
- Ensure that the debit card is not linked to an account with too much money.
- Educate on how to spend wisely.
- If all fails opt for an ATM card instead of a debit card.
The 5 different ways are just the tip of the ice-berg. The 5 ways are just fundamental ways to raise safe digital youths. It depends on the character of your child so be creative when reaching out to them. What works for some youths don’t always work for others.