There’s so much to monitor but so little time. If staying aware of the digital roads your kids travel feels like a full time job—don’t worry—that means you are doing something right! It’s the blessing-curse of the 21st century that with the immeasurable benefits of technology comes even more responsibility.
While there will likely always be areas of online safety that will slide from time to time make sure you are not making these 3 big mistakes:
- Taking age limits lightly. A number of social networks and apps require (or “recommend”) an age limit to join. Without a way to enforce such rules, the age limit warning essentially serves as a red flag to parents. It’s hard to back pedal once you’ve the age limit requirement slide. Discuss age limits with your kids and why they are in place. Direct your kids to age-appropriate sites. And, as always, invest in the appropriate Internet filtering software.
- Allowing PCs (and other devices) in kids’ bedrooms. With the surge of smart phones, tablets and iPads, it’s becoming nearly impossible to physically be present to monitor all of your kid’s online activity. However, you can do it with some extra diligence. Once you compromise on this rule, it’s tough to reverse without an argument.
- Being passive about privacy and safety. “Hoping” your kids make good choices online, is not the best parenting strategy in today’s world. And, allowing kids to “run the show” when it comes to their digital life, is opening the door to trouble for both you and your kids. Setting expectations early in a child’s life and committing to safety education will be key to how well your kids understand the power—and the responsibility—of using technology. With the dangers that exist online, it’s imperative for parents to take the lead on safety and install parental controls to monitor online activity. Following up with education and open conversation is the best way to ensure kids understand the rewards and risks of life online.