Kids need parental guidance to help them make the right choices in life. When it comes to drugs, alcohol and talking to strangers, parents need to talk to their kids to ensure they understand the dangers behind them. Well, the same rings true when it comes to the Internet.
Online activities can lead to Internet addictions. And, just like any other addiction, it can ruin your kids’ lives by outright ruling them. No parent wants to see their children addicted to anything, especially if it can cause them physical or emotional harm. So, what can you do to help protect your kids when they’re online?
Education is Key to Internet Addiction
As adults, we all know that education is the key to just about anything. Well, when it comes to protecting kids online, parents need to be educated about the risks and dangers online. As a parent, you need to know how to use the Internet in order to monitor your kids’ online activities.
Supervising your children online is only possible if you know how. And, this is just as important as monitoring what they watch on TV and where they go when they’re out with friends.
The other key is to educate your kids as well about online dangers and risks. They need to understand just how dangerous cyber-stalkers, online sex offenders, cyber-bullies and Internet addiction are to their everyday safety.
5 Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Internet Dangers
The best way to ensure this is to talk to your kids about the Internet. Here are a five tips to help you educate your kids about the Internet through deep conversations:
1) Start the Talks Early On
Kids watch parents using PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc… to watch movies and shows. Some parents even play games on these devices. Of course, they’ll want to do the same. And, that’s precisely when the talks should begin about Internet safety. As soon as your kid begins using any type of online device, start having talks about proper online behavior regularly.
2) You Initiate the Conversations
If you wait until your kids come to you about online dangers, things may be already out of hand. So, it’s important that you go ahead and initiate the conversation yourself. These talks should take place during everyday moments. Let simple things trigger the conversations, such as news stories related to texting and driving or cyberbullying.
3) Discuss Your Own Expectations
Be honest about what you expect from your child when it comes to online activity. Teaching your kids your own personal values helps them make wiser decisions in tricky situations. So, be very specific about what’s acceptable and what’s off limits.
4) Be Persistent and Patient
It’s important to reiterate things in small doses with kids. Keep having these talks about online safety. Being persistent ensures that a message they may have missed yesterday, may actually sink in today.
5) Listen Carefully Without Judging
Let your kids talk about their own feelings about various online dangers. Be sure to discuss online experiences they’ve had or heard about from peers. And, no matter what they share with you, don’t judge them. Simply discuss your feelings and come up with solutions to keep them safe.
This article was written by Tyler Jacobson. Need assistance talking to your kids about internet safety? Contact Liahona Academy – A School Dedicated to Helping Troubled Teens today.