How to Help Children Use Technology ResponsiblyJanuary 14th, 2021
Worried about your li’l one’s excessive exposure to tech? It might be time to teach them how to become responsible tech citizens. To help guide your kid to have a better relationship with tech, keep on reading!
The World Wide Web has become every child’s classroom today. Online learning is on a continuous rise making technology essential in your child’s daily life.
With a device in their hands, kids are given an early peek into the real world. Unfortunately, just like the real world, unpredictable things can come out of the internet.
As a parent, you need to ensure that the online spaces your kids are engaged in are safe. How can you protect your kids from the potential harm on the internet? The best way to keep your kids safe from online harm is to teach them how to use technology responsibly.
While kids today are known as digital natives, they are still in need of parental guidance. By teaching your kids how you’ll be able to trust that they will be responsible enough to make smart online decisions.
To help young ones become responsible tech citizens, you need to brush up on your online safety awareness. Ask yourself. Are you up to date with online safety tips for kids? What methods should you use to help teach tech responsibility in your household?
By educating yourself on the possible dangers children can come across online, you’ll be able to effectively guide your kids on how to be responsible digital citizens.
Limit screen time
The best way to teach online responsibility is to set rules for your kids to follow, like limiting their screen time per day. Technology will always take up a huge chunk out of your kid’s daily life. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids spend an average of 7 hours a day on a device.
When you limit their screen time, they can focus on doing fun activities with friends like playing outdoors or spending quality time with family.
Encourage offline activities
Staying glued to a device all day long stops kids from enjoying other fun activities. To have a well-rounded childhood, they need to explore and experience the joys of being a kid, offline. Parents need to find and implement a healthy and balanced routine for their kids.
Encourage your kids to run around your backyard, read a book, or play pretend doctor. While tech innovations continue to provide easy access to vast amounts of information, kids shouldn’t miss out on experiencing different methods of learning. Encourage your little ones to explore with their imagination and learn through their own physical and social experiences.
Set online safety rules
As digital natives, kids today live and breathe with technology. While your kid may be technologically inclined, this doesn’t mean that they are capable of identifying red flags online. Although your kids might be too young to fully understand the real harm the internet can potentially cause, it’s essential to educate them on the importance of privacy. And how their personal information needs to be protected.
Just like limiting their screen time, you can set rules that would help them make smart and responsible decisions online. Here are some effective rules kids can easily follow:
- ALWAYS notify a parent or trusted adult of any hurtful or scary online communication
- Do NOT reveal any personal information such as location, school, home address, or phone number.
- Do NOT share passwords (aside from a trusted guarding).
- Do NOT agree to meet a stranger online.
- Do NOT respond to abusive/threatening emails, messages, etc.
As a parent, it’s essential to inform your kids that not everything online should be trusted. Let them know that just like going outside, there are things that you must always keep in mind to stay safe online. Like not talking to strangers or leaving the house without a guardian.
Lead by example
Aside from all the useful tips mentioned above, the most effective way to teach kids responsibility online is to lead by example. As a parent, you are the biggest influence in your child’s life. How you present yourself, communicate, and act has a huge impact on them.
Kids are young and impressionable. What they see in their day-to-day will be significantly absorbed and shape who they will become. To ensure that your child becomes a responsible tech user, you need to be that person, too. Follow the same rules you teach your kids.
Teaching them how to use technology responsibly will help develop their decision–making skills and, most importantly, prepare them for the real world.