In the seemingly virtual world of today, our children are exposed to technology in a manner that may prove harmful if not checked. Born into a digital world, children today have more opportunities to engage with online content. Amidst a flurry of activities, such as schoolwork, playtime and other things, children find time to tune in to their Instagram feeds and playing video games. The delicate balancing act of trying to fit in everything right is something most parents are slowly getting familiar with. As Parents, navigating the waters of raising kids in a digital world with so many apps and sites for the first time is not an easy thing to do. Monitoring your child’s screen time is of prime importance. There are the dangers of cyber bullying, cyber predators and inappropriate content available online. Children can also be victims of phishing, a cyber crime luring individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details and password, falling for scams, posting private information and accidentally downloading malware. According to research and statistics, too much screen time has been shown to cause sleep problems, behavior issues, anxiety, obesity, cognitive delays, loss of social skills and vision problems.
There are ways in which parents can help:
Stay up to date
They can find out what apps their child is using and check them out on sites such as Smart Social.
Get online and be present
Be active on the site your children are and monitor their activity. Parents should always know their kids passwords their phones and any social media site they are on. It’s also very important to know when your child is online and what he or she is doing when online.
Be in control
There are services that monitor online activity and are affordable, award winning and proactively monitor text messages, YouTube ,emails and many other social networks for potential safety concerns, so that busy parents can save time and gain peace of mind.
Remove the temptation
Charge phones in a common area of your home so they aren’t in bedrooms at night. Don’t allow televisions or gaming systems in your child’s bedroom. This makes it easier for parents to monitor and it isn’t so tempting for the child to use when they should be going to sleep.
Sign a contract
Make your child sign a family contract that ensures he or she stays safe and balanced.