There is no denying that the parenting you will have to carry out these days is a whole lot different to that which your parents were doing when you were a child. After all, I’m sure the world is a completely different place now than how you remember it in your childhood.
One of the biggest differences that you might realize is the amount of tech that we use in our everyday lives. And it’s now not only adults that are becoming more reliant on technology – young children are as well.
Because of all this new tech that is now aimed at young children, many parents are not sure how to handle it in their homes. They worry that their children are constantly at risk from cybersecurity threats and that all of this screen time will prove to be damaging to their mental health and wellbeing.
Thankfully, though, there isn’t always so much to worry about. It is possible to allow your children access to this tech and still ensure that they are safe and secure while they use it. You just need to use the following as a guide to help you with your tech parenting!
Be Open With Your Communication
Firstly, it’s really useful to be open with your communications. Make sure you start plenty of conversations with your children about the types of tech they use and why they like to use it so much. You will find that the more it becomes part of your everyday conversations, then your children will find it easier to open up to you whenever they have an issue with tech, such as cyberbullying. Not only that, though, but they will keep you informed about all the TV shows they watch and the games that they play, so you have a much better understanding of how they spend their time using technology.
Use The Appropriate Parental Controls
There are a lot of parental controls that you can use to make sure that your children don’t see any content that is not age appropriate. Lots of TV service options give you the chance to use TV parental controls so that you can restrict the channels that your children can tune into. For instance, you can usually lock certain inappropriate channels and will only be able to unlock them by entering a pin number. There are similar services provided by some internet providers. They often give you the chance to enter in any URLs of websites that you want locking. Most of them can also detect age inappropriate content and will flag a warning. It’s also a good idea to add parental controls to your app store account as you don’t want your kids spending hundreds of dollars downloading apps on accident!
Did you know that it is also possible to install monitoring software on your computer? This can be particularly useful if you are worried about how your child is using the internet. You just need to install the software and then turn it on. It will then log every website that is visited while it is on. You can then take a look to make sure your child wasn’t looking at anything that they weren’t meant to. This also gives you the chance to see exactly what your children are looking at. If you aren’t too sure what a particular website could be about, you can always visit them yourself to see what they are focused on. If you aren’t too happy with the content, you can then always enter the URL into your parental control software to lock the website in the future.
Set A Good Example
As a parent, setting a good example to your children is one of the best things that you can do. This is also the case with technology as well. If you set a good example by using technology and devices in a responsible manner, then your children will do exactly the same. One way you can set a good example is by limiting your own screen time. If your kids see you constantly checking your phone or using your laptop, they will grow up thinking it is ok to have a lot of screen time every day. Of course, that isn’t the case. So, try to put your phone and tablet away at important times, such as when you eat your evening meal, and you aren’t constantly using tech, to encourage your kids to follow your fantastic example.
Keep Devices In Public Spaces
Lots of parents find that it is useful to keep all tech devices, computers, and TVs in public spaces in their homes. This ensures that you have a better idea of what your children are looking at. If your children are allowed tech intheir own bedrooms, they could find it a lot easier to look at content that is not age-appropriate. If your children do already have computers in their bedrooms, you might want to set a rule that says they need to have their door wide open whenever they are using it. You can then easily check on them to see what exactly they are looking at.