I have always wanted to know about the things parents can do when raising kids in a digital world like ours, in other to make all their efforts worth the struggles put to it. Apparently, the primary reason parents grant the children access to technological trends is to allow them gather information and be creative in some ways; irrespective of the languages they speak, the country they are from and the regular traditions being practised in their respective communities. They are being given the chance to connect with friends and learn a whole lot. Lot of skills and talents were developed through what our children see and read, and they soon become fully educated citizens to contribute meaningfully to their communities. These excludes the risk involved while seeking information which some parents understood.
Fact is, it is only by understanding the dangers and threats when using the internet that parents can guide and protect their in order to have a safer internet experience. I had thought this should bother parents in some ways but lately, I realized it doesn’t. Everything is in their reverse mode now as parents no longer pay attention to how their children interact online. A lower percentage of our children when asked, believed they spent a very limited time online compared to how others might have concluded. The actual fact again, is that they never realize how much time they have being spending online unless parents call their attention to it atimes. They increasingly see the digital world as important as a necessity to be involved in their daily activities. Only few of them knew and admit to spending a whole lot of their time online.
However, it is not about the time they spent on the internet that matters the most here, but what they do, the stuffs they read and the things they see and watch.
Are we even aware of what our children see and read online?
Many contents are available online for users who seek information – Yes, and with a lot of search engine results, users are exposed to contents which might also be inappropriate. Filtering results when displayed is a very easy thing for the grown ups unless when an intentional attempt is made towards viewing those contents. Children might seek information deliberately though. But do we ever think of other similar but “dirty” results generated by search engines which could attract their attention for a click?
So, while a very few number would accidentally stumbled on inappropriate sites without even knowing how they got their, others would deliberately visit such sites. Kids will always be smart. They want to try virtually everything they see online in the real world. The few ones who are yet to try those things out were still looking for the opportunity.
The other day, a boy who was believed to have watched a scene in a video was seen trying to tie a short rope to his neck. This could best described a scene where an attempt to suicide was made. That is why parents need to get involved on the activities of their children online. As a parent, you need to periodically check how your children relate with friends and the outside world.
More on Raising Kids in A Digital World
Parents should be mindful of the sites their children use. A once in a while check on the browser’s history goes along way in revealing sites your children had being visiting. Setting a parental control; using software programs designed for such. This easily filters out inappropriate contents and making the internet safer to use for the children.
Learn what they do online by sitting with them once in a while. Let them know about safety precautions. Let them understand that virtual safety and that of the real world has no much difference. The precaution taken in real world should also be applied to the digital world too.