As mobile devices becoming increasingly immersed into our modern lives, we can say that as early as now, it will continue to play a huge role in keeping our kids safe and other aspects of our children’s lives.
This is the challenge of living in this Internet-equipped world, or perhaps, a scary dillema for a parent today as we get so many news about child predators, pornography, cyber crimes, bullying, even sexting. These are major concerns really, including the safety of our kids on these mobile devices.
Mobile devices will not go anywhere – it won’t be obsolete for sure. This is why we need to be exert extra effort and be a lot smarter when it comes to helping our children adapt in this world. And for me, this means, facing the reality – don’t be scared. Instead, we should focus on helping our kids hone their skills, behaviours, to become critical thinkers whilst keeping them safe and happy users of digital technologies including mobile devices.
Our kiddos are techy now – they are pretty good at keeping their passwords safe, they know how to use kids safe browsers, and know how not to share private information online. Yup, these are some of the important lessons we need to continue to teach them especially – don’t talk to strangers even online.
But being immersed online requires skills and behaviours beyond safety measures. It needs continous support and guided lessons in honesty, critical thinking, digital resilience, self-love, empathy, and the promotion of good online habits that they can carry with them throughout their lives.
Tips To Keep Kids Safe In Cyberspace
Online, we see a lot of articles, social media posts, videos, and other stuff that opens us up to judgements and even abuse from people that we know or not – all coming from different walks of life and background all over the world. And while we would like to respect online, this is not always the case. We need to teach our kids to learn how to determine valuable content online and move on from those people whose opinions do not matter.
Our goal is to make them able withstand the very permanent and public nature of this digital world. There may always be an event that they will not be invited to, or a camping that they were excluded from – they need to know how they can deal with a lot of posts and images appearing on Instagram or Facebook, or any other social media feeds.
Teach them not to compare their lives to others. Yes, there will always be comparison online. With access to social media, there’s so much and there will always be someone better – whether it’s prettier, smarter, with more friends, more likes or more followers. We need to work on their self esteem, both in reality and the online world. Conversations about our self-love and self-worth are crucial. We need to teach them the real meaning of happiness and contentment.
Moreover, they also need to develop digital skills. They should know how to handle different situations that can or may arise online. Do they know how to stop a conversation that is going badly? Or when to speak up in a group chat when someone is getting bullied? They should know to deal with unwanted attention online, or respond to a bad comment, or react to nasty videos online. They should know how to respond and react because much of their social lives are going to be based around online conversations.
Guide them to and ensure that your kids form good online habits. Set rules like playing time, studying, when is the right time to go to bed, no devices at the dinner table, asking permission before posting pictures online. Ensure that your kids have plenty of time for family, friends, and extra curricular activities. These things establish that we are in charge of our time management, our kids’ lives, and we have control on what should and they should not do, so they won’t end up controlling us.
Our kids should be critical thinkers! We should teach them how to spot fake news, real stuff, informative blogs, and valuable content. This can be a daunting task (even for us adults), but an important skill. Critical thinking should be a continuous process every time they are online.
Keeping our kids safe and guiding them to hone their skills needed so they can adapt in this digital world is critical. There is so much more to our kids safety in cyberspace than avoiding predators. The well-being of our kids and their ability to learn, grow, and thrive will surely help them become safe and happy online – even in the real world.