I wanna play game,” looking on her mobile screen, 4-year-old Jim insists her mom. “No, it’s not for kids!” she rejects being overprotective mother. On the other hand, 43-year-old Jessica is a busy mother. Not able to make time for her 2-year-old Adam, she brought him a tablet to watch videos. Are these two behaviors right? Here are internet usage safety rules for kids you must follow.
According to experts, both of these are two extremes. Some parents today allow free access to their children without any restrictions. But some show over-protection and excessive strictness. So, what is the right attitude to keep kids safe online. Since, there are many threats for kids on the internet including, cyber bullying, pornography, identity theft, hacking, viral attack and so on.
Safety Rules For Kids of Age 4 to 14
Dr Kimberly Young is a psychologist based in UK. She gives advises on how to keep kids away from the harmful effects online. The first step is to keep an eye. No matter, your kid is two or twelve. Keep a check on his activities online. However, this does not mean to hurt them by being rude. Just place your computer in an area where you can see their activities. It may be in your drawing room, hall or your own room. Don’t be rude to them by asking them for passwords. Instead, talk to them and inform them about the harmful effects of the virtual world. Be nicer and more open with your older kids. They are in a sensitive age where strictness cannot help.
Moreover, children expect polite and gentle treatment from their parents. A rude message given in a nice way may have a better effect then a nice message given in a rude manner. Talk about cyber bullying with them. Tell kids stories of cyber bullying and ask if they know any peer around who is cyber bullied online. Educate them to be themselves online; instead of pretending to be someone else in the virtual world. It is because this teaches them to lie.
Restrict their usage by politely telling them to prioritize work. Ensure they completed their homework first. Tell them to play physical activities as well. Don’t allow screen time of more than three hours for kids under eight.
Play video games with them and don’t allow them to play harsh or aggressive games. They affect a child’s cognitive ability. Add your kids to your social media account just to know about their interests and activities. Make them your friends online and participate with them in healthy group activities.
For tween and teens
The age is very sensitive. Kids think they have grown up, while adults think they are still kids. And the fact is teenagers are “growing kids”. They need a little different treatment. Make them your friend because they need friendliness. It is a difficult age to stop kids when all other peers and school friends have their own phones, laptops and other gadgets. Dr Kimberly says, “ask them to make a digital logbook. Give unsupervised access to internet with this condition.” Make them show you the log in which they record their internet activities. And in case, they don’t follow it, be firm to reduce their screen time for some days. Internet is very powerful source to transform your habits, so safety rules for kids is really important. Hope you will consider this seriously.
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