Teaching kids the importance of creating a balance when it comes to their use of digital devices cannot be underestimated. It can be particularly challenging to promote a balance in the use of tech in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Read on for some advice on helping kids strike a healthy balance.
Making sure that safety settings are set up on any smartphones or other digital devices is a reassurance as a parent. While safety settings are not a 100% guarantee of safety, they are a great start. Every device is different, and it would be important that you read the information about safety settings that come with the device that you have purchased and also make sure that regular updates are downloaded as these will keep your safety settings up to date.
Also, it is a good idea when creating a password that it is not an obvious one, i.e. a date of birth or incorporates a house number for example. Regardless of what password you choose, you should change it regularly in order to protect against hacking and to remain secure.
As always the run up to holiday time can mean that there is an increased amount of screentime for all the family! This can be particularly relevant if there is an abundance of new devises in the house. As much as possible encourage and promote balance, when it comes to the amount of time spent on screens. A good way to gauge the right amount of time to spend on screens would be to use the Zeeko 5:1 Rule, for every 1 hour of screentime there should be 5 hours of real-world activity, (time spent away from screens.). Activities like playing board games can be a great way of spending time together as a family.
Should your child be online and experience something negative, remind them of the importance of the Stop, Block Tell Rule should your child encounter something that makes them feel uncomfortable when they are online. They should Stop what they are doing, Block the person who has or is upsetting them and finally that they should Tell a trusted adult usually their parent what they have experienced.
For older children, remind them of the importance of only sharing information with friends that they know and trust when they are online. It is easy to get caught up in the moment when using a new device and to forget that things that are shared online cannot be easily removed or deleted. A digital footprint can have a long-lasting impact on areas like career progression. Obviously at the moment of sharing something online this is not to the forefront of people’s minds!
Technology has revolutionized our world, it has made communication easier particularly over recent months. As the saying goes, everything in moderation and this is never more apt than when it comes to the use of technology.