How to keep your child healthy on the internet?
According to global estimates by UNICEF, one in three internet users is a child under 18 years.
Mobile phones are the most popular devices children use to access the internet. Among the many activities by children on the internet, video clips are the most popular among boys and girls. Encouraging healthy internet use helps minimize the negative impact of the internet on your child. Here are five ways to keep your child healthy on the internet.
Ensure to set parental locks on all of your gadgets that the children use to access the internet. These include; smart TV, gaming consoles, phones, laptops, and desktops. Lock inappropriate links and channels to bar unsupervised access. Remember that your children don’t own the devices. Enlighten your children about age restriction, balance, showing respect for their desires and how to use those devices, and come to an amicable agreement on which sites to visit and the ones that are prohibited.
Use the internet along with your child
Navigating the internet with your child encourages social rather than isolated use and offers a conducive atmosphere for you and your child to discuss staying safe online. It’s essential to show a respectful interest in what the child is doing even when using the internet independently. Showing genuine concern about what your child is doing online may seem like gawking to your teenagers, but it pays to make them understand the importance of abiding by the rules.
Show them how to avoid filters
AI used by online companies to filter contentment depending on your likes and preferences only reinforces current interests rather than suggesting new topics. This doesn’t help children to develop into responsible all-rounded human beings. Teach your children how to interrupt these by searching and exploring new topics of interest.
Talk to your children about body image
The internet and mainstream media have over-glorified certain body types as beautiful and acceptable body images in the recent past. It’s crucial to talk to your child about body image from a young age, emphasizing that what they see online is not necessarily a perfectly healthy body image. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and keeping fit is the ultimate goal of staying healthy. When you watch online clips and videos with your child, you can point out things that aren’t realistic. Spend some time to remind your child that they are perfect just as they are, rather than focusing on flaws.
Monitor for a shift in behavior and mood
If your child’s mood, signs of grooming, or attitude change, you should be the first to take note as the parent. Watch out for changes like a child isolating themselves, keeping to themselves, and avoiding their friends. Approach them and talk to them, expressing your concern and discussing with them any online or offline avenues to seek help from. Though difficult for many parents, we need to talk openly about the sex topic at this age rather than letting them find out by themselves online. Being completely open and friendly with your children will help them open up when something is bothering them.
Lead by example
Our children learn technology from us. What we do is what they ape. Therefore, it is crucial that what we do in their presence resonates with what we encourage them to do. Show your child that you can unplug every once and a while, encouraging them to do the same.
Promote good sleep habits
Encourage all members of your house to turn off their devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. All gadgets like phones and computers should be left outside the bedroom to deter midnight or early morning browsing. Don’t forget; it’s important to lead by example.
When faced with a dilemma, some parents opt for the unpopular move of banning their children from the internet. Banning children from the internet is seldom helpful. Research has shown numerous benefits to young people on the internet. Online tutorials and social channels tailor-made for children have proved beneficial to children. Connecting with friends and relatives has also become popular and healthy on the internet. Therefore, parents should watch what their children are consuming on the internet and focus on the positives to ensure that their children are healthy on the internet.