CHILDREN spend more time online at home than in any other environment, such as schools, so parents need to monitor how long their kids spend online, and they need to know devices are used in places where others can see them.
In any social networking sites, the parent should be a friend on those sites, and know all a child’s passwords, and when the parent calls on the phone, the child must immediately answer.
Parents should have an agreement between themselves and their kids.
Ideally from the time when a child receives their mobile phone or other device there should be agreed rules around usage. For instance, the phone needs to be in a basket by the breakfast table by 9pm.
An agreement means the kids and the parents have worked out together what is the safest way to use devices. It should be written down, and everyone should know there are consequences if the agreement is broken.
Spend time playing with your kids online.
If your children are spending a lot of time online this holidays, join them. Call of Duty is the most ghastly game, but find out what they are playing. If I want to join Instagram, get your children to show you how to join Instagram, but let them also teach you to use it more safely and in that teaching you will find out if they know what to do as well.
Learn with your child these holidays.
Spending time watching your child in the online environment to understand their behaviours. Kids love to show their parents what they can do.
If your child is pressing hard at the keyboard, find out what it is making them angry or frustrated. Don’t allow the device to become a barrier between yourself and your child – make online an environment where you can come together.
Aim to understand what it is your child is doing in the online environment, so you can relate to your child, not become an adversary.