According to a Google survey (January 2019), kids’ top online safety issue in the classroom is cyberbullying.
It’s hard to keep track of what your kids are up to when working from home, maintaining a work-life balance, cooking, cleaning, and babysitting kids. Still, you must always know if your kids face any trouble, especially when using the internet.
Read on for more information.
#1. Cyberbullying Exists
21% of parents of kids between the age of 12 to 18 reported cyberbullying.
Parents monitoring their kids’ internet use are likely to report cyberbullying compared to other parents. But unfortunately, when kids don’t share such information, it’s hard to report anything.
When you are not aware of the challenges your kids face online, you have no clue what’s going on in their life. Of course, your kids have an online life and a real life. But unfortunately, sometimes, they prefer being in the virtual world where bullies await to pounce on them. So, kids need to be safe when using the internet.
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#2. You Don’t Know Who Is On The Other Side
Your kids are naive. They don’t know who is talking to them or playing with them. Someone they may think of as a friend could be a stranger or an older person. It could be anyone!
Your kids may give out personal information like name, address, phone number, date of birth, or other sensitive information.
It’s vital to be on the safe side. Always ask your kids about their friends. You must know who they are playing with, both in real life and online.
#3. Predators Are Real
According to Child Crime Prevention & Safety Center, 500,000 (estimated) online predators are active each day. Unfortunately, it means your child could be in danger without you knowing.
Your kids need to be safe in the real world and the online space. Predators are pretending to be friends of children. They can attract the children by showering them with gifts. You must teach your kids about the dangers of the online world or play online games with your child to be on the safe side.
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#4. Not Everyone Is Trustworthy
You never know who to trust. Anyone keeping an eye on the child may start playing games with kids online, or they may add the child on social media.
Apart from predators and strangers, it could be a family member pretending to be a well-wisher online. But, when it comes to the safety of your kids, whether online or in-person, you need to be vigilant.
It’s best to ask your kids and have an open conversation on such topics. If your child feels uneasy or is weird, it’s time for serious talk. Be extra careful if your kids feel uncomfortable around a particular adult in the family. Remind your kids that you are in their favor.
#5. Kids Have Limited Knowledge
No matter how smart your kids’ act, they are still kids. Your kids have limited knowledge, and they are not aware of the dangers of life.
The innocent minds could trust anyone. They may not know how to say no to a tricky mind. Your kids must be your top priority, and their safety has to be your number one concern. You know better!
What Can You Do as A Parent?
Being a parent, it’s your responsibility to establish some ground rules in the family.
Consider the following:
- Limit the screen time for the kids. Don’t let the kids play online for too long.
- Make sure computers or smart devices are in the common room. If your child seems irritable, ask what happened.
- Establish trust from an early age. Encourage your kids to share their issues.
- Provide solutions! It’s easy to find faults in what your kids do, but it’s best to stop the blame game and act according to the situation.
- Familiarize yourself with games and social media platforms your child uses. How do you expect to help your child if you do not know?
- Let your kids know if you plan on using any app or software on the phone that can track activities. You don’t mean to spy, but you need to see if they are in danger for the kid’s safety. Talk to your kids about what’s acceptable and what’s a big no.
Wrapping It Up
Each family is different. What works for some parents may not work for others. You must know the most viable solution for your kids and their obsession with the online world. Try keeping your kids safe and sound online and in the real world.