Using the internet is always a two-edged blade. You can get so many benefits such as communication, information and other services that it doesn’t make any sense not to stay connected. But the internet is also a way for people with malicious intent to do what they do best, and people who aren’t aware or are too trusting are always the victims.
You may be a responsible adult who’s aware of the dangers of the interne, but your kids may not have the same awareness and perception as you. But restricting them too much may actually let their schoolwork suffer. So the key you need to find is a balance between their usage and your monitoring.
So before you give your kid the password to the house Wifi connection, try the following:
1. Set a schedule.
Kids need to know when they’re allowed to use the internet. Typing a paper or listening to music can be done without the internet so you can actually only allow them an hour or two to surf during school days. Other parents may want to restrict internet usage on school days all together much like what parents in older generations did with television. Contrary to popular belief with your kids, no one dies from not updating their Facebook status.
2. Chores first.
You can always tell your kids to make sure all their chores and responsibilities are done before they can use the internet. This way, they may even think to do their chores automatically and just notify you that they’re done, expecting to be able to use the internet.
3. No talking to strangers.
One of the many exciting things about going online is meeting new people. This is also an inherent danger on the internet. You child may claim he or she is talking to fan of a show when it can actually be a stalker or scammer. Be sure to instill in your child wariness for people they haven’t seen in person.
4. Protect your identity.
Just as they shouldn’t trust people they haven’t seen in person on the internet, you shouldn’t be so quick to prove who you are to people you don’t know. Giving out pictures or personal information is a no-no. This goes hand in hand with not talking to strangers.
5. Social media is for 18+.
You may think that Facebook is harmless for your teenagers but there’s a reason that it requires you to be at least 18 years of age to register. This is easily circumvented, but if you are aware, you can let your child have a profile but you get to monitor it regularly. If you think your kid is responsible enough, you can even let him or her have the profile privately, but check in on it often.