It is no surprise that growing up in the modern world is very different from the childhoods of decades past. One of the biggest parts of this change is due to computers and new technologies — there are so many people today that believe that their childhood without modern technology was much better than the ones today’s kids have. The latter is disputable – instead of radio shows, kids can actually watch movies or cartoons, and 3D cinema is much more spectacular than the drive-in cinemas we used to have.
Yes, kids today may not think that playing a make-believe war with sticks used for guns is actually an entertaining way to spend their free time. Yet, lamenting about their tainted childhood is not fair – it is just different. And those claiming that today’s technologies are bad simply don’t understand that it is people who make the wrong use of these conveniences.
If you are a parent, you are probably worried about your child being plugged into the net on a daily basis. The main reason for being worried is the fact that Internet today is a huge network where anyone can find whatever they are looking for. If you want to be sure that your children are safe and sound on the Internet, the following tips will be helpful for you.
1. Show Interest In Your Child’s Online Success
This one is simple, and actually takes cues from real life. Remember when you were a child yourself, and your parents would pin all your paintings to the wall? Did it make you happy and proud? It works the same for your child.
If your kid happens to create something on the Internet, be sure to support their work and show everyone that you are proud. This will help get rid of the confusion children tend to feel about their parents being present in their online life. It may also give them a huge push to achieving their dreams and goals.
2. Embrace Their Online Social Life
Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network, be sure to friend or follow your kid. This will be a simple and non-intrusive way to monitor their online activities. Be sure not to interact too much though – liking and commenting on every post may seriously annoy anyone (not only your child), and your curiosity will result in being blocked from seeing their posts for good.
3. Play Games Together
It’s a pity, but it’s true – there are too many people who believe that modern games make children aggressive, provoke depression, and encourage dangerous behaviors. The game itself can never do any harm – the key is to choose the right game. Kids are different, and so should be the console games you choose – there is plenty of cool stuff out there which may help your child become more active (think of Xbox with Kinect – it offers you the chance to play tennis indoors, as well as practice other active games). RPGs can even help with your kid’s psychological problems.
You will be surprised by how much laughter and happiness you will have together. Playing games will strengthen your relationships and help you become closer, which is the key to a child’s security – they will be frank with you about everything they do, and this may one day save your family from sad surprises.
4. Make Use Of New Technologies
If you are a paranoid parent, make a use of practical ways to monitor your child’s activities. Parental monitoring apps and programs will help you prevent youngsters from seeing unsolicited materials online, as well as block them from talking to suspicious strangers.
Yet, these things don’t have to be your main tactics. It is essential that you talk to your child in a way that respects their freedom and privacy, and encourages them to be honest. Be understanding and they will not be afraid to tell you about what is happening to them online.
5. Switch Off From Being A Parent To Being A Friend
Unlike your own parents, you have no right to say new technologies are bad for your child – you use them every day yourself, and you know that the biggest problem with the Internet is actually the person who is sitting in front of the computer screen. So, it is your task to teach your kid about online life and the dangers it might bring. Concentrate more on practical things rather than morals.
Featured photo credit: Sierra College via flickr.com