The majority of children have an access to the Internet and technology on a daily basis, which is very disturbing since they can be easily tricked into doing something because of their lack of knowledge and experience. However, with parents’ help, they will be able to distinguish good from bad by themselves. Here are five parenting tips on how to raise tech-savvy kids.
#1. Be a Good Role Model
The most important is that you as a parent are a positive digital role model. Your own approach to technology should be connected to the family’s goals and values, so always make sure that your kids are using it appropriately in everyday life. Face-to-face communication should never be replaced by technology – you should use social media to stay in touch with your loved ones, but make sure that you don’t over share. Behave online in the same way you behave in person. Know when to unplug. All of these are very important if you want to be a good role model for your kids.
#2. Set House Rules
Parents are the ones who decide how much time they are comfortable with their children using the computer or being online. Besides that, kids should know exactly which websites they are allowed to visit. Limit their screen time to two hours a day, or even less for children over the age of 2. Older kids should always do their homework first, and only then watch TV or play games online. There are many sites that can develop their ability of thinking and processing information, such as Sudoku or crossword puzzle online, and kids should know that these are much more useful than social networks.
#3. Inform Them About the Potential Dangers
Using technology on a day-to-day basis can be potentially dangerous for younger children, so parents should make sure that kids know what possible dangers are. Since they don’t have enough knowledge to spot hacking attempts, children are perfect targets for hackers. Besides that, safety tips are essential in protection against phishing. Also, cyberbullying is a major issue nowadays, so kids should be informed on how to react if they become victims of it.
#4. Teach Them to Protect Their Privacy
Giving their name, phone number, address, photo, and information about their school should never be given without the permission of a parent, and children should be aware of that. Sharing personal information online can easily put them at risk, because they can never know the identity of a person sitting at the other side of the screen. Teach your kids not to open e-mails from people they don’t know. Provide as many tips as you can to make them feel secure and informed about everything they should know.
#5. Use Technology for Educational Purposes
Besides using technology when they want to have fun and chat with their friends, your children can also use it for educational purposes. This is definitely one of the bright sides of being online – there are so many games that are entertaining on the one hand, but they make kids learn something new on the other one. Many games are available nowadays, and they can actually help your little ones learn geography, math, or history. Video game like Poptropica Mythology Island can introduce kids to Greek mythology and its most important gods. This will actually make your kids learn through play, which is one of the best ways to do that.
Raising your tech-savvy kids to become responsible and smart young people can be a roller coaster ride, especially when you take into consideration all the potential dangers the Internet and technology carry with them. Be a good role model, set house rules, and make sure that your children are as informed as they can be, and everything will be just fine.