Set Rules & Expectations for use of the internet, mobile devices and social media sites
In a survey conducted during the period 2014 – 2015 of over 3000 students, over 50% of students surveyed indicated that they have no rules or guidelines about using the internet.
This could easily explain why we see so many kids getting in trouble with how they use the various social media platforms.
Parents should not single out any one particular social media platform as being the troublesome one and block or ban kids from using it, but instead parents can outline some basic guidelines for using any of these apps.
The end result here is to educate and foster a greater understanding of the pros and cons of being an active online citizen. Don’t be too critical of your kids exploration of the internet. Remember it’s natural for kids to be intrigued by off limit material. Try to use that as an opportunity to discuss the material with them and then re-enforce the rules about the same.
Here are some suggested guidelines that parents can discuss with their kids:
- Set a technology or internet schedule which limits the time for use and access to internet connected devices
- Set up content filtering on your home WiFi network to block adult specific or restricted content
- Use Kiddle.co search engine to get Kid Friendly Safe Search Results
- Tell your kids to never arrange to meet up a stranger they met and only know online
- Adhere to the age limits when signing up for various social media app
- Work with your kids to set up their privacy settings on the various apps
- Remind your kids to not give our personal or identifying information such as home address, school name, phone numbers, car numbers etc.
- Talk to you kids about posting and sharing inappropriate content
- Teach them about the STOP – BLOCK – TELL rule
- Let your kids know that they can report or tell you anything without fear of losing the laptop or internet access