If you have young children then you know they seem to have an instant fascination with technology. If allowed, they can be mesmerized for extended periods of time by the richness of online books, animated music, or learning games with magical sounds. Their childhood has been heavily influenced by technology. It’s important for parents to know the five things to give their child the very best start when using social media.
The Internet has brought many innovative changes to our daily lives. It has also brought a change to the way we must parent young children who are being exposed to the vastness of the online world. Allowing children to experience the best that technology has to offer and keeping them safe online can seem paralyzing at times. Social media parenting is a new skill that requires parents to be media and digitally literate. Social media parenting can provide the benefits of rich experiences and minimize the risks of online safety if you are prepared.
Social Media Tips for Parents
Here’s a checklist for parents of younger children. Here are five things every parent should know and can easily implement today. Give your child the best start to using technology properly.
Use Technology Together
It is so easy to let children be entertained by technology. For your child to benefit the most, studies have shown the experience is much more meaningful when parents share technology alongside their children. Spending time together, asking questions about a game, or developing a new skill, makes the experience richer. You are your child’s first teacher and they will learn proper technology use by observing you.
Keep All Devices in a Common Area
To monitor online activity, all technology should be in a common area for quick supervision. Avoid placing computers or digital devices in a bedroom.
Younger children need to have structure in their activities. You would not allow them to eat just one food. You should not allow them to do one activity. Limit computer use by implementing a token system. Each token equals a specific amount of time on the computer. Once the tokens are gone, the Internet time is over. For very young children you can use a timer.
Have an Internet Safety Pledge
This is a list of computer rules that you have discussed with your child. The rules are typed and each person in the family signs the pledge. This includes babysitters, older brothers and sisters, and grandparents. The rules are posted beside the computer as a reminder. You can find an example here.
There are wonderful security tools that can assist you in monitoring online behavior. They are not meant to replace parenting but to offer additional supervision. Decide which features your family should have.