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Category: Online Safety for Kids

When You Grow Up…

Kids of the Future

… what will the world be like? Scientists and thinkers have puzzled over that question. Hundreds of years ago, writers imagined a future where people lived easy lives, doing what they wanted to, buying what they wanted without money.

Before you were born, scientists predicted that the earth would soon be covered in ice. Others predicted that the ice will all melt.

Those predictions did not come to pass. The truth is that the future is a mystery. And here’s the exciting part: You will live there one day!

When you are a grown-up, what will life be like? No one can be sure, but many very smart people have some interesting ideas.

3D PRINTED FOOD

Feel like a pizza? Print one! Yes, in the future, when you need to feed your kids, you might cook up a pizza on a 3D printer. NASA is currently experimenting with 3D food printers to use in space.

Here on earth, 3D printers are already being used, but they are very expensive and don’t prepare a lot of different foods. By the time you are a grown-up, 3D food printers will be as common as microwave ovens. And you’ll be able to add extra cheese.

YOUR HOME WILL BE YOUR DOCTOR

Paying for health care is expensive. When you grow up, you will pay taxes to pay for that care. To help keep costs low, your home will be filled with tools that keep an eye of your health. Your toothbrush will test your saliva. Your toilet will test your, ahem, deposits.

Of course, your watch will also tell you how your heart is doing. All of this testing will help find health problems before they become too serious. They will tell you when you need to see a human doctor and when you just need to take a breath and relax.

WHEN YOU DO NEED A DOCTOR

In the future, you might get treated by tiny robots of a robot suit.

Nanotechnology is, simply put, using very tiny particles to do a job. For example, some sunscreens use nanoparticles to protect your skin. In the future, doctors will be able to use these wee little particles to make machines that treat disease or fix wounds. Other types of treatment are big.

Right now, doctors are creating mechanical suits that can act like legs or arms. People who have spine injuries will be able to move the suit just by thinking. Soldiers injured in war or kids damaged in accidents will finally be able to stand, walk or even play soccer.

HEADING TO THE FARM—IN AN ELEVATOR

As an adult, you might decide to be a farmer. You don’t go to the field in a truck—you take an elevator. That’s because farms are being created in high-rise buildings.

Some crops are grown on the side of the building. This is called “vertical farming” and people are doing it now. From vegetables to meat, almost any food can be grown inside these buildings.

If you want to be a farmer, you better get used to heights.

THE HARDEST PART OF THE FUTURE?

Being Human.

Technology is great. Everyone has a phone that connects them to friends and facts and fun games. All that technology is causing problems. Kids and adults alike find it hard to visit face-to-face.

People who get along using text messages can feel awkward when they try to meet in person. In the “old days,” men and women fell in love by meeting and getting to know one another.

Now, adults go through lists of information to learn about a person they like. Also, too much technology can make thinking harder. In the future, you could find life a struggle when technology breaks down. You could feel anxious without a phone in your hand.

The best way to make sure that you enter the future strong, smart and able to enjoy the world is to live in reality. Exercise, visit people, get your parents to show you how to do things rather than look it up on your computer. When the future arrives, you’ll be ready to make it whatever you want it to be.

… what will the world be like? Scientists and thinkers have puzzled over that question. Hundreds of years ago, writers imagined a future where people lived easy lives, doing what they wanted to, buying what they wanted without money.

Before you were born, scientists predicted that the earth would soon be covered in ice. Others predicted that the ice will all melt.

Those predictions did not come to pass. The truth is that the future is a mystery. And here’s the exciting part: You will live there one day!

When you are a grown-up, what will life be like? No one can be sure, but many very smart people have some interesting ideas.

3D PRINTED FOOD

Feel like a pizza? Print one! Yes, in the future, when you need to feed your kids, you might cook up a pizza on a 3D printer. NASA is currently experimenting with 3D food printers to use in space.

Here on earth, 3D printers are already being used, but they are very expensive and don’t prepare a lot of different foods. By the time you are a grown-up, 3D food printers will be as common as microwave ovens. And you’ll be able to add extra cheese.

YOUR HOME WILL BE YOUR DOCTOR

Paying for health care is expensive. When you grow up, you will pay taxes to pay for that care. To help keep costs low, your home will be filled with tools that keep an eye of your health. Your toothbrush will test your saliva. Your toilet will test your, ahem, deposits.

Of course, your watch will also tell you how your heart is doing. All of this testing will help find health problems before they become too serious. They will tell you when you need to see a human doctor and when you just need to take a breath and relax.

WHEN YOU DO NEED A DOCTOR

In the future, you might get treated by tiny robots of a robot suit.

Nanotechnology is, simply put, using very tiny particles to do a job. For example, some sunscreens use nanoparticles to protect your skin. In the future, doctors will be able to use these wee little particles to make machines that treat disease or fix wounds. Other types of treatment are big.

Right now, doctors are creating mechanical suits that can act like legs or arms. People who have spine injuries will be able to move the suit just by thinking. Soldiers injured in war or kids damaged in accidents will finally be able to stand, walk or even play soccer.

HEADING TO THE FARM—IN AN ELEVATOR

As an adult, you might decide to be a farmer. You don’t go to the field in a truck—you take an elevator. That’s because farms are being created in high-rise buildings.

Some crops are grown on the side of the building. This is called “vertical farming” and people are doing it now. From vegetables to meat, almost any food can be grown inside these buildings.

If you want to be a farmer, you better get used to heights.

THE HARDEST PART OF THE FUTURE?

Being Human.

Technology is great. Everyone has a phone that connects them to friends and facts and fun games. All that technology is causing problems. Kids and adults alike find it hard to visit face-to-face.

People who get along using text messages can feel awkward when they try to meet in person. In the “old days,” men and women fell in love by meeting and getting to know one another.

Now, adults go through lists of information to learn about a person they like. Also, too much technology can make thinking harder. In the future, you could find life a struggle when technology breaks down. You could feel anxious without a phone in your hand.

The best way to make sure that you enter the future strong, smart and able to enjoy the world is to live in reality. Exercise, visit people, get your parents to show you how to do things rather than look it up on your computer. When the future arrives, you’ll be ready to make it whatever you want it to be.

How to Raise Healthy Kids in a Digital Age

Raising Healthy Kids in a Digital World

Parenting has always been a challenge, and it’s only become more complex as children are born into and grow up in the digital age. We don’t understand all the effects of social media, online gaming, and other screen time activities on children, and we continue to receive conflicting information.

Sometimes the kids understand tech better than their parents. And how can parents monitor what their kids are doing in the digital world? There’s a lot to think about, but fundamental truths haven’t changed.

As with any other aspect of life, raising healthy kids in the digital age calls for flexibility, creativity, openness, and leading by example. Create space for a digital presence in your child’s world proactively so you can shape it rather than it taking over. 

Aim for compromise

Screens are ubiquitous. Even if you don’t allow them at home, kids will be exposed to them at school or at friends’ and relatives’ homes. So strive for balance, rather than complete restriction. Decide when you’re ready to let your kid have their own smartphone or tablet, and have some conversations with them ahead of time about what they’ll use it for and how often. Some parents make a contract with their kids. If you do this, check in regularly to see what your child is doing and address any violations to your agreement in a timely manner. If you remember that it’s probably a matter of when, not if, they break one of the rules, you’ll be able to keep a calmer head when that time comes. 

Educate about cyberbullying

No one wants their kid to be bullied, online or off, and what’s more, no parent wants to find out their kid is bullying someone else. Before screens, the rules could be learned in social settings and at school. But with the relative lack of oversight and anonymity digital tools offer, it’s easier for kids (and adults, for that matter) to be mean to each other. Have a direct conversation with your children about what cyberbullying is and how to respond if it happens to them or they witness it. Hint: It’s better to respond and seek resolution in person than online. 

Use video chat

It’s no secret that sitting in front of a screen for hours on end isn’t the best for kids. But do we really know just what the effects of screen time on developing brains are, especially on young children? A review of various studies out there found that there are cognitive costs to too much screen time, but certain uses, such as video chatting with relatives, can be more helpful than harmful. Video chatting allows for a true conversation that includes nonverbal communication and can help support relationships with people who may not live nearby. 

Be a good role model

It’s not just our kids who need a healthy relationship with tech—we do too. The first thing to do if you want your kids to spend less time on screens is to set a good example by putting away your own devices more. Don’t want them to have phones at the dinner table? You better not either. And not only that, but talk with your kids about what you do on the computer and why. Engage them in conversations about the benefits and drawbacks of Instagram or online gaming. Be thoughtful in your own habits of picking up and putting down the phone. Even when you’re not discussing it with your children, they’ll notice what you do. 

Watch media as a family

Sharing media can certainly include movie night, but you might also consider viewing TED Talks or YouTube videos, or listening to podcasts with your kids. Kids use digital tools in their homework and to learn about the world, so encourage that behavior by consuming educational media with them. Here are a few TED Talk suggestions to get you started. By making this an activity you do together, you’ll contribute to family bonding. 

Maintain tech-free zones

Make sure you create time that doesn’t involve screens. The dinner table, an outing to the park, or the drive to/from school are all good options. This goes back to the idea of balance. When you allow kids time to connect with their friends online as well as take them out into nature, for example, they learn to appreciate the various ways they can interact with others. Rather than simply telling them to put down their devices, take them out and show them what the world has to offer.

Respect social media

Much of the concern about digital has to do with how much time kids spend on social media. And while there’s lots of grousing about the risks of social media, we sometimes overlook its benefits. Sites like Instagram and Twitter can help kids stay connected with friends and discover new interests. For LGBTQ kids or others with marginalized identities, digital platforms can offer a way (and sometimes the only way) to find community. Have conversations with your kids about what they’re doing on social media and make sure they understand that what they share online never really goes away. Keep track of who they’re connecting with, so you can find out early if a questionable stranger is interacting with your child. 

Keep the conversation going

Remember that contract mentioned earlier about tech use? Don’t treat it as a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing, but something you discuss regularly—there’s a better chance of it working that way. In order to not let the digital world distract your child from the physical world, make it part of your regular conversations rather than just bringing it up when something might be going wrong.

Be curious about what your child does on the computer and why. Ask to see the pictures they’re looking at on Instagram. And discuss with your child why everything they see on the Internet isn’t always as it appears. Just as with advertising in the old days, curated online personalities can produce insecurity around not living up to impossible standards. Help your children understand that what they see online isn’t necessarily a reflection of reality.

By Morgen Henderson

Parenting has always been a challenge, and it’s only become more complex as children are born into and grow up in the digital age. We don’t understand all the effects of social media, online gaming, and other screen time activities on children, and we continue to receive conflicting information.

Sometimes the kids understand tech better than their parents. And how can parents monitor what their kids are doing in the digital world? There’s a lot to think about, but fundamental truths haven’t changed.

As with any other aspect of life, raising healthy kids in the digital age calls for flexibility, creativity, openness, and leading by example. Create space for a digital presence in your child’s world proactively so you can shape it rather than it taking over. 

Aim for compromise

Screens are ubiquitous. Even if you don’t allow them at home, kids will be exposed to them at school or at friends’ and relatives’ homes. So strive for balance, rather than complete restriction. Decide when you’re ready to let your kid have their own smartphone or tablet, and have some conversations with them ahead of time about what they’ll use it for and how often. Some parents make a contract with their kids. If you do this, check in regularly to see what your child is doing and address any violations to your agreement in a timely manner. If you remember that it’s probably a matter of when, not if, they break one of the rules, you’ll be able to keep a calmer head when that time comes. 

Educate about cyberbullying

No one wants their kid to be bullied, online or off, and what’s more, no parent wants to find out their kid is bullying someone else. Before screens, the rules could be learned in social settings and at school. But with the relative lack of oversight and anonymity digital tools offer, it’s easier for kids (and adults, for that matter) to be mean to each other. Have a direct conversation with your children about what cyberbullying is and how to respond if it happens to them or they witness it. Hint: It’s better to respond and seek resolution in person than online. 

Use video chat

It’s no secret that sitting in front of a screen for hours on end isn’t the best for kids. But do we really know just what the effects of screen time on developing brains are, especially on young children? A review of various studies out there found that there are cognitive costs to too much screen time, but certain uses, such as video chatting with relatives, can be more helpful than harmful. Video chatting allows for a true conversation that includes nonverbal communication and can help support relationships with people who may not live nearby. 

Be a good role model

It’s not just our kids who need a healthy relationship with tech—we do too. The first thing to do if you want your kids to spend less time on screens is to set a good example by putting away your own devices more. Don’t want them to have phones at the dinner table? You better not either. And not only that, but talk with your kids about what you do on the computer and why. Engage them in conversations about the benefits and drawbacks of Instagram or online gaming. Be thoughtful in your own habits of picking up and putting down the phone. Even when you’re not discussing it with your children, they’ll notice what you do. 

Watch media as a family

Sharing media can certainly include movie night, but you might also consider viewing TED Talks or YouTube videos, or listening to podcasts with your kids. Kids use digital tools in their homework and to learn about the world, so encourage that behavior by consuming educational media with them. Here are a few TED Talk suggestions to get you started. By making this an activity you do together, you’ll contribute to family bonding. 

Maintain tech-free zones

Make sure you create time that doesn’t involve screens. The dinner table, an outing to the park, or the drive to/from school are all good options. This goes back to the idea of balance. When you allow kids time to connect with their friends online as well as take them out into nature, for example, they learn to appreciate the various ways they can interact with others. Rather than simply telling them to put down their devices, take them out and show them what the world has to offer.

Respect social media

Much of the concern about digital has to do with how much time kids spend on social media. And while there’s lots of grousing about the risks of social media, we sometimes overlook its benefits. Sites like Instagram and Twitter can help kids stay connected with friends and discover new interests. For LGBTQ kids or others with marginalized identities, digital platforms can offer a way (and sometimes the only way) to find community. Have conversations with your kids about what they’re doing on social media and make sure they understand that what they share online never really goes away. Keep track of who they’re connecting with, so you can find out early if a questionable stranger is interacting with your child. 

Keep the conversation going

Remember that contract mentioned earlier about tech use? Don’t treat it as a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing, but something you discuss regularly—there’s a better chance of it working that way. In order to not let the digital world distract your child from the physical world, make it part of your regular conversations rather than just bringing it up when something might be going wrong.

Be curious about what your child does on the computer and why. Ask to see the pictures they’re looking at on Instagram. And discuss with your child why everything they see on the Internet isn’t always as it appears. Just as with advertising in the old days, curated online personalities can produce insecurity around not living up to impossible standards. Help your children understand that what they see online isn’t necessarily a reflection of reality.

By Morgen Henderson

Internet Safety Checklist for Preschoolers

online safety for children

Here’s What Parents Should Teach Their Little Ones… Almost a decade ago, parents and caregivers didn’t have to worry about teaching their preschool aged children’s online safety. It’s the opposite today. Children are now being raised in the digital age.

Today, kids grow up learning how to use technology just like learning how to speak or walk. In fact, if technology isn’t a part of their lives, they would be unusual in society.

Touchscreen technologies have made the internet far more accessible than it used to be. It’s quicker and easier to use on a tablet or an iPad since you don’t need a mouse and a keyboard to navigate.

Some online safety risks for preschoolers

Not all parents believe there is a need to navigate and control how their 4 to 5 years old kids use the internet. Because what can go wrong. They are not using social media and they are barely spelling anything right.

It’s true, preschoolers don’t usually get exposed to as many risks as older children since they are usually using the internet under the supervision of an adult. However, that doesn’t mean parents can excuse themselves from taking certain practical internet safety precautions. Even if your preschooler goes online to play games or watch videos, they are still at the risk of accessing inappropriate content.

Raising Children Au says, there are three kinds of internet safety risk for preschoolers – content, contact and conduct.

  1. Content: This includes the content that children might find upsetting, uncomfortable, or disgusting. Examples are images of animal cruelty, violence, pornography or videos that are meant for older children.
  2. Contact: Children might come in contact with people they don’t know. For instance, they might end up on a communication app like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and send some personal photo or video to one of your contacts or even a stranger (on Facebook).
  3. Conduct: This risk includes children acting in a way that might hurt others. For instance, they might end up deleting some important file or accidently make in-app purchases.

Children know more than we think!

If you think your preschooler isn’t smart enough to understand what the internet is, read the results of this study where 70, four-year-old children were asked what they know about the internet. 40 percent of the children in the study were able to describe what the internet is. Their understanding of the internet was associated with the experiences of going online and using technology with their family. They defined the internet as something they use to play games; something that mommy uses for work or big sister uses for sending emails and more.

Internet safety checklist to follow

Before children make up their own meaning about the internet, why not tell them what the internet is? Experts say you can start by teaching them that the internet is a net of technology we used to “talk” to each other. Once they understand that then we can move towards teaching them how to protect themselves online.

Here is a checklist that can help parents teach their little ones about internet safety:

  • Explore the internet together: Start by exploring the internet together with your children. They will learn when you are exploring with them. Show them interesting websites, ask them to show you how to play their favorite game, or you can even simply talk about the video they were watching.
  • Be involved: Encourage your children to use devices in the lounge or the kitchen. This will let you keep a close eye on how they are using the internet and what they are watching. Don’t forget to be involved in their enjoyment.
  • Use passwords: You must know when your child is accessing the internet and a smart way to do that is to set passwords on all internet-enabled devices. Make sure these devices are out of your child’s reach. They will have to go through the process of asking permission to access the device and making you put the password so that they can play a game or listen to nursery rhymes. P.S. Don’t share passwords with them.
  • Activate safe search settings: Your toddler will probably use Google and YouTube to do their thing on the internet. Enable safe search settings on both of them. This allows you to apply restrictions on inappropriate search results.
  • Select the right content: Help them choose safe, educational, and fun games or videos. Research games or shows that would be appropriate for your child. You must be confident about the content your child is watching because they will be learning a lot from it.
  • Teach them good and bad: It’s totally okay to talk to your child about good and bad content on the internet. Encourage them to come to you if they see something scary or upsetting. Here is how you can start the conversation: “Some videos on the internet can be scary. Tell mommy/daddy if you see something that scary or makes you unhappy.”

Put yourself in control

Don’t be afraid to use parental controls. There are plenty of child monitoring apps that allow you to set parental controls to manage and control what content your child sees online.

Lots of parents take refuge in vendors such as Xnspy; a monitoring app for children. It’s being used for monitoring and supervising online behavior of preschoolers and older kids alike. In short, it puts you in control of the online activities of your child and ensure their safety. This is how you can use the features of Xnspy for the online protection of your little ones:

  • Manage Web Browsing: Usually, kids directly go to YouTube or the game that’s installed on their tablet. But some are smart enough to browse through Google, too. Xnspy allows you to check the web browsing history of your child’s tablet from a remote location. This feature is also useful if your child is with the nanny and you are just curious about what they are making your child watch.
  • Set boundaries: It is never too early to set boundaries on how much internet or screen time your child gets access to. Xnspy allows you to set rules regarding how much time your child spends online. You can set screen-time limitations by locking their digital devices altogether. Practice this when it’s time to eat so that they develop the habit of eating without a screen in front of them or when it’s bedtime so they could sleep without any distraction.
  • Block Apps: If your children share a tablet or phone, the apps that your older kid uses may not be appropriate for your toddler. Xnspy has the solution for that, too. You can block the apps that you find inappropriate for one or both kids and let them spend the right amount of time on the internet, worry-free!

Monitoring apps as the likes of Xnspy are great for working parents who leave their kids and their tablets with babysitters and don’t know how much time they are spending online or what they are doing online.

Other things to teach

You mustn’t forget to teach your child how to protect themselves one. Tell them to:

  • Seek help whenever they see a pop-up in the middle of a game or video
  • Be near an adult whenever they are using a device
  • Only click on the tabs or apps your parent or babysitter has set up for you
  • Don’t share personal information (like photos or videos) with anyone

Do doubt the internet is a large part of the daily lives of many young ones. They don’t just watch their favorite YouTube clips and play games online but also talk to long-distance relatives over video conferencing. It makes sense to set boundaries for them and teach the how to stay safe online from a young age.

Here’s What Parents Should Teach Their Little Ones… Almost a decade ago, parents and caregivers didn’t have to worry about teaching their preschool aged children’s online safety. It’s the opposite today. Children are now being raised in the digital age.

Today, kids grow up learning how to use technology just like learning how to speak or walk. In fact, if technology isn’t a part of their lives, they would be unusual in society.

Touchscreen technologies have made the internet far more accessible than it used to be. It’s quicker and easier to use on a tablet or an iPad since you don’t need a mouse and a keyboard to navigate.

Some online safety risks for preschoolers

Not all parents believe there is a need to navigate and control how their 4 to 5 years old kids use the internet. Because what can go wrong. They are not using social media and they are barely spelling anything right.

It’s true, preschoolers don’t usually get exposed to as many risks as older children since they are usually using the internet under the supervision of an adult. However, that doesn’t mean parents can excuse themselves from taking certain practical internet safety precautions. Even if your preschooler goes online to play games or watch videos, they are still at the risk of accessing inappropriate content.

Raising Children Au says, there are three kinds of internet safety risk for preschoolers – content, contact and conduct.

  1. Content: This includes the content that children might find upsetting, uncomfortable, or disgusting. Examples are images of animal cruelty, violence, pornography or videos that are meant for older children.
  2. Contact: Children might come in contact with people they don’t know. For instance, they might end up on a communication app like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and send some personal photo or video to one of your contacts or even a stranger (on Facebook).
  3. Conduct: This risk includes children acting in a way that might hurt others. For instance, they might end up deleting some important file or accidently make in-app purchases.

Children know more than we think!

If you think your preschooler isn’t smart enough to understand what the internet is, read the results of this study where 70, four-year-old children were asked what they know about the internet. 40 percent of the children in the study were able to describe what the internet is. Their understanding of the internet was associated with the experiences of going online and using technology with their family. They defined the internet as something they use to play games; something that mommy uses for work or big sister uses for sending emails and more.

Internet safety checklist to follow

Before children make up their own meaning about the internet, why not tell them what the internet is? Experts say you can start by teaching them that the internet is a net of technology we used to “talk” to each other. Once they understand that then we can move towards teaching them how to protect themselves online.

Here is a checklist that can help parents teach their little ones about internet safety:

  • Explore the internet together: Start by exploring the internet together with your children. They will learn when you are exploring with them. Show them interesting websites, ask them to show you how to play their favorite game, or you can even simply talk about the video they were watching.
  • Be involved: Encourage your children to use devices in the lounge or the kitchen. This will let you keep a close eye on how they are using the internet and what they are watching. Don’t forget to be involved in their enjoyment.
  • Use passwords: You must know when your child is accessing the internet and a smart way to do that is to set passwords on all internet-enabled devices. Make sure these devices are out of your child’s reach. They will have to go through the process of asking permission to access the device and making you put the password so that they can play a game or listen to nursery rhymes. P.S. Don’t share passwords with them.
  • Activate safe search settings: Your toddler will probably use Google and YouTube to do their thing on the internet. Enable safe search settings on both of them. This allows you to apply restrictions on inappropriate search results.
  • Select the right content: Help them choose safe, educational, and fun games or videos. Research games or shows that would be appropriate for your child. You must be confident about the content your child is watching because they will be learning a lot from it.
  • Teach them good and bad: It’s totally okay to talk to your child about good and bad content on the internet. Encourage them to come to you if they see something scary or upsetting. Here is how you can start the conversation: “Some videos on the internet can be scary. Tell mommy/daddy if you see something that scary or makes you unhappy.”

Put yourself in control

Don’t be afraid to use parental controls. There are plenty of child monitoring apps that allow you to set parental controls to manage and control what content your child sees online.

Lots of parents take refuge in vendors such as Xnspy; a monitoring app for children. It’s being used for monitoring and supervising online behavior of preschoolers and older kids alike. In short, it puts you in control of the online activities of your child and ensure their safety. This is how you can use the features of Xnspy for the online protection of your little ones:

  • Manage Web Browsing: Usually, kids directly go to YouTube or the game that’s installed on their tablet. But some are smart enough to browse through Google, too. Xnspy allows you to check the web browsing history of your child’s tablet from a remote location. This feature is also useful if your child is with the nanny and you are just curious about what they are making your child watch.
  • Set boundaries: It is never too early to set boundaries on how much internet or screen time your child gets access to. Xnspy allows you to set rules regarding how much time your child spends online. You can set screen-time limitations by locking their digital devices altogether. Practice this when it’s time to eat so that they develop the habit of eating without a screen in front of them or when it’s bedtime so they could sleep without any distraction.
  • Block Apps: If your children share a tablet or phone, the apps that your older kid uses may not be appropriate for your toddler. Xnspy has the solution for that, too. You can block the apps that you find inappropriate for one or both kids and let them spend the right amount of time on the internet, worry-free!

Monitoring apps as the likes of Xnspy are great for working parents who leave their kids and their tablets with babysitters and don’t know how much time they are spending online or what they are doing online.

Other things to teach

You mustn’t forget to teach your child how to protect themselves one. Tell them to:

  • Seek help whenever they see a pop-up in the middle of a game or video
  • Be near an adult whenever they are using a device
  • Only click on the tabs or apps your parent or babysitter has set up for you
  • Don’t share personal information (like photos or videos) with anyone

Do doubt the internet is a large part of the daily lives of many young ones. They don’t just watch their favorite YouTube clips and play games online but also talk to long-distance relatives over video conferencing. It makes sense to set boundaries for them and teach the how to stay safe online from a young age.

How to Talk to Kids about Inappropriate Content

Internet Safety for Kids

The internet is a big place, full of stories, pictures, and videos about all kinds of amazing things. However, not all of the internet is as safe as it should be. Handy safe search tools like Safe Search Kids can help children to avoid the more upsetting parts of the internet that they don’t want to see.

But sometimes, parents can’t protect their youngsters from everything they might spot online. Content shared on social media and posted by malicious people on otherwise secure sites can sometimes slip through the cracks.

Kids need to know that they can turn to their parents for support and guidance when they see something on their screen that makes them feel uncomfortable.

So, how can parents make sure that they’re prepared to talk to kids about inappropriate content?

Starting a Conversation About Online Content

First things first, when a child begins to use the internet, it’s worth sitting down for a chat about the kind of things that they might find there.

Remind them that anyone and everyone can post things on the internet, which means that sometimes, your child might come across something they don’t want to see.

However, your child should know that they can always come to you for reassurance—no matter what happens, and they won’t get into trouble for what they saw.

During your discussion, agree on some ground rules based on what your child likes to do online. Help them to understand that some sites are specifically designed for people of their age, and these sites are more prepared to protect them from unsuitable content.

You might also want to recommend using Google Safe Search as a way to filter out any unwanted content.

Always Be Calm and Reassuring

Seeing something that you don’t like online can be a shocking and upsetting experience. Your child needs to know that they can come to you for some cuddles and reassurance when whatever they see upsets them.

Let your little one know that you’re never going to be mad at them if they come across something inappropriate online.

Instead, you’re just there to help them understand what they saw. For instance, talk about the things that they saw online that made them upset:

  • Discuss what they saw: Why did the image, video or content make them feel uncomfortable? Was it nasty comments about other people, or people being hurt?
  • See what you can do about the content: Maybe you and your child can report that content so no other child will have to see it.
  • Let them know that you’re there for them: Remind them that you’re always going to be there to protect them from those upsetting things.
  • Show them how to block the site or look for an alternative: If your child wants to avoid the site in the future, maybe you can find another fun alternative together?

Spend Some Time on the Internet Together

While your child might want to spend some of their time on the internet browsing alone—particularly when they’re talking to friends on social media—you can also have some time browsing as a team.

Do some homework with your youngster using the web and see how they use things like the safe search function.

Based on what you see, you might be able to offer some advice on how they can avoid some more dangerous websites.

Talk to your child about what kind of content you think is appropriate for them—but don’t undermine their opinions. Ask them what they think is okay for children of different ages, and make sure that they’re involved in the ground rules and guidelines that you have in place.

Encouraging critical thinking is always a good idea when it comes to helping your child use the internet safely.

You won’t always be hanging over their shoulder to advise them on which sites are safe and which might not be. Help your child to figure out for themselves what a “good” or “bad” site might look like.

Talk About Positive Ways to Use Tech

While there are some scary parts to the internet, the online world is full of wonderful things too. When you’re on the web, you can learn about countless amazing things by reading useful articles and watching videos.

Let your child explore some of the fantastic things that the internet has to offer using tools like safe search, and apps on their phone that you’ve already approved.

Giving your child a selection of pre-vetted apps and websites that you know are safe for them to visit is a great way to reduce the risk of them being accidentally exposed to mature content.

You can even check out some kid-approved apps on the app store with your youngster and create a list of options for them to explore as a team.

It’s far more common for children to end up on a website that upsets them when they’re left to browse the internet without any guidelines to help them.

Discuss Staying Safe on Social Networks

Finally, your youngster is probably going to be on a social network or two, as these websites allow them to stay connected with their friends.

However, social networks can be risky at times, particularly because you can’t predict what other people are going to post.

Ask your child if they know where the reporting functions are, how they can keep their information private online, and how they can block someone who might be upsetting them.

It’s also worth reminding your child that offers and deals that they see online that seem “too good to be true” often are.

If your kid sees a link promising them something amazing when they click, tell them to come to you to double-check the safety of that link first.

Staying Safe Online

The online world is an amazing place, but it’s also one that can be difficult to navigate for a youngster.

Setting rules and guidelines in place for safe browsing will help to reduce the risk of your child being exposed to inappropriate content.

However, you should make sure that you know how to deal with the feelings that your child has when they see something they weren’t supposed to.

_________________________

Safe Search Kids Writer Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life. Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. Her superpower? Vinyasa yoga!
Talk to her on Twitter.

The internet is a big place, full of stories, pictures, and videos about all kinds of amazing things. However, not all of the internet is as safe as it should be. Handy safe search tools like Safe Search Kids can help children to avoid the more upsetting parts of the internet that they don’t want to see.

But sometimes, parents can’t protect their youngsters from everything they might spot online. Content shared on social media and posted by malicious people on otherwise secure sites can sometimes slip through the cracks.

Kids need to know that they can turn to their parents for support and guidance when they see something on their screen that makes them feel uncomfortable.

So, how can parents make sure that they’re prepared to talk to kids about inappropriate content?

Starting a Conversation About Online Content

First things first, when a child begins to use the internet, it’s worth sitting down for a chat about the kind of things that they might find there.

Remind them that anyone and everyone can post things on the internet, which means that sometimes, your child might come across something they don’t want to see.

However, your child should know that they can always come to you for reassurance—no matter what happens, and they won’t get into trouble for what they saw.

During your discussion, agree on some ground rules based on what your child likes to do online. Help them to understand that some sites are specifically designed for people of their age, and these sites are more prepared to protect them from unsuitable content.

You might also want to recommend using Google Safe Search as a way to filter out any unwanted content.

Always Be Calm and Reassuring

Seeing something that you don’t like online can be a shocking and upsetting experience. Your child needs to know that they can come to you for some cuddles and reassurance when whatever they see upsets them.

Let your little one know that you’re never going to be mad at them if they come across something inappropriate online.

Instead, you’re just there to help them understand what they saw. For instance, talk about the things that they saw online that made them upset:

  • Discuss what they saw: Why did the image, video or content make them feel uncomfortable? Was it nasty comments about other people, or people being hurt?
  • See what you can do about the content: Maybe you and your child can report that content so no other child will have to see it.
  • Let them know that you’re there for them: Remind them that you’re always going to be there to protect them from those upsetting things.
  • Show them how to block the site or look for an alternative: If your child wants to avoid the site in the future, maybe you can find another fun alternative together?

Spend Some Time on the Internet Together

While your child might want to spend some of their time on the internet browsing alone—particularly when they’re talking to friends on social media—you can also have some time browsing as a team.

Do some homework with your youngster using the web and see how they use things like the safe search function.

Based on what you see, you might be able to offer some advice on how they can avoid some more dangerous websites.

Talk to your child about what kind of content you think is appropriate for them—but don’t undermine their opinions. Ask them what they think is okay for children of different ages, and make sure that they’re involved in the ground rules and guidelines that you have in place.

Encouraging critical thinking is always a good idea when it comes to helping your child use the internet safely.

You won’t always be hanging over their shoulder to advise them on which sites are safe and which might not be. Help your child to figure out for themselves what a “good” or “bad” site might look like.

Talk About Positive Ways to Use Tech

While there are some scary parts to the internet, the online world is full of wonderful things too. When you’re on the web, you can learn about countless amazing things by reading useful articles and watching videos.

Let your child explore some of the fantastic things that the internet has to offer using tools like safe search, and apps on their phone that you’ve already approved.

Giving your child a selection of pre-vetted apps and websites that you know are safe for them to visit is a great way to reduce the risk of them being accidentally exposed to mature content.

You can even check out some kid-approved apps on the app store with your youngster and create a list of options for them to explore as a team.

It’s far more common for children to end up on a website that upsets them when they’re left to browse the internet without any guidelines to help them.

Discuss Staying Safe on Social Networks

Finally, your youngster is probably going to be on a social network or two, as these websites allow them to stay connected with their friends.

However, social networks can be risky at times, particularly because you can’t predict what other people are going to post.

Ask your child if they know where the reporting functions are, how they can keep their information private online, and how they can block someone who might be upsetting them.

It’s also worth reminding your child that offers and deals that they see online that seem “too good to be true” often are.

If your kid sees a link promising them something amazing when they click, tell them to come to you to double-check the safety of that link first.

Staying Safe Online

The online world is an amazing place, but it’s also one that can be difficult to navigate for a youngster.

Setting rules and guidelines in place for safe browsing will help to reduce the risk of your child being exposed to inappropriate content.

However, you should make sure that you know how to deal with the feelings that your child has when they see something they weren’t supposed to.

_________________________

Safe Search Kids Writer Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life. Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. Her superpower? Vinyasa yoga!
Talk to her on Twitter.