Raising children has been a challenge in all times, no matter how science and technology progress. As technology evolves, new challenges emerge. With the advent of mobile phones and mobile internet, children have gone busy communicating over the Internet. They stare into the screens of their phones instead of running and rushing wildly around the neighborhood. Although sitting with a phone will hardly result in a broken arm or leg, there are other, even more serious perils.
Two sides of the coin
Like everything that has clearly defined positive sides, technological boom has its milestones. There are tons of information available over the Internet, and a large share of it is far from positive. Digital communication has opened up countless new venues. However, not all people are good, and in the hands of a bad guy a good thing can become a deadly weapon. There are a growing number of complaints from schoolchildren about cyberbullying. Some bad people use social network account to unify and zombify children, whose psyche is too weak and vulnerable to resist this psychological aggression. There statistics of social media-related suicides is really intimidating.
Control your kids properly
It is every parent’s duty to guard hand steer his/her children down the safest path. How can we do that? Stop letting them go outside without attendance? Take the phone away? Lock them inside a bedroom?
As kids grow older, they learn more about the world and, most important, learn and want to be independent. However, their desire to be independent outruns the understanding of the price we pay for it, because their mind is too young to comprehend it.
To avoid trouble, parents should start teaching their children to use phones and Internet properly. Children start getting involved in digital activities around 8-10 years old, when they are still unable to tell good from bad. It is during this age that they learn to exchange messages, share photos, videos, audio, etc. Now it is your biggest responsibility to teach your child the digital etiquette and get him/her used to the fact that you are going to monitor this activity. If you fail to do it now, it will be much harder to do it when he/she enters the teens and becomes naturally assertive. Indeed, teaching a kid to put up with having to be controlled is an extremely important thing. And it is even more important how you go that!
Do not be too authoritarian!
The radical steps mentioned in the beginning of the previous paragraph will hardly work, especially with teenagers. There are subtler and more ‘high-tech’ methods of keeping your child secure.
At some stage of life, you can and should explain to your kid some simple things. Let him/her know that they should not talk to strangers and why. A clear and laconic explanation can do wonders to even the fussiest young boy or girl.
Keep track of your child’s mood and reactions to things. Under usual circumstances they remain the same for years. If you have noticed that he/she has grown aloof, gloomy, or reserved, and it has continued for several days, something is definitely wrong. Not unlikely, your child has fallen in with some wild IT bunch or is being bullied online. Fortunately, there are good solutions, which can save you a lot of worries.
Use parental control software!
There are unique software tools like ExactSpy, PhoneSheriff, etc., which you can install on your and your child’s phone or tablet. These programs have a variety of tracking options, which allow you to tract and keep record off incoming and outgoing phone calls, instant messages, browser activity, use of multimedia, etc. There have been lots of cases whereby parents, who observed sudden changes in their kids’ behavior and mood, discovered that they were being abused online and took steps to stop it.