How to Safeguard Kids and Technology

Terms of Engagement for Kids and Technology

 

kids and technology

 

Wow, I just read this,  7.5 million children under 13 years old actually have access and use Facebook. This is in violation of Facebook's terms of use. Believe it or not 5 million of these kids are 10 and under. To make this statistic even worse is the fact that some parents actually help their underage children get access to social media by actively lying.

Grandparents, like myself may find being tech savvy difficult, since technology is changing at such a rapid pace. It seems impossible to catch up or for that matter keep up with the kids and technology in our lives. It boggles my mind that our kids and grandchildren may not ever remember a time without access to a computer of some type.

Personally, I have found social media and technology fascinating, yet mystifying at the same time. As a grandparent, who works at home, on my computer, it is important for me to limit my own screen time so that I set an example for my family. I know the benefits of the online world but I also know the dangers. At times, it can take a concerted effort to give grandchildren and children the tools they need to take advantage of all the internet offers yet keep them safe along the way.

Fortunately, there are tools at your fingertips to help children and grandchildren learn from screen time. These can help to make their experience safer along with your "hands on" attitude.

More or less, I am educating myself each and every time I go online. There are an infinite number of Apps available for children as well as games and gadgets. Every morning, I tune in to tech bytes and listen to what is trending online.

I have a few favorite moms that help me choose Apps appropriate for kids. iGameMom and Cool Mom Picks are on my must read list. My simple motto is, forewarned is forearmed.

Lets face it,the internet is not going anywhere so I am not going to construct a wall around me or my family. I am dedicated to keeping an open mind and being informed while sharing my insights.

Of course security should be of concern to all parents and grandparents when it comes to kids and technology. Here are a few basic rules

  • Keep screens out of kids' rooms, have computers in common areas of your home so that you can keep an eye on children's web activity.
  • Screen time should not exceed 1-2 hours a day and it should be an earned privilege
  • Encourage kids to keep their real and virtual worlds somewhat separate. People create characters on social media and they write things that would never come out of their mouths in person. So teach kids to BEWARE
  • Do not ever share, hometowns, addresses, birthdays and phone numbers.
  • Keep a healthy "Predator Paranoia" when it comes to meeting people online.

Cyberbullying is a fairly new and serious problem that has really been associated with some tragic events. I hope to discuss that in a future post.

Kids andTechnology references:  ConnectSafely.orgWiredSafety.orgSafeKids.com

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