Mother’s Day: Keeping Up With Kids’ Online Activities
May 12, 2017
Mothers…you are a coach, a mentor, and a cheerleader. You juggle activity schedules, picky eaters, and homework loads with apparent ease. You are a fixer of cuts and scrapes, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to laugh with. You are a voice of authority and of reason, but also a listener.
Everything you are, and all that you do, revolves around keeping your kids happy and safe. This includes keeping them happy and safe in their online activities as well, yet roughly one-third of parents feel they can’t keep up with the devices and apps that kids are using these days. Considering that young people* spend an average of 11.5 hours online each day, it’s easy to understand how they may have the upper hand in that department.
Keeping up with kids’ online activities may seem challenging, but there are some simple steps you can take to ensure you’re on a level playing field. It comes down to communication and regularly making the time to discuss with them what they’re doing online, why, and with whom. Here are some tips to help close the gap:
- Have your child show you some of the things they do online. Ask them questions about the social platforms they use, games they play, apps they download, and who they talk to online.
- Ask them about their online experiences. Fifty-five per cent of Canadian parents are concerned about their child’s online privacy, as well as issues of bullying and harassment. Establish yourself as the person your child comes to for help and support if they ever have a negative online experience, or if they see it happening to someone else.
- Set some rules together so that everyone is on the same page, and communicate values. Help them understand the importance of respecting privacy, property, and feelings.
New sites, apps, and social media platforms appear every day, and with these come new ways to interact with content and people. Being a part of your child’s media life will not only help alleviate that feeling of being out of the tech loop but it can also build an environment of trust with kids who often look to their parents for guidance.
So find some time to start the conversation and soon you’ll feel comfortable adding “online guru” to your repertoire. Happy Mother’s Day!
* Those under the age of 25.
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