How to Keep Our Kids Safe on the Internet

Instead of taking away your child's device, teach them using these helpful guidelines

How to keep our kids safe on the internet

Protecting our kids on the internet is no easy task. We are learning from research that we not only have to protect them on the internet, but also from the internet and the negative effects of too much device useage. Parents can have a conversation with their kids about internet safety, and these sorts of conversation can improve parent/child relations. Our kids are depending on us to keep them safe and share ways to do this. We know from research that kids rely on their parents for guideline and information to keep them safe.

Online socializing risks

One risk for kids socializing online is the possibility of getting into trouble for inappropriate behavior. Kids sometimes forget the far (and often permanent) reach of the internet, and when they are on the keyboard they begin to feel anonymous. We have to remind kids that this is not the case, and they are responsible for appropriate online behavior. We want to encourage our kids to behave online in a manner they are proud of.

When to start talking about internet safety

Our conversations with our kids about online safety need to begin as soon as they start using the internet. Don't wait for your kids to initiate the conversation, be proactive and use everyday situations to begin the conversation about cyber guidelines. It is helpful if we not only share our concerns, but we must also be a safe place for kids to voice theirs with us. Modeling appropriate online useage and behavior is helpful for kids to see from their parents.

Internet safety for kids

Apple and other software companies sell apps to use to help insure kids online safety, which helps parents with this challenge of web protection for their kids. These apps can be used to monitor and regulate kids cyber usage. This can be done by applying an app that allows access to view what the kids are seeing online. There are also apps that control the time kids can be online, as well as the sites they visit. There is at least one app available that sounds an alarm when a child visits an inappropriate online site.

It's difficult for a child to have the maturity to be able to cut back on internet usage on their own. Rather than just taking our kids devices though, we can instead teach them what responsible device usage looks like. We can help kids learn that the best filter is the one in their head.

Need more parenting ideas and support? Join our parenting community, chat with a free, trained Listener, or begin working with an online therapist today.

Posted: 01 February 2019

Lori Whatley, LMFT, PsyD

Dr. Lori is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relational connecting.

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