Are the Kids in Your Care Safe Online? Tips You Need to Know

TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube. Raising children is hard, but it is even more difficult in the digital age. How do we ensure the children in our care learn to use technology safely? Below are some strategies that you can use to promote safe internet/technology use in your home.

  • Have open and honest conversations about technology. Sit alongside kids and have them show and teach you various apps, programs, etc. This allows you to learn from the child while also being able to guide them in appropriate internet use. Having these preventative conversations can ensure that more time is spent preparing your child for internet safety rather than having to intervene once you notice unsafe behavior.
  • Create a Family Technology Plan and have everyone participate in writing it. The plan could include where and when devices can be used, screen time limits, acceptable apps and programs, and who is okay to communicate with, along with other things that are developmentally appropriate for the child. Revisit the plan often as the child matures.
  • Learn about parental controls. Some can be found directly on the device, and others can be purchased as add-ons via a monthly or annual subscription. Many have parental controls embedded within the application.
  • Model consuming a healthy “digital diet”. What we are viewing, listening to, and accessing on the internet matters.

Technology and the internet aren’t going away. Still, with clear communication, healthy boundaries, and the right tools, you can help the children in your care learn how to use the internet and technology safely.

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