Do you let your child leave their room during the night and meet up with a friend who is 20 years older than them and share photos and play games? Well, when you allow your child to take their phone or laptop in their room at bed time – this is what you could be allowing!
The internet is not private and parents need to maintain control. Parents do not need to know lots about technology to take control. Parents have instinct and already have discipline in place in other areas in the house; internet discipline is not any different; there needs to be education, rules and consequences for misuse:
1. Communication – encourage your child to share any ‘internet issues’ as early as possible. This includes cyber bullying or anything that concerns them.
2. Watch your child – if they are being secretive and hiding what they are doing – be concerned. Let your child know it is not about reading their emails; it is about safety.
3. All phones should be left in the living area to be charged every night before bed.
4. Do not reveal personal details. Teach your child to not reveal full names, addresses, etc.
5. Teach your children to state that they share their phone with adults. Predators aim to get kids in a private space in order to manipulate them. Predators are in every suburb.
6. Open areas of internet use. Make sure your children use the internet in the main living areas. If children do use it in their room make sure the door is left open and check on them regularly.
7. Educate kids and teenagers on the internet and how people can access whatever they send and it is not private.
8. Explain how the internet tricks people into thinking it is safe and secure because people use it from the security of their home.