Today, parents have a lot more to worry about than fire hazards and strangers coming to the front door. Computers and TV can introduce a number of dangerous elements into the home, and as a single dad, it can be extremely difficult to monitor your child’s comings and goings online.
Keeping your kids safe from cyberbullying, predators, and other digital dangers can seem like a nearly full-time job, and that can be frustrating when you’re dealing with an already full schedule.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can help keep your child safe when they spend time online. Being involved in their activities and learning who they spend time with when they’re outside the home can be a big help, but it’s also important to monitor their movements when it comes to smartphones, tablets, and the apps they use.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to help your child stay safe in the digital age.
Check out those apps
Many kids over the age of ten have a smartphone or tablet these days, and while these devices can hold useful tools for learning, they can also be a hazard when it comes to apps that incorporate social media into their user base. Even seemingly innocent apps sometimes include a way to communicate with strangers, which can leave an opening for predators or bullies. Take a look at any and all apps your child is using and do some research online to find out how they’re used and what other parents are saying.
It’s just as important to pay attention to your child’s social life as it is to know what they’re doing online. Being informed as to who they’re spending time with at school and what’s going on with their friends can help you make better decisions as a parent…and it can also help your child make better choices. For some great tips on how to make your home a safe place for your teen, read on here.
Set the rules
Not only is it important to talk to your child about the house rules for how to have a safe online presence, it’s important to let them know that there are rules about the use of apps and social media. You can even set parental controls on your computer--and on tablets--to ensure that your child can’t have access to anything you haven’t approved.
As your kids grow older, it can be more difficult to keep tabs on everything they’re doing, especially when you’re a single parent who is taking care of multiple things on your own. However, you can check in often to make sure your child is staying safe and is emotionally healthy. Get involved in their activities--both at school and beyond--and let them know they can always come and talk to you.
Talk to your kids about the Internet
Most kids have access to a computer--either at home or at school--at a young age, and they learn to navigate the web pretty efficiently early on. It’s imperative that you sit down with your kids and have a talk about how to stay safe online: never give out personal information, never share intimate photos, never accept friend requests from strangers. Let them know at an early age that things stay on the Internet forever.
Internet safety is important at any age, so sit down with your kids and talk to them about how they can have fun online while ensuring they are well protected. Make sure they know the rules about communicating with others via apps and social media, both for their safety and for your own peace of mind.
About Daniel Sherwin: Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.