If the answer is “yes”, then know that you’re not alone. Kids internet safety one of the biggest problems that the moms that I work with talk about.
As I’m a homeschooling mom that works with other moms who are building their businesses around their family, I know this is a concern and something that we need to be aware of. I also built in “training” for our secret agents in 193mysteries so that parents can feel more comfortable and confident with their kids using the internet.
Three things you can be doing:
Talking To Kids About Internet Safety
The first thing is to talk to your kids about internet safety, if they don’t know the dangers then they can’t lookout for the signs. You don’t send your kids out on the road without talking to them about road safety, the internet should be the same thing.
Every day, just bring kids internet safety into the conversation, slide it in somewhere while you’re on the way to school, or you’re in the car or cooking dinner. Just talk about the things that are going on on the internet, and things that they should be aware of. Sometimes, the kid is just curious, but he should know of how to find thoese answers safely.
I have few tips on raising curious kids, that you might want to check out
Now, there’s a lot that goes into Internet safety, you know, from passwords, to grooming, to clickbait to porn, you know, all of the things! But you don’t need to sit down and do it all in one go.
That’s just too much, and would be very uncomfortable for both you and the kids. So I really recommend just maybe picking one thing and concentrate on that the day. And then the next day or a couple of days later talk about something else.
This should be a continual conversation. So that your kids feel comfortable talking to you about it, and you feel comfortable talking to them about safe internet surfing for kids. It’s these two building of trust because that’s going to be really important.
Talking about grooming to kids
This is the one along with porn, that really scare parents about their kids being on the internet. Grooming is the term used when an adult befriends someone over time, creating a relationship which they then abuse. In the worst cases, abducting kids.
Talk to your kids! You don’t need to go into all the gritty details of what grooming is if that isn’t age-appropriate. But they should know enough to be able to see the signs if somebody approaches them or they think that somebody may be trying to groom them.
And again, your kid’s internet safety goes back to trust. So you’ve got to build that trust up with the child. Having these conversations, talking to them about what it will look like if somebody were trying to groom them.
What are the signs and what to do if that happens?
Or they know that’s happening to one of their friends, what to do about it.
So again, it’s all down to conversation and talking to kids.
Now, if you’re not really sure where to start with teaching kids about internet safety, there are some internet safety videos for kids. You can find them on youtube. If they’re tweens, and up, I really recommend watching The Social Dilemma, available on Netfilx.
If you feel like your kids are already out there surfing the internet with being safe, and you’ve missed the boat, again, go watch The Social Dilemma. Do it as a family because that’s going to give you great conversation starters for all things internet related.
And don’t forget, we are as parents, the first generation that is going through this, nobody else has had to teach Internet safety to their kids before. So we’re kind of just feeling our way through.
Let your kids use the internet
And so the third thing is really just to be proactive, and let your kids use the internet. And I know that sounds really counter-active.
There are things you can do with browsers and parental controls, locking out certain sites and things. And that is a good idea. But they’re not infallible.
Kids can get on to undesirable sites accidentally, even if they’re not actually going and searching for that stuff.
So be proactive! Set up the computer or whichever gadget your kids are using to make them more child safe. But know that that isn’t the be-all-end-all, which is why you need to be doing points one and two, you know, talking to kids about internet safety.
Play Games On Internet Together With Your Kids
You can also let your kids surf the internet. But do it in a way that you’re not hovering over them because nobody wants that. Instead, maybe you look at something together! Maybe you could be doing some research together or you’re planning a day trip. Get them onto the computer doing the research. The reason I designed 193mysteries in the way that I did was that it gives parents the opportunity to work on the net alongside their kids (basically giving you a rock-solid excuse) Find out more about 193mysteries here.
Giving them a bit more leeway on the computer. And by that, you can bring up the conversations again. In case, if you see a clickbait title that pops up in an ad somewhere, you can explain… why it’s clickbait? And why they shouldn’t click it?
Again, it’s just having this chance to have the conversations.
- Have difficult conversations, on a regular basis, this should be part of daily life.
- Talk about the signs to look out for with grooming and what to do if it happens.
- Let your kids use the internet, use it together at times so that you can see how they are using it and guide them along the way.
If you want more help, grab this great visual for helping you and the kids create healthy boundaries around screen time