Parenting in the digital age is serious business.
You probably grew up playing with real toys, getting your hands dirty in the mud. But, when you stop to look at your children, all you get to see are fingers jabbing at the buttons of the cell phone or the fixed gaze at the computer screen. Today’s children are surrounded by technology of varied kinds increasing their vulnerability to cyber bulling and crime. We also cannot forget unlimited and easy access to the internet.
As a parent, you want to make sure your child does not trespass the safety barriers, getting him into trouble. However, at the same time you realize that digital grounding is not the answer. You cannot completely cut off your child from technology in an age demands it. You don’t want your child lagging behind while the others advance and make inroads into progress based on their technological knowledge. It’s a double-edged sword.
Parental control seems like a viable solution. It allows your children to go ahead and use technology, but with a few restrictions. There are different ways to exert parental control. The first and most obvious method is by scanning the browser history. Although it does not tell you what your child has seen, it gives you a detailed list of the sites where your child has surfed online. Most browsers maintain such logs that you can access easily. You can check your child’s email to check on the messages sent and the conversations in the chat sessions. If you find someone suspicious, you might want to read the mail or chat conversation.
The increasing interactions on social media sites also demand that you monitor your child’s performance on such networking platforms. You can do so by becoming your child’s friend. It gives you an opportunity to check who her friends are, what is being posted on her wall and her comments on other’s postings.
Internet addiction is a consequence of spending too much of time on the internet. As a parent, you should limit the amount of time he or she spends online. Content filtering is another method to exert parental control in the cyber space. There are many sites that host information and images that can be emotionally and psychologically damaging. You can use a content filtering software to block questionable and offensive sites.
The best way to track your child’s online activity as well as to provide internet safety without having to spend hours on it is in using a good digital patenting application. You can install it on your child’s computer or tablet. These are comprehensive internet security tools that let you filter content and ser time limits in terms of usage. In addition to giving you a detailed list of browsing and download history, you can also be alerted when your child visits a forbidden site or when it detects explicit and profane content in your child’s messages or chats. You get immediate notifications on your phone that can be accessed anywhere and at anytime.
If you suspect your child is up to some mischief, you can simply pop into the room uninformed. This will keep your child on guard and deter him from doing anything wrong. As a smart parent, you should also discuss important cyber security and safety issues with your child.
Taking the decision to monitor your child’s online activity is going to be a tough one for you. You trust your child and it feels like you’re betraying him or her. Remember, it is not about your child, but some stranger lurking, some big bad bully waiting to get the better of innocent people on the other end!