There is no doubt that the Internet has revolutionized our lives in unlimited ways, but every amenity has its pros and cons. Also, it depends on the use of every facility that makes it good or bad. As they say that nothing is good or bad quintessentially, but it’s the use and utility of that thing, that makes it good or bad. Same is the case with the said amenity, the Internet, and when it comes to our children, the case becomes more critical and should be taken proper care of. Children are naïve and vulnerable and need our support and guidance in everything. We, as parents have ensured the provision of the best Internet in the town to our kids, such as Optimum Internet, but there is more to it than just providing them a steady Internet subscription.
Know What Digital Abuse Really is
As residents of the contemporary Digital Age, we have proudly given our kids exposure to the Internet. But as parents and elders, we should always keep an eye on their Internet usage and activities and know that they are not involved in any form of Internet abuse. But first know what exactly is Internet abuse:
‘Internet Abuse’ acts are one of the following:
- Exposure to abusive images and photos of children.
- A child, unconsciously being groomed and trained for sexual abuse.
- Exposure toage-inappropriate content or pornographic images, or some other offensive material.
- Engaging in extremist and rigid ideologiesthrough social media forums and sites.
- Posting inappropriate and unsuitable pictures, comments or videos.
- Being a member of unsavory and disagreeable chat rooms and open forums.
- Make a sale or a purchase without the parents’ consent.
- Over-sharing private, personal and confidential information.
- Harassment, cyberbullying or mocking others on online forums.
- Sexting or inappropriate texting.
- Abusive or inappropriate tweets.
- Posting something with an intention to defame, hurt or harm someone.
So, all these things imply that you have to be very conscious of the fact that your child may not be a victim ofInternet abuse but rather the culprit of making someone suffer the abuse. So as a parent, you have to be watchful and careful when it comes to your children and their online activities because as a part of the Digital world, Internet and online activities have a major and vital influence on the child’s personality.
Cyber Restrictions and Digital Privileges
As a general observation, we are bound to say that gadgets are winning over parents. And that is pretty evident if you look around. Also, they are losing touch with the nature, outdoor sports and interacting and playing with real-life friends.And if you come to know that your child is involved in inappropriate online activities, while you were thinking that he must be engaged in some online research or light entertainment online, that is truly terrible!
So, you really need to keep some sort of online checks and restrictions and limit their Digital privileges. The times that we are living in are really crucial and training children is one heck of a job, so you have to be mindful and watchful in every way. We are summarizing a few tricks and hacks to help you be more active parents:
- Start communicating with your child about the uses and abuses of the Internet as per their understanding capabilities and keep telling them right from wrong. This is going to be a consistent and continuing effort.
- Keep a regular check on the gadget histories of your children and confront them in a positive way so that they are encouraged to feel comfortable and share stuff with you. This will give you a chance to guide them better.
- Make use of organizational filtering and blocking systems. There are software programs that help you restrict and block certain inappropriate pages to open up and hence help you save your children from online modes of abuse.
- Be watchful of your child’s changing behavior and mood swings, especially before and after his online activities and take him in confidence to reveal whatever he is experiencing.
- Pay heed if an adult or some other child from his circle has to say something about his online activities, and taking care of it without revealing the details about who gave the information.
- When it comes to communication, there are many ways that you can make your communication effective with your children. One is to make your children understand that what you can’t do in front of your parents and others, then they shouldn’t do it online. Make them think along those lines.
- Limit their screen time and discourage the use of private gadgets in their bedroom, instead don’t give them a private gadget at a very young age. Engage them in other healthy activities and reduce their online activities.
A Few More Words
Remember ‘Digital parenting’ and guidance begins offline and with face-to-face, live communication. If you have a communication gap with your kids, don’t expect they will come to you to share anything even if they want to.
Also, remember that Social media sites are easily and often used by offenders and perpetrators to access children and youngsters for the purpose of sexual abuse. So as parents we need to be watchful of what Internet can do to our kids and where our kids may end up with it. Moreover, extremist groups that aggravate racial discrimination and differences may use these networks to entice children into rigid and staunch ideologies that are essentiallyprejudicedand intolerantof diversity. And we really don’t want our children to be those narrow-minded individuals, and we certainly don’t want them to be a part of any violent and extremist group. So, we can’t emphasize enough the need of educating often and early and spend time with them as much as you can because just communicating the hard and fast rules is not enough.
There are ISPs that help you in this. They not only offer parental controls on the Cable Tv but also offer certain parental controls for the Internet. Dial Optimum Customer Service Number and ask about this lucrative feature, this can help you in keeping a steady check on your child’s online activities.