In this article we will try to explain why parents should use parental control to make sure their kids are safe online. Having a safe online environment for our kids is nowadays a necessity. This is because much of the world is now online and it is inevitable that your kids will be too. If you are a parent of a child or teenager, is parental control a tool you should deploy? Failure and your kid or teenager stands exposed to the snow balling online risks that are now all too common. This article should give you certain incentives that would make any responsible parent try them out.
Parental control should be viewed positively. This is because a child will have their entire adult life to explore the web without limits. At their stage of cognitive development, kids especially those below 12 need some level of supervision. There is no reason why this should not include their online activities
Parental control mechanisms vary as widely as their application. They range from controls installed in browsers like Internet explorers to specialized software. They all enable a parent to monitor or regulate time spent online as well as content browsed.
Here are some of the major reasons to use Internet control:
These are the deadliest risks there could be. For instance, cyber-crime is a multibillion-dollar industry that takes advantage of people worldwide. This is in the form of malware and even ransomware. Ransomware is quite potent because it effectively grounds computer operation.
Pedophiles use the internet as their choice hunting ground for victims. Cyberspace offers unlimited disguise and ability to build trust slowly. Victims of such a crime only realize the cover when it’s too late.
To achieve greater protection, you can ban a select list of sites or type of forums. Kids are generally inquisitive and by their early teens are seeking to really explore. Besides, there is the option of using child-friendly browsers as a means of parental control. These flag certain platforms and prevent such dangerous encounters.
Smart devices can be a potent distraction. Unsurprisingly, kids are more likely to get addicted to gaming devices or even tablets. It is common to find kids nowadays spending hours at a time glued to these devices.
Notably, there are certain side effects of excessive screen-time. The primary one, of course, is time wasting meaning that other priorities like studies and even personal hygiene take a back seat. This is practice is unsustainable and is particularly bad when parents are often away at work.
Besides, there are other side effects like: bad posture, poor eyesight, inadequate sleep and lack of physical activity. These are all horrible in the long term and a responsible parent must do whatever it takes to control such.
Parents can designate media-free time and initiate activities like taking walks as a distraction. Additionally, there is parental control software for the same. An example is the Google Family link to control screen time. This software can also keep track of daily limits and impose designated bedtimes.
In this Snapchat and Instagram generation where pretty much anything flies, this issue is of paramount importance. Kids are likely to follow trends and peer influence is an all too common occurrence. As a result, some post stuff that later comes back to haunt them.
This is one area where advice can apply not only to teens but also young adults. By virtue of the fact that much of our lives are online, it is not inconceivable to imagine future employees using a stupid post against your otherwise qualified child.
Therefore, teach kids the importance of balancing self-expression with a certain level of civility. You wouldn’t want your kid to be the next meme, right? There is even the option of following your kids social media account just to keep tabs. This way, you could always stay on top of things and ensure aspects like their privacy are not compromised.
This has everything to do with sensitivity and proper decision making. Having that cognitive skill to be polite and tolerant comes from positive parenting and reinforcement. There are certain platforms out there like 4chan that are no place for young teens. Such attitudes may end up shaping a person into an unrecognizable monster.
Cyberbullying is yet another frontier in the internet etiquette battle. This is because it comes all too often that young adults and kids mock others for aspects of their lives they can’t control like disabilities. At the very least teach your kids the importance of respect and understanding. These can go a long way in shaping them to be responsible netizens.
It is impossible to overemphasize the role appropriate parental control can play in a child’s development. Its importance does not have to be backed by empirical values for one to realize that they are indispensable. Indeed, one may argue that a kid could end up on either side regardless of your efforts. However, it is better to fail knowing that you tried rather than failing for not trying.