The use of mobile devices is rampant among children. For children who have their own devices, it can be difficult for parents to monitor their usage. Research from GuardChild has reported that 44 percent of teens admitted they’ve watched content their parents wouldn’t approve of.
Child safety online is a priority for every parent. But, it can be tough to determine the best ways to supervise media usage and what to do when questionable things are found.
Inappropriate Behavior Happens
No parent wants to find inappropriate or threatening content on their children’s device. But, it’s important to be prepared if the situation arises. Sexting and cyber bullying are among the top dangers online – cyber bullying affects one in three students ages 12 through 18.
If you’ve found something negative on your kid’s devices, it’s time to address their current privileges. Consider setting ground rules for the apps your child is using. Put limits on screen times and where in the household the devices can be used. It’s even important to consider assisting your child in implementing privacy settings.
Have the Tough Conversation, Again
Sometimes, it’s better to be over prepared than not prepared at all. If you ever find inappropriate content on your child’s device, having a plan in place that addresses how you want to react, and the consequences for your children will help you in the moment of crisis.
When you find explicit content on your child’s device, it can be hard to know where to start. Relying on your family’s ground rules for technology usage to set boundaries will help explain how and why your child’s actions were inappropriate. (If you haven’t already, consider a contract around tech usage.)
Then, Decide On a Plan to Move Forward
Disciplining children isn’t always as easy as taking away their devices. When parents revoke device usage completely, it can have an adverse effect on children’s relationship with technology. This could mean sneaking around to use it or stifling their ability to finish school work. A well thought out plan is important.
Sometimes, the situation could center around a school event and include other students. In these instances, it’s a good idea to contact the school’s leadership. Having a third party mediate the scenario takes some of the pressure off of parents and provides kids with the opportunity to bring to light other things that may be happening.
The internet is a wonderful place for children to learn! Discuss the wonders and challenges of its usage as a family to keep children safe and behaving like the best possible humans as they explore.
Erin Navaro, an Ohio native, is a young professional who works with older adults, supporting them in every stage of their care. Curious about the world, Erin has lived and worked in Tanzania and India, finding inspiration from the people and cultures that have hosted her along the way. To see what’s next, connect with her on LinkedIn.