Better to be careful. As a mom, I live by that mantra. I say it all the time to my kids. They get really annoyed when I say it. They think I’m too paranoid. But I don’t care. They need to hear it all the time. I think that’s a good way for them to live by it.
There’s one particular situation where I get really paranoid. That’s when my kids are online. I want to protect my kids online. So I don’t just remind them to be careful. That mantra of mine is just too broad for the internet. My kids need to be guided online.
Don’t Just Download
My kids learned how to download at an early age. My eldest son learned when he was four years old. He got hold of his first gadget. From that moment on, he learned how to do it. At that time, I didn’t know much about the internet. So I had to take some time to understand what downloading meant and all that. I couldn’t understand why my son would want to download anything. After all, he was only four years old.
Apparently he wanted to download games from the apps store. So I had to learn about that as well. I wasn’t too crazy about it. Some games were free and some weren’t. But what bothered me was the easiness of the whole thing. With just a touch on the screen, my son could download. He could get anything he wanted easily. So I laid out the first rule—-don’t just download!
To this day, this rule still prevails. Free or not, my kids still need to ask me. I think that’s a good practice.
Social Networks Are Still A No No
My kids are still very young. There’s no reason for them to be on a social network. But some of their friends are on it already. So they’re pretty excited to sign up as well. So I made that the second rule. They cannot sign up for any social network yet.
They think it’s unfair. After all, their friends have their accounts already. According to them, their moms signed up for them. I told them I would never do that. They had to understand the age requirement that comes with owning an account. I told them I wasn’t going to lie on their behalf. In our household, they just have to wait until they’re eighteen years old. Hopefully by then, there’ll be more safety parameters on the social networks.
Be Careful When You Google
I love to google. It’s the easiest way to research. I can get all kinds of information by simply googling. I find that really amazing. So I tell my kids to do the same thing. When I can’t answer their questions, I tell them to google it. While they google, I always remind them to be careful.
Tell Mom About It
My kids need to tell me everything they do online. From downloading, playing, and researching; I have to know about it. There are times when I can’t understand them. But I do my homework. I can’t afford not to understand them. How can I protect them if I can’t understand the internet?
But I do try to be ahead of them. At the end of the day, I check their computer. I go through the history of their browsing and check out each link. I don’t know how long I can do this. I’m sure my eldest son will soon discover this. But in the meantime, it helps me.
As my kids get older, they’ll be spending more time online. I would eventually have to add to my list to protect them more.