Letting your kids on the internet for the first time can be very worrying. Who knows what they might come across, or who they may end up talking to? And as a parent, it’s legitimate to put this off for as long as possible. But seeing as we live in the digital age, all kids now need to grow up knowing how to use the online world to their benefit. You’ve just got to help them prepare while they’re young.
Have an Online Day Weekly
Spending too much time online can seriously harm your mental health. Because of this, many people limit themselves to only accessing the internet at certain times. For example, only checking emails when at work, or using social media in the morning after a good night’s sleep.
The same can go for introducing your child to the internet. Have one day a week where it’s allowed, and then the rest of the week is ‘internet free’. As time goes on you can steadily increase these to multiple days, but where the hours are restricted instead.
Talk About Stranger Danger
This is the main worry we all have about letting kids online. However, your kids may also have the same fear and not know how to talk about it! Coming across someone online they don’t know, maybe having to talk to that person – it’s something they’d never do in real life. So talk to them about this possibility, and what to do if it happens. Most of all, make sure they know to immediately come and tell you, and that receiving a message from someone they don’t know will never be their fault.
Let Them Play on Game Servers
Online game servers can be tricky territory. In some games, you don’t quite know what you’re going to come across, such as bigger games like GTA, Minecraft, or Fortnite. However, if you can find a breakdown of the servers beforehand, you can allow your child to access kid-friendly ones.
For example, you can go through a Minecraft bedrock survival server list and allow your child to link to one you approve of, meaning they can indulge in their favorite game with other people. This’ll help them meet other people online in a safe space, work out what’s right and what isn’t, and have appropriate conversations within a world they enjoy.
Put Locks on Certain Sites
Find out what sites your child wants to visit and let them use those. Any others have a lock on them! You can easily do this via Google’s own settings. However, don’t just block without remorse. Mention why these sites are blocked and be open to unblocking them in the future if your child needs to use them. Social media platforms are a good example of such sites.
The online world can be managed! Start talking about the potential dangers and how to combat them, then talk about safe ways to have fun!