Our kids are growing up with the world at their fingertips. They have the unique ability to access hundreds of TV shows through countless outlets. They have games on consoles, computers, tablets, and smartphones. They have internet sites and information readily available. They have social media to connect them with people from all.over.the.world.
They’ve traveled and experience different cultures without leaving the couch.
This connection to the world through the internet is a huge blessing and a huge responsibility. Do your kids understand the importance of their actions on social media and gaming?
Because technology is all this generation has ever known, it’s important that they understand the responsibility they bear. They have information laid out in front of them and it’s up to them to decide what they do with it.
In both gaming and using social media, it’s important for parents to be vigilant and monitor our kids’ accounts.
There are six rating categories for games: C (for early childhood, E (for everyone), e-10+ (for everyone 10 and older), T (for teen), M (for mature), and A (for adult only). Know these ratings and look for them on games you purchase for your kids. You can also read content descriptors to understand the rating of a game or app. You can invest in a V-chip to monitor and limit what your child buys and plays. But even with this helpful tool, it’s important that you pay attention to what your kids are playing.
Did you know that you can filter your kids’ internet usage? You can restrict apps and games as well as websites they can visit. You can also set time limits on their Internet use. Set up an iOS or Android profile, depending on your device.
While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter require kids to be 13 years old to have their own account, it’s important that you are involved in your kids’ social media presence. Check their page and activity, hold them accountable for what they write, how they interact, and who they talk to.
Open communication is key to building a solid foundation of trust. Make sure your heart is heard—don’t just lecture your kids, but show them how much you deeply care about them and their safety.
If you’re going to be involved in their online presence, it’s a good idea to be involved in their life. Show them you care, put your own phone down and look them in their eyes. Communicate with them, play with them, read with them, talk to them about anything they’ll open up about. Love on them and let them know you care.