How do you ensure that your child(ren)'s media use is fun and safe? How do you handle that at home? Media literacy is more than just online safety. It belongs to the so-called 21st century skills. You want to guide your child well, but you don't always know how. This article is a handy guide with tips for parents to help children aged 0 to 18 grow up media literate.
Media is everywhere and children often have easy access to it. Nice and handy, but for parents it is often not a pleasant idea that their child can have to deal with all sorts of things. Parental control features, often already included with devices and programs, allow them to filter or block content and restrict and monitor media behavior where necessary. Parental control is not a substitute for a good conversation with your child about media behavior, but it is a useful tool.
Children's play environment is changing rapidly. One of the most striking developments is the arrival of toys connected to the Internet, called the Internet of toys. This means that they are exposed to internet threats while playing. So here are some points to note in this new area of security.
1. Is the internet connection required to activate the game or also while playing?
2. Who has access to your private data?
3. Is there a helpdesk for questions?
4. What does the child play and how does it influence the behavior?
5. Is it appropriate for the child's age? (search for the Pegi https://pegi.info/ )
6. Does the game have an educational value?
7. Are there any additional costs (so that children can buy themselves)?
8. Is there an expiration date when you need to update the software?
Sharing photos, videos or other information about your child on social media is also known as "sharing" - a combination of "sharing" and "parenting." As a parent, how do you decide what to share about your child online? After all, young children cannot agree to the things you share and they also have a right to privacy. Remember that whatever you share or put online will stay there forever and could affect your child's life later on.
Filter, limiet and controle
So what can you practically do to have more control?
Young children learn through repetition, recognize the structure of a story and he will always discover new things. That gives a sense of security and control. So don't hesitate to talk about the security measures often when you go online.
Older kids can actually teach us a lot about the online gaming world. Be curious, ask questions so they can talk and share with you about their activities. Part of their social life is there, so if you ask how their day was at school and who they played with, ask the following questions online as well: How was your game? who did you play with? what did you like there today? what made you sad/angry?
Software filter and Internet filters help limit the child's exposure. YouTube and Google, for example, have those options. Put passwords where your child can't enter without you.
When downloading a new game (always through you), look at the game, the play options, the interactions and the exposure to the internet together. You can also download it to your device and play with it for a while before allowing it to your child.
Teach them balancing
Also, teach the child to limit his time on his own so that he realizes that he is in control of his time and energy and not the screens. For example, time is up when the alarm goes off! Teach them the right balance. But what is a good balance in a day? We look in a week: 20% school time, 20% sports activities, 20% interest activities, 20% social activities and 20% screens. These can all be combined with each other.
On the other hand, don't scare them with the online opportunities as they are great and teach them a lot as long as we follow the safety actions mentioned above.
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