Parenting in the twenty-first century has become all the more difficult because of the dangers posed by these technological advancements. Take a look at this essential guide to parenting in 2018 and beyond to help you protect your kids.
Safety online is paramount. While you can ban screens in the bedroom and you can try to limit the time your offspring spend on tablets and their smartphone, they will inevitably be scrolling through their Facebook feed or checking out the latest Instagram images at some point. Go too far in banning devices and they will rebel. You need to find a happy medium. Limit online activity in whatever shape or form to an hour a day max. Make sure this is after all homework is complete and ensure a curfew is in place at least two hours before bed to ensure a sound sleep routine. Put this in a contract that the whole family can sign up to. Make it look official, print it off, talk about it at a family meeting and obtain everyone's signatures. This way your kids won’t feel victimized, and you can be more inclusive with the house rules. By making it official, everyone in the household will give it the attention it deserves.
When online, encourage an open dialogue with your children and make sure they are aware of the perils. Your kids' school should also be taking time in computing sessions to teach your children about online dangers and staying safe while on the Internet. While you are not going to spy on your kids' profiles, make sure their privacy settings are at the strictest so strangers can’t stumble across their personal information. Ensure that they can approach you if they see or experience something unpleasant or unwanted online. Having a positive relationship with each other and the technology is vital to keep your kids safe online.
The world of Instagram may seem a fickle entity to us adults, but for your little darlings, this is where they can emulate their icons, check out what their pals are doing and have fun uploading their own images. The Holga, Rise and Amaro filters do little but add a fake perfection to photographs which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a lack of self esteem especially amongst teenagers. Talk to your children and ensure that they don’t become obsessed with image and encourage them to have fun with their own photos and not take the online world too seriously. An obsession with image can lead to eating disorders, depression and mental illness that we want to protect our children from.
It is not solely online that has seen the impact of the twenty first century. Our homes are also seeing technological advancements like never before. We can now pop a capsule into our washing machine to sort out our laundry. Smart devices can control our thermostat, and we can ask our kitchen worktop for a recipe based on the ingredients we have in our cupboards. It’s still as vital as ever that you create a safer home for your children by doing the basics. If you have younger cherubs, keep the kitchen cabinets on a child safety lock, cover your plug sockets with protectors and ensure the cords on your blinds are out of reach of little hands. While basic, these safety concerns should not be overlooked.
As a responsible parent, your offspring are your heart and soul, and you will do everything in your power to protect them. It can be difficult at times to know the best course of action to take if you notice your child spending a little too much time on the Xbox or appearing to be stressed after looking at their Snapchat feed. Be present, be open and stick to the basic ground rules that the whole family has signed up to. By following this guide, you can ensure that your children stay safe in 2018 and beyond.