This Christmas there will no doubt be plenty of Santa sacks with all manner of tech gadgets and devices. If your child is one of those lucky enough to receive a tech gift, and lets face it many will be going to school next year where these gadgets are a compulsory requirement, then there are a few things you can do to make the transition into the world of technology as smooth and stress free as possible.
In fact here are 20 top tips to keeping the devices safe, the kids responsible and the balance maintained.
1. Set up safe safari settings
2. Enable You tube safety settings
3. Start with times limits
4. Turn off in app purchases (Settings / General/ Restrictions / In-app Purchases )
5. Keep the i-tunes password and the restrictions passwords to yourself so they need to ask you to download apps and music etc
6. Discuss privacy settings relevant to apps or games they are playing & help them set them up
7. Have a rule of “No devices in the bedroom at night”
8. Have “no tech times”. i.e. dinner table, certain outings
10. Put down the device yourself and have time connecting with friends and family. Kids learn more by watching our actions than listening to our words.
11. Open the back door, organise a cricket match, anything to encourage the balance with outside play
12. Organise a charging station somewhere outside the bedroom
13. Play a game with your child on their new device. Let them know you have an understanding of their world
14. Learn about the sorts of things kids are doing online and the apps and games they are playing
15. Look out for teachable moments to help them learn from the mistakes of others
16. Remember to keep building their self esteem away from the screens
18.Use a video game contract to help set the boundaries early when playing online games
19. Check in frequently with what they are doing on their device, what games they like to play and be aware of who they are talking to and following. Remind them in these early years of having an internet enabled device, that you are there to help teach them the skills and behaviours to be safe and responsible and not simply there to spy.
20. Finally, remember there is no substitute for open communication, honesty and discussion. Ensuring that we have a good perspective of the world they are growing up in and the challenges they face, allows them to see us relevant. It is this relevance that helps give them the security to come to us should things go wrong.
So stay up to date with the changes to the technology, keep talking to your kids and remember to enjoy together all the many wonderful benefits offered by the devices and the online world.