It’s one thing to teach young children how to use the Internet safely, because younger kids are inherently more accepting of your authority as a parent. But it’s another thing entirely to help protect teenage children from Internet hazards. Teenagers are typically stubborn and rebellious. In addition, they may feel that they actually know more about the Internet than you!
Still, as a parent it is your duty to provide as much precaution as you can. So here are some tips to help you out:
1)Talk to other parents. You may get some input as to which methods work better in helping your kids remain safe online. Some parents are more technologically savvy, and you may be able to get some helpful advice as to what dangers (and what solutions) are available. At the very least, the knowledge that you are not alone in having difficulties reining in your teenager can prevent you from feeling frustrated.
2)Do your research. It’s much more difficult to teach teenagers when they actually know more about the Internet than you do. So read up and study, so that you end up actually knowing what you’re talking about when it comes to Internet safety. For example, you may want to look at how Facebook and Snapchat works before you give a lecture to your kids about them.
3)Computers should be kept out of the bedroom and placed in the living room. While you should not really look over your teenager’s shoulder when they are online, placing your computer somewhere where everyone can see it may discourage attempts to visit inappropriate websites. You should have a study nook in the living room so that your teenager can study and do online research undisturbed.
4)Open lines of communication. You need to make sure that your teenager knows that they can talk to you when they feel upset or confused about what they see online. Your child must realize that you are there to help them.
5)Make sure that your teenage children know about the most common Internet dangers. It’s more than just preventing your teenager to access porn online. You can talk about malware or viruses, identity theft, cyber bullying, and Internet scams.
The danger isn’t just about being a victim. Your teenager should also be discouraged from becoming a victimizer online.
6)Enlist the help of another adult that your teenager respects. As a parent, you have several hurdles that you may not be able to overcome. You may not be able to comprehend the complexities of social networking websites. In addition, your teenager may be ignoring whatever you say as a matter of course.
To overcome this, you can ask for help from a younger adult in your family, such as an elder sibling, a young uncle or aunt, or an older cousin. They may share the same language and concerns, and they may be able to communicate much better.
7)Install Internet controls and monitoring software (Gecko Monitor). The controls can block any attempt by your teenager to visit inappropriate websites. The monitoring software lets you know about what your teenager actually does online.
When your children become teens, they will really need to use the Internet. Schools expect students to know how to do online research, and a student who doesn’t have access to the Internet will be at a disadvantage. . That means you can’t just forbid them to go online.
Teenagers are notoriously stubborn, but you are still the parent. You can’t give up trying to help.