At our office we start prepping our parents and our teens/tweens for boundaries regarding electronics over the summer during spring break. While some would guess we get the most push back from the teens, it is often the parents that struggle with having an electronically detached kiddo-as that usually leads to them being a taxi cab!
While yes, summer safety should include a new curfew and sunscreen it should also include rules surrounding technology (smart tv’s, video game systems, computers, phones or tablets). Here are a few we recommend:
Filter, Filter, Filter! A filter should be installed on ALL of the above mentioned electronics. For starters check into https://www.opendns.com/
Become your own version of a techie! Get to know the different tools and social media platforms your kids are using. Ask for their passwords and check their accounts often.
Set limits! Be the “lame” parent that only allows for a few hours a day being connected along with limits to what they can do. Remember, this is about keeping your child safe so it is okay to be “that parent”.
As mentioned in a previous blog-no electronics at night. They should be out of the bedrooms for restful sleep for all!
Watch what you and your child post-especially with pictures. We don’t want any regret with the return of school…a good rule of thumb is: if you don’t want a stranger reading what your writing or seeing what your posting don’t put it out into the IT world with even the intention of “this is for friends and family only”.
With that being said, keep you kids safe this summer and understand that social networking can be a fun way to socialize over the summer break if done properly.