What you can do as a parent
Lets start off with younger children and we mean under 5’s in particular. It has been observed that children are becoming smart as the smartphones these days! they are seen using mobile phones, from swiping screens to launching any of their favourite apps including YouTube. Allow them, and they will watch for hours.
However, you must think carefully before giving devices to children. As not only it poses health risks, (due to radiation from wireless technology), it can also have long term effects on their mental, social and physical health. Such as poor body posture, which can lead to aches and body pains, social withdrawal, where they later seem to become distant from friends and family and more connected to their life online.
The bottomline is, if you choose to give your child a mobile, then you should limit it, (may be at dinner times, when they are likely to create a fuss), otherwise keep them away as much as possible, let them freely play, learn new games, keep them physically active!
‘YouTube Kids‘ app
If you occasionally allow your child on YouTube, then we recommend you download the ‘YouTube Kids’ app, which ensures you that your child is browsing safely and also comes with a timer feature!
Have an open relationship with your children about online safety and have regular discussions on safe and responsible use.
Check internet history regularly.
If you have more than one device use the same Apple ID/Google email on the devices to check and monitor. This means that the history on their device will also be on yours, so you can check it without asking for their device.
Bookmarking sites or creating “favourites” list is a simple way to help your child find the content that they want without having to search the internet for it.
There are search engines especially for children like swiggle and kidzsearch.
Personal information should be kept safe including name, address, phone numbers, passwords etc.
For Google and Bing, activate safe search settings. Opt for safe mode on youTube, iTunes and Google Play.
When it comes to websites, some will allow you to set filters, facebook for example has privacy settings that will prevent your child seeing unsuitable advertising.
Schedule timings in settings, so that your children cannot access the internet at night
Set restrictions on their devices so they can only access content that is ok
Set limits and boundaries with your children.
Report serious incidents to Child Exploitation & Online Protection centre or ring 999 for immediate help
Ask the school for help if needed.
look out for the following code words often teens use during online chats:
BRB – Be right back
CD9 – Code 9, parents around
F2T- Free to talk
IDK- I don’t know
LGH- Let’s get high
LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
LOL – Laugh out loud
MorF – Male or female
POS – Parents over shoulder
TMI – Too much information
PAW – Parents are watching
MOS- mum over shoulder
PIR- Parent in room
OMG – Oh my God
ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing
OP – Over powered
JZK – Thank you (Arabic)
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