While you’re keeping your toddlers safe from harm in the real world, another realm of threats is waiting in cyberspace. Although giving your children access to technology can be unsettling, it is essential for living in the modern world. You must educate your children about internet safety so they can feel secure and succeed in their environment. Look at these dos and don’ts.
Importance of introducing toddlers to the internet
Whether you and your children are pro internet users or are just starting, we advise on how to use the internet and be online safely.
Make sure websites are secure
Any website’s security may be instantly determined by scanning for the letter “s.” Even though every website address begins with “http,” you can tell one is safe when you see “https.” It indicates that the website is taking precautions to safeguard users’ personal information while using it. Avoid visiting sites for learning or pleasure that aren’t addressed with an extra “s” at the beginning.
Guard personal information
It can be challenging since sensitive information must be protected when your child needs to be identified for chats or tasks. Your child likely already has a student identification number, which is a terrific way to stop private information from leaking online. None of the data listed below should be used to identify your child in a classroom, on a list of grades, or in a conversation online.
- Full first and last name
- Social security number
- Phone number
Additionally, your child needs a strong username and password to access their classes, lectures, and homework.
Set up parental controls
You don’t need to buy parental control software to safeguard your child while they are learning online. Your device’s hardware, software, and web browser have several practical tools.
Set limits that your children understand
Your children need boundaries and count on you to give them online and offline. You should set limits for your child’s online activities, including what sites they can visit, which apps they can use, and what is suitable, just like you would for any other environment they are allowed to be in. You should monitor your children’s internet activities and monitor what they’re doing in addition to setting limitations. Additionally, you should monitor the websites and apps they use and conduct research.
Don’t let screen time mean alone time
Because it’s simple for anyone to pick up a device and become sucked into it, even when people are right next to them, we frequently associate screen time with alone time. Incorporating co-playing, co-engaging, and co-viewing into your media consumption is preferable, nevertheless, especially for young children. Instead of merely watching what your children do on their devices, engage with them.
Don’t turn technology into a pacifier
Although almost all parents have used technology to quiet or settle down a rowdy youngster, you shouldn’t use it as an emotional dummy. It would also be beneficial to encourage your older children to avoid turning to their gadgets when they are sad or frustrated. It’s important to teach children healthy emotional regulation. Show them how to employ breathing exercises to relax, autonomous problem-solving skills using critical thinking, boredom-busting activities, and ways to utilise their emotions.
Don’t ever close communication
The most incredible way to guarantee that your children come to you with questions or concerns about anything—especially something they read, saw, or did online—is to keep the lines of communication open in your home. Constantly reassure your children that they can turn to you for support and that being truthful won’t get them in trouble. Raising children in the digital age might be difficult but preparing them for success in the modern world requires teaching online safety and setting your expectations for them.
Best Practices for internet safety for Toddlers
- Spend time online together to teach your children responsible online behaviour.
- Keep the computer out of any bedrooms and in a common area where you can watch how it is used. Keep a log of your time on your tablet or phone.
- Save preferred children’s websites for quick access.
- Check your phone and credit card statements for any unusual account charges.
- Find out if your child’s school offers internet protection before allowing your child to use a computer at an after-school programme, a friend’s house or any other location.
- If your child tells you about an awkward internet conversation, listen to them.
Teaching your children to stay safe in this world is not different from teaching them to stay safe online. Your child can only use the internet at set times if you use an Excitel internet plan. Do it regularly, at the earliest and without fail, and you will have children that are emotionally capable of dealing with the world, whether offline or online.
- When is the right time to introduce my toddler to the internet?
You can use the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) as a reference, even though it ultimately depends on your parenting style. They advise exposing children to devices when they are two years old.
- What are some do’s for introducing toddlers to the internet?
Let them start slowly but at a young age. Start them off on safe sites with parental controls so they get used to the safe environment and can notice differences quickly as they grow. Let them explore your phone or tablet and play with these. It is a great way to give them a hands-on feel of the internet.
- What are some don’ts for introducing toddlers to the internet?
Except for video conferencing, toddlers under 18 to 24 months shouldn’t use digital media. Watch digital media with your 18 to 24-month-old child since they learn by watching and conversing with you. Pre-schoolers (ages 2 to 5) should only watch one hour of high-quality programming each day on screens.