How To Prepare Your Child For Online Life

Our children are growing up in a different world to the one that many of us grew up in. They have the benefit of being able to access information at the touch of a button, to stay in touch globally and to be entertained twenty-four seven. Of course, we know that all of this can come with its drawbacks, so it is our role to help them navigate their way around it all. This is why today we are sharing a few tips around how to prepare your child for online life. 

Image Pixabay – Pixabay License 

 

Keep them safe

 

Before you do anything else, you will want to do all that you can to keep your children safe online.

 

The best thing that you can do is to keep all online devices in your main living areas, rather than their bedrooms, so that you can easily see how they are using the internet. This will allow you to keep any eye on the amount of time they spend on screens and the sites that they are choosing to access.

 

In addition to this, it is worth setting up parental measures and locks on devices. For example, you can use a pin to restrict certain viewing on online streaming, you can use YouTube Kids and you can set up their email accounts with parental controls. 

Follow school’s advice

 

Many schools do offer advice on internet safety so you can rest assured that they will be giving your children the same messages at school as you are at home. 

 

For older children, schools often highlight issues around cyber bullying and offer advice on how best to avoid it and deal with it. This is a conversation worth following up on with your kids, and it is a good idea to look into it yourself so that you are familiar with measures you can put in place. 

 

Access the internet together

 

It is worth making the time to access the internet together every so often. Aim to make this a fun or educational activity (or ideally both!) so that your child is keen to do this with you, and it then gives you an insight into how they are using it.

 

Ask your child to navigate their way around and help them to make the best choices. For example, they might be searching for ways to care for the environment, so suggest to them the kinds of keywords that they might like to use and then help them to pick out appropriate websites, blogs and resources from their search results.

 

You could carry out projects together using online research, and of course you can play games and stream movies to watch together too. 

 

Limit social media usage

 

This one is going to depend on the age of your child, but there will be stages when you are going to want to limit social media usage.

 

Take care to ensure that your child is only using social media sites that you approve of and that they are at an age that they are allowed to do so. It might be worth agreeing some restrictions around it together at the outset, for example, that it only be accessed at certain times. It is easy for our children to be constantly connected socially these days, but they need to have downtime when they are away from others. 

 

Always reach out for expert advice 

 

Whenever you are in doubt, it is best to reach out for expert advice. There can be a tendency for people to self-educate using the internet without really having a sufficient depth of knowledge to handle the issue or concern. 

 

This is a lesson that it is worth our children learning early on, as we are currently seeing a generation using the internet that did not have it as a child and did not get any advice at all on how best to use it. The internet is an amazing resource for them, but there are then times when we need to get out there in real life to deal with things. 

 

This can apply to so many different areas of your life, from being concerned about your doctor improperly filling or prescribing medication through to maintaining your home. Go ahead and search the internet for some preliminary research if you would like to, but then call those professionals in to ensure that you are handling your concerns in the best possible way. A lesson for us all. 

 

Don’t believe everything you see online

 

This is probably the biggest lesson that children, and adults, need to learn around online usage.  

 

This one falls into two broad categories. The first is that there is a lot of fake news out there and there are people who are dishonest and try to deceive people using online accounts and sites. This can cover anything from those emails that people send telling you to click links to pass on a computer virus through to people pretending to be somebody that they are not. As adults, we know that many of these are scams, but even we can stumble across things that seem so genuine that we fall into the trap. If we can make mistakes armed with all that we know, it is easy to see how our children can. 

 

The best way to protect them in these cases when they are younger is a little like the Stranger Danger messages that you give to them. If they do not know them they do not click or engage with them. It is also wise to ask that they share things like this with you as you can use them as teaching opportunities and it gives you the chance to check in on what’s happening.

 

Secondly, and this one is particularly important for our young adults and their mental health, our kids need to know that people rarely share the whole truth online. That perfect Instagram shot with #nofilter has probably been edited a dozen times to make it look that good. That Facebook status about how amazingly well they did in their exam may well be all made up. Our children need to know that people filter what they share online, even more so than in real life, and to be wary of comparing themselves to a carefully cultivated image and persona. 

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The Perfect Night In For One

Whenever you get the chance to spend a night in by yourself, it can be a really great opportunity to relax and unwind. Planning the perfect evening at home doesn’t have to be a difficult task, as there are many different ideas that you can utilize to really make the most of your time. So, if you have the opportunity to organize a night in for one, then read on to uncover some of the best concepts that you can explore today! 

Image Source – Pexels 

 

Cook Yourself A Delicious Meal 

 

One of the best things that you can do to treat yourself during a night on for one is to cook a delicious meal. Source a few fresh ingredients and search online for a recipe that you can use to create a tasty dish, as there are so many different tutorials that detail step by step instructions on exactly how you can cook up your favorite meals. Putting a little effort into making a dish that tickles your taste buds can be a great way to express some self love and appreciation, so don’t go with the easy option of ordering a take out or purchasing a poor quality microwave meal. Cooking for one is often very easy, as you needn’t buy a large amount of ingredients therefore the time you require to prepare your dish can be surprisingly fast. Don’t skip over the presentation features just because you are eating alone, as it’s just as important as the taste – you eat with your eyes before you can even think about tasting the dish with your mouth.

 

Find Some Online Entertainment 

 

Planning a little bit of entertainment that you can have fun with during your night in for one help you to enjoy the time you get to spend in your own company, and the internet is a really great place to start your search. There are so many sources of entertainment online, from films and tv shows to blackjack and limitless other games of every kind of genre. Take some time to carry out a search to uncover a few different websites that you can utilize during your night in, as it will be far easier to visit your bookmark page then spend hours scrolling and scrolling to try and uncover something interesting to do. Even if you want to visit social media, so some clothes shopping or take the opportunity to read and learn something new – it can all be done so easily online!

 

Planning the perfect night in for one has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the ideas and concepts detailed above! Start off by uncovering a delicious recipe that you can utilize to create a tasty meal that you will really love. Then, have a look online and search for some entertainment such as a film, game or information publishing source that can keep you occupied for hours on end! You don’t always need to have company to have fun.

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