Kids online: safety tips for summer 2017

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Summer vacation for kids means a lot of time spending online. They can play games, interact with their friends, watch cartoons all their free time. And here comes the question how healthy it is. According to statistics, adolescents can hardly concentrate their attention on printed text when they spend too much time, looking at screen. The maximum for them lasts 30 seconds. And more time online may harm not only their health, but incur other sorts of risks like cyberbullying, inappropriate content, online predators, and cyber criminals seeking to steal kid's personal information.

Uncontrollable time in front of TV screens or monitors can turn into a real black hole devouring wonderful moments of life that children could spend playing with friends or a dog, reading, constructing, painting, composing music, riding bicycles or simply resting. Children can always adjust to the reasonable limits set by their parents. But fewer children willingly part with their computers, mobile phones, televisions or other electronic devices, and an increasing effort on their part should be made by their parents in order to achieve this.

 

Organizing the child's relationship with virtual reality, try the following simple tricks:

 

  1. Organize a computer place in the living room. Do not put the computer at kid's room. In such way you have more opportunity to supervise his online activity.

  2. Use filtering and blocking software. There are special browsers for kids, which offer cool content and leave parents with full control of kid's virtual life. Use e-mail spam filter, so the child will not get any unsolicited e-mail with malicious links or adult advertisements.

  3. Talk to the child about the game he is currently playing. What does he like about it, how did he know about it, would he like to experience a similar thing in real life? Do not blame him, otherwise the child will hide from you his computer hobbies.

  4. Agree on the time that the child will spend at the computer (younger kids should not be kept in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes a day, and for teenagers the maximum "computer" time is two and a half hours per day).

  5. Give kids fun alternatives. Even if you are busy, you can give an idea to your child, how to spend a free time. Give him an opportunity to speak about his wishes.

  6. Spend time with kids. Go on vacations together, play summer games, enjoy time in nature. Summer is just the right time for walks and outside recreation. If you lack ideas for outside activities, you can always, show your kids the options online, so they can choose. Spending time in forest or park will enrich you with oxygenated air that kills bacteria and viruses, will improve breathing, and will lift up the mood of the whole family.

  7. Less sit at the computer yourself, read more often and be active. Be an example for your child! Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.

Parents need to be confident captains of the ship who give clear directions, listen to the child and help him to relieve the burden of emotions, and find alternative options (such as old-fashioned board games, joint baking cookies or reading out loud) that help make time off the computer more enjoyable and interesting.

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