Prepared by Eleven
The pressures of raising children today are undoubtedly different than it was a decade ago – and in today’s digital age, it can often be overwhelming for parents to keep up with the latest tech and the dangers that come along with it.
According to new research from the internet parental control service FamilyEye by Yomojo, Australia’s mums and dads have reported feeling guilty, anxious and embarrassed when it comes to their children’s online habits.
The report found that 70% of parents report feeling anxious and guilty for not knowing what their children get up to online, with a further seven-in-10 Aussie parents also admitting to letting their children browse the internet unaccompanied and one-third of Aussies anxious or embarrassed about the issue, particularly when it comes to the topic of chat room strangers, sexually explicit and violent content.
While many parents feel lost or overwhelmed when it comes to seeking advice on monitoring kids’ internet safety, the survey found two-thirds turn to their partner (33%), friend (15%) or family (9%), and good-old Google* (20%).
To help navigate us through what can often be difficult conversations, we sat down with child psychologist Dr Kimberley O’Brien to discuss her top tips on what Aussie parents can do to help make the internet safer to use.
Dr Kimberley O’Brien’s Internet Safety Tips for Parents
1. Use a parental-control app. Set boundaries by using a parental-control app, like FamilyEye by Yomojo, to help track, monitor and protect your child’s safety online.
2. Be consistent when it comes to online house rules. It is important for parents to live by the same set of rules and disciplines when it comes to online use. Have regular conversations with your partner to ensure alignment on values and consistency of message. This united front will help children play by your guidelines.
3. Set limits on your own screen use. And don’t forget, children are constantly learning from what they see. In the home, display what healthy internet and smartphone use looks like – and this behaviour also gives you more uninterrupted time together.
4. Keep children’s laptops and phones where you can see them. Ask kids to keep their devices visible – using them in the family living room – rather than in their bedrooms or private study areas.
5. Be mindful when children are on playdates. Remember, while you may have your own rules at home, these may not apply when your child is in the company of extended family or their friends. Check in with the other parents and have an open discussion about boundaries around internet use – before the playdate.