Caregivers should treat their child’s online environment the same way they treat their child’s physical environment. They should know ‘where they are going, how they are getting there, who they are hanging out with’, etc.
Caregivers should also:
- Educate themselves about the most frequently used apps for kids and teens and learn about their privacy settings and controls.
- Communicate openly about the risks and dangers of technology.
- Teach their children not to share personal information online and why.
- Discuss and agree upon rules, expectations and consequences before giving their child access.
- Remind them technology-use is a privilege that comes with maturity and trust.
- Find out what their child is doing online and who they are talking to.
- Establish themselves as their child’s go-to resource for help and information.
- Popular social media platforms amongst teens include Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram and most recently, TikTok.
- Researchers who limited study participants’ use of social media to only 30 minutes each day found that after three weeks, participants felt less depressed and less lonely.
- Digital game distributors, such as Steam report a considerable increase in the number of daily users over the past weeks: from 19 million in early March to a record high of 23.5 million in early April. Especially popular are social simulation games like the Animal Crossing series or Minecraft, which allow players to build their own worlds alone or together with friends.
- Growing up in a connected world states that while a small group of children will inevitably encounter adverse experiences when they use digital technology, this is not directly related to the time they spend online. Rather, when considering such experiences, more attention should be paid to what children do online, the content they encounter, and their life environment and support networks in general.
- Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, found in a study last year that children who spent one to two hours a day with technology showed higher levels of well-being than those who had no access at all.
- UCLA Health highlights how parents should not feel guilty about their child’s screen time.
Common Sense Media has created a Family Media Agreement you and your children can review and sign.