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It’s amazing all the advancements we’ve had in technology over the last few years. It’s crazy to think that my career wouldn’t even exist without the internet!
While I love many parts of the internet and what it provides for my family, it’s also really important to me as a mom to keep my kids safe online.
Today is Safer Internet Day – an event I can totally get behind!
“Together for a better internet” is a call to action that I’m proud to support. The goal is to create a better internet for everyone can enjoy, especially kiddos.
The team at Google Kids and Families is encouraging families to find ways to be safe online and create healthy digital habits and to be Internet Awesome.
Ready to find out more? Great – I’m happy to tell you!
The NEW family guide has some great ideas included. Once you review the guide, your kids can put their skills to the test with Interland.
It’s also important to have open conversations with your kids about making good choices online and setting healthy boundaries.
This is a talk we have regularly at home. I’m glad that our school also discusses this with the kids, too. It’s a great reinforcement for what we’ve set up at home.
Additionally, all of Rowen’s homework is done online, so once school started this year, it was really important to me that we sat down to discuss our expectations.
I know that I can’t helicopter over my kids and their every choice. My hope is that by setting up guidelines and having open discussions with them from a young age will set them up for successful decisions as they get older.
Here are some of the guidelines we have in our family:
The computer can only be used in open family areas, like the kitchen table. The screen has to face to outward so I can keep an eye on what’s happening. I make sure they only use the computer when I’m able to be present in the room and being watchful.
Ryan and I also make it a point to sit down with the boys while they’re on the computer.
I will say this takes some discipline – I can’t just send the boys off with the laptop to get something done. I need to take a moment to sit down and be present. On busy days, this can frustrate me. BUT the pay off is worth it.
We’ve gotten some great family time by doing this. It’s totally worth taking the time to work on projects together.
We’ll grab a snack and sit down together to work on homework or play a game. It’s a fun way to get some giggles and quality time while keeping an eyeball on their online activity.
We don’t use headphones on the computer. Same idea as the computer facing the room – I want to make sure I can hear what’s happening.
I have a bookmark bar set up for the boys on their computer. They can click any of the bookmarks we’ve got saved, but they can’t go searching on their own. This helps to prevent random content that we don’t want showing up popping up inadvertently.
For now, the boys aren’t allowed to use technology when visiting friend’s houses. Since all families have different rules, I’ve told the boys that when they have a playdate with a friend, we need to stay off electronics.
I know this will be a conversation our family will continue having in the years to come. I’m happy with the guidelines we’ve set up so far and I know it will help set the kids up for longterm success online.
Celebrate Safer Internet Day and have a conversation with your family, as well!