I stumbled across an interesting read the other day on facebook. It got me thinking… can we really shelter our kids from the internet? Are we really doing them any favors by not letting them have “screen time”?
In a world that is so reliant on internet, and really technology in general, I think we are actually doing our kids a disservice by trying to keep from it.
My kids spend a lot of time on youtube, and youtube kids. I don’t think the problem is necessarily the app itself. I think the problem is the parenting, or lack of, that is going on.
You can’t give your kids a tablet and just set them free. The key to internet safety is knowing what your kids are watching, who they are talking to, what they are playing, etc. I’m not talking about just checking in on them every now and then, I’m talking about making it your job to know these things everyday.
There are a few youtube channels that my kids are more than welcome to watch. There are a few that we’ve turned off. There have been times that I’ve shut down the fortnite playing our house for days at a time.
Being present and aware at all times is what is important.
We live in a world of social media, internet, and constantly being plugged in. I don’t think that is going to change any time soon. If we don’t teach our children to safely navigate these roads, we are setting them up for failure.
Our house is full of technology. Literally. My kids have free access to it. Yet at this moment, my kids have made choices to do other activities.
My eight year old is outside playing basketball with his friends. My five year old is reading a book. My three year old is playing in dining room with a couple of ping pong balls that he found somewhere.
We are not going to ruin them by giving them an all access pass to ipads and computers. Eventually, they will get bored, and they will choose other activities.
It is our job to teach them how to be safe on the internet, just as it is our job to teach them to cross the road safely.
I repeat, the problem isn’t the tablet. The problem is the amount of parents that are lazy and allow their kids to have these devices unsupervised.
Be present. Be a parent. Do your job. Don’t use the tablets as a babysitter. Know what your kids are watching. Monitor the games they play, and the apps they download. Be aware. Be in the know. Don’t let them have social media accounts when they are ten. It seems pretty simple if you ask me.
I can’t tell you how to parent your kids. However, I think if we try to shelter them too much, we are going to end up with a generation that doesn’t know how to properly use the resources that are at their fingertips. And I think that’s a damn shame.