Kids & Technology: Staying Safe
By Franklin County Children Services
Technology is a wonderful thing – if used responsibly, that is. To keep your kids safe, here are some parenting tips on using computers and cell phones wisely. If you don’t currently have internet in your home, this is something you should definitely look into. Simply search for something like ‘internet in my area‘ and you should be able to find a cheap provider. Although the internet does have a dark side, as long as you and your children are careful, it can be a great tool.
Be involved. Spend time online with your kids and get to know what websites they’re visiting. This will keep an open line of communication – not to mention you’ll learn a lot from your tech-savvy children! Another idea: consider installing filters to block inappropriate websites, which can be done via your internet provider so that your child doesn’t know and feel that you are trying to be too controlling over their freedom.
Teach boundaries. Kids should never reveal personal information about themselves online without your permission.
Safety first. Make sure your kids don’t give our their phone numbers to strangers. Also, make sure they never drive while talking or texting.
Teach responsible use. For a lesson in money management, have your kids keep track of their minutes and pay their bills each month to learn budgeting. Responsible text messaging is another critical issue. Texting in class, at the dinner table or especially, while driving, is always a bad idea – as is sending obscene or inappropriate photos. This is an increasingly serious problem known as “sexting.”
When it Comes to Using Technology…
Establish rules for use and consequences for breaking them. Set time and place boundaries, for example: Absolutely no phone use during class or no Internet time until homework or chores are done.
If you would like more help in parenting, technology, &/or boundaries, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our coaches or counselors.