How to Practice Good Internet Habits With Kids
In 2021, parents ranked the increased screen time their kids were experiencing as one of the top 3 harmful effects of the pandemic. Children more than double their screen time during the pandemic, with more time spent online for schoolwork, reading ebooks, and listening to music. 50% of teens feel that they are addicted to their mobile devices, and even some younger children are starting to feel the effects of unlimited screen time.
Teens and children are experiencing cyberbullying at a higher rate than ever before, and it is leading to serious consequences. Lower self-esteem, diminished body image, and feelings of isolation and loneliness are all common occurrences in young people who are spending more than 3 hours per day on social media where they are experiencing cyberbullying.
Exposure to violent or harmful content can happen early in a child’s life in front of screens. With 84% of parents worried for their child’s safety online, it is important to know the ways to help kids understand the dangers of the internet and how to practice good online habits.
Establishing age-appropriate ground rules can help children understand why internet safety is so important and instill good internet behavior early on. Some common ground rules include not sharing personal information, not accepting friend requests from anyone you don’t know, and keeping gaming chats about the game only. Parental controls can also be implemented that can restrict certain content that children should not be viewing. These controls can be used on computers, gaming systems, and even TV’s to prevent accidental exposure to vioent or sexual content.
Parents can also start practicing good internet habits with their children so that they have more experience with them later on. Some good habits include showing kids how to report and block inappropriate content or behavior. Households can also keep a central device charging station in their home as well as establish a digital curfew for the whole family. This can help older kids and adults to cut back on their screen time and keep young kids from falling victim to screen addiction.
With screens becoming more and more integrated into daily life, it is important for young kids and teens to keep good internet habits. Starting these habits when children are younger is the best way to prevent some of the harmful side effects of unlimited screen time. Learn more about how to practice good online behavior in the infographic below.