Author’s Note: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions written below are my own.
Kids are receiving their own digital devices at earlier ages as technology becomes more integral in our day-to-day lives. My 3-year-old even has her own tablet. Granted, it’s just so I can play Daniel Tiger for her, but I have no doubt that when she gets older, she will want to start exploring new content that piques her interest.
Here is where it gets tricky. We have all heard at least one (if not 100) nightmare stories about online predators or the open access to our lives that we put online. As new social platforms arrive on the scene, it can be more difficult to keep up with the trends or understand how safe or unsafe these platforms are.
Digital Parenting: Protect Your Kids Online
Just as you would not leave your child unchaperoned in the middle of a big city, you should not let your kid be unchaperoned in the big wide world of the Internet. When it comes to safety, awareness and open communication is key.
It’s a tough conversation to have, but there is an incredible resource available to help educate and facilitate. Jaci Russo, PCM, founder of Brand State U and brandRUSSO, has been educating parents on Internet safety since 2008. In her course Digital Parenting: Protect Your Kids Online, Jaci covers the challenges and benefits of social media as well as steps to online safety.
- Creating a contract: facilitate a conversation with your kids by setting expectations and having them promise to abide by the rules.
- Cell phone readiness checklist: for the parents who are back and forth on whether or not their kids should have a cell phone, there’s a resource to help you make that decision.
- Foundation for safety: reviews privacy policies, age limits, apps education etc.
Digital Citizen (5th-6th): Be Internet Awesome
For parents whose children are deeply immersed in tech both for school and for play, this course is for you. As middle schoolers gain more freedom and independence, it’s important to discuss what this looks like on their devices, too.
The course is broken down into five main sessions:
- Share with Care
- Don’t Fall or Fake
- Secure your Secrets
- It’s Cool to be Kind
- When in Doubt, Talk it Out
Each session has specific lessons to help parents become educated on the dangers they may encounter, but also the warning signs or red flags to find them.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to internet safety. Your kids have to go through driver’s education to obtain a license, so why not have them go through internet education to obtain electronics?
As a former youth minister and a current mother, I cannot recommend this course enough. Jaci is a dynamic speaker, and her experience with her own four children brings a wealth of knowledge to parents.
Each course is $47, but the 2-course bundle is $70. I highly recommend both.
You can find these courses at brandstateu.com.