Check out these tips from SafetyWeb.com:
1. Develop Communication Habits at Home That Translate to High Privacy Standards Online
A recent study revealed that parents’ influence affects their teens’ views on privacy protection online. Taking the time to mediate conversations, and encourage your child to develop critical thinking skills will greatly increase the likelihood of their taking the time to weigh the consequences of their words and actions online.
Source: 2008 Study
2. Surf the Internet with Your Child
Taking a few hours a week to surf the Internet with your child allows you time to bond with them. It also affords you the opportunity time to discover your child’s online habits and teach them in real-time the appropriateness of the content they are viewing online. Whether they are looking at funny videos or a bullying text from one of their classmates, you can teach them to the correct way to respond to the content, and help them develop coping skills.
3. Check in With Your Child and Have Frequent Conversations About What’s Hot on the ‘Net
Hot activities, like social networking and location-based apps can be fun and help your child learn how to socialize. But they can also take up a lot of time, and lead to Internet addiction and leave your child vulnerable to cyber bullies. Have discussion with your child about balancing their online activities with real-life activities, and to protect their privacy and online reputation.
4. Talk to Your Child About Positive Things They Can Do Online
A recent survey has found that many teens use the Internet to cure their boredom and become involved in positive activities online rather than engage in risky behavior. Whether its blogging about their extra-curricular activities, or creating an original trailer for one of their favorite movies, the Internet offers an environment where kids and teens can develop hobbies and hone some digital skills.
5. Before Giving Your Child a Digital Device, Set Standards and Ground Rules for Use
Whether you are able to control the number of minutes on a cell phone, block certain callers or limit the number and nature of apps they use, it is important that your teen understands not all digital products and activities are meant for them to use.
As your child uses their devices responsibly and matures, allow them more privileges. Rewarding good behavior is just as important as setting and enforcing restrictions.
Ben Martin is the CEO of THE FATHER LIFE. He lives with his wife and five children in the Rochester, NY, area.