Unsurprisingly, digital devices are set to be a pretty common feature on most kids’ wish lists this Christmas. As parents though, there are many concerns to be had before making this kind of purchase, be it a new phone, a first phone, a smartwatch, a tablet, a laptop – the list goes on.
Many parents will share the same sorts of reservations: How can I protect my child while they are online? Does my child understand phone etiquette? Are they even old enough for a digital device?
Here are a few tips to help you with gifting digital devices this Christmas:
Before you even give your kid their new phone (or other connected devices) – make sure you’ve sat down and had a conversation with them about how to stay safe online. Some topics you may want to include are:
☑️ Online shopping
☑️ Opening emails from unknown sources
☑️ Posting on social media
☑️ Protecting personal information
Parental Control Apps
Parental control apps such as FamilyKeeper can provide much-needed peace of mind, especially if this is your child’s first device, or their first venture onto social media. Setting up a parental control app on your child’s device before you present them with their gift is one approach. However, open dialogue between parents and children is paramount, so make sure to tell your child why you’ve installed the application.
With parental controls, you can set healthy screen time limits, block inappropriate websites, and get notifications of any incendiary keywords. You can utilize location tracking to check that your child is in a safe place, and a battery tracker to make sure their device always has enough power to contact you if they need to.
They say it takes a village to raise a child – well, when it comes to your kids and technology, getting advice from other people in your community is a pretty good idea. It’s useful to see how other parents handle conversations about online safety – especially when these conversations vary so much, depending on the age of the child in question. Other parents can also offer advice such as:
☑️ At what age they gave their child their first device
☑️ Which type of phone they would recommend for kids
☑️ What other types of online devices may be appropriate for kids
Also, if you aren’t already on the same wavelength as your child, it’s worth reaching out to friends and family members to teach you about some of the most popular sites, so that you can check out what types of content your child may be viewing. You may be a Facebook and Pinterest pro, but if you have a kid who loves TikTok and Snapchat, knowing how to navigate these apps could be helpful.
Whatever decision you ended up making this Christmas, online safety is paramount. It’s amazing that there’s so much of the world now at our fingertips – but there are dangers out there. Forewarned is forearmed: so make sure you enjoy the festivities while keeping you and your family safe.
**Now is also the time to take advantage of our FamilyKeeper Christmas promotion with 50% off all plans! **
For more information, visit our website or download the Android app here.