When I first became a parent, like so many before and after me, I made promises to myself on how I would parent. I had a checklist of things in my mind that I wouldn’t let my children do, eat, say or see. It’s an unreasonable list to make before you have children and yet we all seem to do it. When the moment comes to make those decisions, it’s a different story once you have children and circumstances have changed. It can be a little as saying, “I am never letting the tv babysit my child”. I bet you would happily let them watch three episodes of Peppa Pig to meet a work deadline to pay the bills, or get dinner made without two toddlers crying at your feet, or perhaps in the middle of the night when one of them is super ill and all that eases the pain is that Peppa Pig oink. It can also be a bigger decision like when to let them have their own tablet or cell phone.
My kid’s are getting pass that toddler stage where I didn’t really want them spending too much time on a tablet or phone but yet need to know how to use them for educational proposes for school. I remember my son coming home from reception with log on details for his homework and I realized I couldn’t keep them from the tablet much longer. Instead I thought about why I thought that I didn’t want my children on a tablet before I had them. It’s the same notion from above but on a bigger scale. When it came down to it, I felt it wasn’t safe or educational to sit and watch endless youtube videos. Was I being unreasonable? I think so.
First off, I think I just needed to be more tablet savy myself. I needed to know what securities I could take to ensure my kid’s playing on the tablet was safe. I also quickly found out there was kid’s youtube app instead of normal youtube which only recommends videos based on age. What a brilliant idea that was and it got the ball rolling for me to educate my own kid’s what was safe and educational and what was not appropriate for them to do on the tablet. Keeping them away from tablets wouldn’t help any of us but making sure they know when and how to use it seems the best way moving forward.
You can find my kid’s playing all sorts of educational games we have downloaded for free. It not only gives them some quiet down time while I make dinner or finish working after school but it also has them learning in a fun way, especially for my daughter, who isn’t as keen on homework as her brother. She loves doing math and spanish apps to help her understand her homework more. I think she also learns better visually so that’s where the tablet has really helps us a lot lately. My thoughts of keeping them off technology devices was just naive. It can help them in so many ways as long as we prepare them for what’s online and educate ourselves too.
I have parental control on our tablets and phones. They can’t search for things or get on certain websites. All personal information is protected. My kid’s are not at the age of understanding social media which will be another education milestone for us all when they do get there. For now, I feel they use it for educational purposes and are safe on it with the guidelines I have given them and the security measures I have taken as a precaution. Is your tablet secure for your children?
Now, don’t get me wrong my kids love a good PAW Patrol show or movie like Rio to watch on their tablet or in their den when we make dens in the living room and make homemade popcorn. It’s a treat for them. I also use my parental controls on the tablet to time them so they can’t be on it in their bedrooms for longer than I said they could watch it.
I have kids now and the experience of having kids has taught me so much. I laugh at myself for the things I said I would never give them before I had them. Although I am still the mean Mommy that isn’t too happy about giving them sugar. Just give my kid’s ice cream and see what happens and you will understand. I love learning along with my kids. I will admit I evolve my parenting views as we go along. We can never know what kind of parent we will be like, or what we will and won’t do until we are in those very moments to make those decisions.
Do your kid’s have tablets? How much do you teach them about online safety and how much do you use security to ensure their safety on their tablets? Any questions, just comment below, I would be happy to help or find more helpful tips, answers to your questions at AO Cyber Aware here. There are even articles to help keep you safe from unwanted trolls online. Let’s make online safe for kids so they can continue to educate themselves as much as we educate them.