Handling the Internet and Young Children
Raising kids comes with lots of fears and that main fear is almost always in regard to their safety. We want nothing more than for our children to be safe in this big and sometimes scary world. We want to give them the reins to take the ride of life on their own but we first want to make sure they know just how to safely ride.
In our home, social media (for me) is obviously a big thing. I run my businesses off of social media and like others, I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration for everything from messy hair buns to keto recipes.
But what about my children and the Internet?
What about social media? Granted they are too young for social media now, but it doesn't help to think about what you "think" you'll do when the time comes and how you'll handle it.
I know many, many young children have their own smart phones and iPads, but that is simply not the case here. My children play educational games on MY iPad and honestly they usually just scroll through our family photos and videos. Giving them each their own iPad is something that I have no intentions of doing - not even close. Maybe teenage years I'll consider it, but even then there will be some heavy monitoring. There's just simply no need for it for our own personal reasons.
What about social media for young teens?
My daughter still has several years until she enters the world of the teens (thank gosh), but I can't help but think of all the young girls I know who already have access to social media. Do I think that chatting with their friends is a bad thing? Of course not. But just like the internet does, social media opens up a portal to things that children may not be ready to see and shouldn't see. Not to mention that social media has become the modern day hallways of school bullying, something that I want to steer my children clear from.
But you can't protect them from everything?
No you can't. I can't protect my children from everything. They may not have iPhones and social media and still may see images online from peers' phones. They may not have access to the internet at my house but can easily access it at a friend's home. I know these things, I was a kid once. But as a parent I feel it is my duty and obligation to protect my child as best as I can, and to me that is not just handing off electronics to allow free range.
But one day they'll need a phone. And the internet for school.
Absolutely! One day my children will need a phone and when that time comes, I will decide on if we go with a smart phone (probably not) or a regular phone just for calls and text. And of course my children will always have monitored access to the internet at home for school purposes or even if their curiosity strikes and they need to Google something.
I recently came across the cutest book about internet safety for children that covers the basics: not giving out personal info, not falling for phishing scams, social media safety and more. This adorably illustrated book is easy and catchy to read and straight to the point.
After speaking to the brains behind Internet Kids Road Trip, I realized that a lot of thought went into this project. From surveying mommy friends and discovering that they didn't totally know what their kids were doing on the internet, to designing and illustrating the book themselves, this book was a labor of love to help protect the innocence of our children out there.
I hope you take a peek at this book and share it with those that need it. You can grab a free digital download here and pass it along to your young children. This book is excellent for children around the ages of 6-13 who are just beginning to understand the internet and social media. Or you can be like me, and try to shield as much as possible!
Deciding what is right for your family's internet usage is truly a "to each their own." Do what works for you and decide where your priorities lie in keeping your children safe on the internet. And please give this adorable book a read!
Also, can we remember to always respect and not judge others when it comes to their own personal rules. Don't think someone is being ridiculous because their young child doesn't have a phone and vice versa. Respect without ridicule is huge here. Coming from someone who had her identity used for disgusting purposes on Facebook, I have every right to shield what feels right for me.
Mamas, do what works for you and what is right for your kids. And please, give this book a read to your children so they can understand the dangers of the internet a little more.
This is a sponsored post. All reviews and opinions are my own.