Do you know what your kids get up to online? is a paid collaboration with Tots100 and McAfee. It seems that I am not alone in being my children tech this Christmas. In fact, 45% of people are planning to buy the latest gadgets for Christmas this year, putting tech at the top of Brits’ Christmas shopping lists with 22% of people say they plan to buy connected toys this festive period, a 7% increase on last year. However, less than a third of parents (31%) are currently speaking to their kids about what they do online. Do you know what your kids get up to online?
Do you know what your kids get up to online?
I am one of those parents that really do worry about what my children are doing online. On average children get their first smartphone at the average age of just 10 years old and my boys at 12 and 11 both have smartphones, so I try to keep a close eye on what they are looking at. The other issue for me is online security and ensuring that we protect ALL of our devices from virus’. As a family, we use McAfee Total Protection and have for the last five years.
I think that a lot of parents would be surprised at just how switched on their kids are with tech. Take a look at this video by McAffee and see the parents reactions to their kids knowldege. I think this would be a great thing to do with your own children.
I actually had a chat with my boys about this over dinner yesterday and it really came as no surprise to me as to just how switched on they are about technology. We have always discussed it as a family and they know that they should not talk to people they do not know online. It is important to me that we keep an open line of communication when it comes to technology and that they are always truthful.
I am delighted to say that spending time talking, discussing and listening to the boys talk about technology has paid off, as Maxi told me when a friend tried to show him pornography on his phone and that Mini told me about another friend saying nasty things online.
I am not going to tell people how they should be dealing with their children and technology, but I do want to share what really works for us. I also do not think that not knowing is an excuse, so many people bury their head in the sand and then react after something happens. This is too late. As parents, we would not leave a selection of drinks including alcohol in front of our children and let them try them all and for me, the same applies to technology.
“Would you say it to your Nana?” It is so easy to not see the person behind the screen, but I always say to the boys imagine that that was said to their Nana either by them or other people. You have to humanise the person behind the screen.
Technology is NOT private – your phone is not a dairy, it is a piece of technology that I have bought and I pay for. When you start paying for it yourself then it becomes yours. this also links to the fact that we have a no phones or tablets in bedrooms rule – for them and us.
Home is a safe place – We have a rule where technology gets turned off at 7 pm (we have changed it from 6pm now the boys are older) and yes that includes our phones until they go to bed. I can not imagine what I would have felt like as a teen now. Back when I was growing up graffiti and such was impermeant and things got forgotten. Nowadays there is no sanctuary from social media.
I am always learning new things about technology and do try to keep up to date. I find that my friends older children are often the perfect people to talk to about new apps and also what I need to talk to the boys about.
Do you have concerns about your children and technology? If so what sort of things do you worry about?