WebSafety is a FREE app for parents to monitor social media and web browsing on mobile devices.
Your children are always watching and listening, even when they seem like they're not. They absorb what you do and say, so you try to be a positive example. Sometimes it's tough to know what might be good for your children, so be the best version of yourself - and encourage your children to do the same - by avoiding these seven behaviors.
Checking your phone every few minutes
Smartphones are amazing. They've brought the world to our fingertips and allow us access to a plethora of information with the swipe of a finger. That being said, pay attention to the world outside of that small screen. Children crave your focus and, when they see you're not giving it to them, they'll find someone or something that will. They also learn that it's OK to constantly check phones instead of checking in with people. Lead by example, and teach your children to leave phones in another room.
Taking a hands-off approach to social media
Many children have social media accounts, and it's up to you to decide what your child can handle and when. It's also up to you to keep an eye on what your child is doing online. If your child has a Facebook page, then so should you - even if your child is your only friend. Even better, take advantage of apps that monitor your child's social media use.
Staying silent on the dangers of the Web
Children should learn how to take advantage of the spectacular spectrum of online resources available. Knowing how to use the Web will help them learn, and they will function better in modern society. At the same time, there are drawbacks. The Web is a place where you can find the best and worst of people, so discuss with your children how to avoid the worst. Encourage open lines of communication by showing a willingness to talk to your children about anything. That way, they will feel comfortable telling you if they encounter something unusual or that scares them.
Inviting the television to family meals
It's easy to let the TV entertain while you eat, but it's a lost opportunity for connecting with each other. Family meals are a moment when everyone can come together and talk about their days, and research shows it has a mountain of benefits. Talking without distractions will help you get the most out of your time together.
Do as I say, not as I do - it doesn't really work. Children will emulate you, so set an example for them. Of course, they should know that rules are different for adults and children, but show them that time spent offline is valuable, and limit computer usage to benefit the entire family.
Allowing unfettered online access
No matter how much good is found online, spending time there can be addicting. You probably know how quickly opening a Web page to check one thing can turn into rubbing your eyes hours later and wondering where the time went. Help your children avoid this trap by designating a certain number of hours or a time of day that online access is allowed. Make sure they're participating in the necessities, such as homework, first.
Shifting parenting responsibilities to screens
Every parent knows that sometimes you just need to plop your children in front of a show or game and take a break. It may be the only way to maintain your sanity, on some days more than others. Avoid making that the norm by spending time with your children away from the screen. Teach them lessons you want them to know. If they learn something from TV or a website, encourage them ask you about it, and turn it into a conversation, so you can learn together.
In the end we know that every parents goal is to help protect and love their children to the best of their ability. WebSafety can help to show that you care by giving you the ability to monitor your child's social media usage and track your child's website visits.
WebSafety is an app that can be customized to any parents needs, from getting notifications to certain websites your child may be visiting, to setting protections on multiple devices. To learn about these and other online security features for your children, visit WebSafety.
Jenna Koford is on the content team at FamilyShare. She graduated with a degree in Communications—Journalism and a minor in editing. Jenna enjoys painting and calligraphy, planning a wedding, and Pinterest and Netflix.