Yippee! The summer holidays are here…respite from early morning school runs & tons of homework. Holidays are a time to let our hair down, relax and have some fun. You probably have a couple of activities lined up for your children…family vacation, summer school or perhaps you’ve decided that they’ve worked so hard during the school term so you’re just going to suspend most rules.
I don’t mean to be a killjoy and I do agree that there is a place for relaxing the rules a bit but it’s important that we still ensure that necessary safety nets are in place especially when it comes to screen time and content management. I am aware that to minimize distractions, some families have a “no (or minimal) television or social media” policy during the school term. Lifting that embargo during the holidays without putting necessary controls in place may prove quite costly and “no” I’m not just talking about your Internet bill!
The digital world is filled with different kinds of people and all manner of content, a lot of which are totally inappropriate for children. The emotional and psychological effect of children stumbling on content they shouldn’t or connecting with “bad people” can be very costly. So Parental Control (PC) is very necessary. A good starting point is to be aware of the age restrictions for different social media platforms (surely there must be a reason why these restrictions were put there).
Activating parental control on the smart phones and devices that the children use, enabling Google Safe Search and getting the children to use kid friendly safe search engines can also be helpful in filtering content.
Another great and value-adding activity for the holidays would be to equip them with critical thinking, screen time management and other digital citizenship skills using the DQWorld.net platform. You can send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with signing your child up.
Finally, please note…
None of these recommendations are a substitute for parental supervision
Wishing you a fun-filled, safe holiday!