Hi, welcome to Internet Safety for Kids and thank you for joining our program!
As always with our program Internet Safety for Kids, please make sure to watch this episode together when possible, so you all learn and understand these important topics. Don’t allow the adults to say that they already know everything because there will be plenty to learn for them, too!
There is a very important reason that we always encourage you to watch Internet Safety for Kids together. Learning together is very important to also be able to support each other. Maybe you will have some questions and when you learn together you can also find the answers together. But there is also something else that we have to keep in mind. When you ask 1000 people how they use the internet, you will get 1000 different answers. There are so many different things on the internet to pick from and not everybody is interested in the same things, right? And we might like something else tomorrow and stop using the things we like today. So, learning together and being involved in how we use the internet is very important to also help each other with staying safe on the internet. That is our topic for today.
We will explain why is it important, what does it mean, and what should you do. Are you with us?
Let us start with a fun game. Everyone counts how many new apps they have installed last week. Ready? Go! (pause). Ok, how many new apps did you install last week? My answer is zero, and to be honest with you, I have not installed a new app in a few months. But when I ask my son, the answer is always a few. Sometimes only 1. Sometimes 5 or more. He always gets new ideas from his friends, or finds new things he wants to try, and even adds in apps for other apps that he wants to try. Yes, most of them are games. I have only 2 games on my phone and most of the time it is my son who plays them. The apps I use get automatic updates of course, but I very rarely install new apps. Do you also have such a big difference with for example your parents or siblings?
OK, most kids are very dynamic about the apps they use and about for example social media. What is great this week might already be boring next month. But we also have to be honest and accept that adults also change what they use, even when they change slower. No matter how fast or slow we change how we use devices and the internet, it will be difficult to support each other when we are not keeping up with what the others do, right? For parents, this means that they have to be willing to pay attention to the kids and that the kids have to be willing to show the adults what they are doing. It is no big secret that this is not always the case, let us put it like that. But if we all want to support each other with being safe on the internet, we have to change that. Parents and kids together!
In our episode about parenting controls, we explained how this can help parents and kids to keep things on the right track, but we also explained that it is important to talk about what you want to use, and that it also important to explain why you don’t want your kids to use a certain app. These conversations about what we do and how we can do that safe are very important, and we all have to be willing to make time for that. Challenging your parents for a match in your favorite game can be helpful but you can also just show how it works. But that is only possible when the adults actually watch, right? Right?!
Besides apps and games, we also have to make sure that we learn together about social media and support each other with using them safe. There are so many different social media platforms that it is impossible to be on all of them, but that also means that it is difficult to keep up with who is where and does what. I agreed with my kids that they always ask for permission before they join a social media platform, and that they never hide their account for me. That way I can support them when needed and at the same time keep an eye on the people they interact with for their own safety. Do you want to know something funny? Through my own kids I am now on some social media platforms they like. I did not like them at first but by seeing what my kids do there and being involved with them, I discovered that I actually like it. But don’t tell them because it is my little secret. Just kidding of course, my kids know this, and we have lots of fun together.
Learning together to help us keep safe on the internet is very important. That will only work when the kids don’t hide what they do, and the parents will take time when the kids show them something. This is something that we really have to do together and learn with and from each other. Because we are stronger together! And safer!