Parents of this age are into a lot of confusion and dilemma on seeing their preteens and kids using their useful chunks of time in messaging text and playing games on mobiles , surfing internet , visiting social networking sites such as facebooks .Parenting In this fast track age with lot of exposure to technology has become a lot more challenging.
Parents point of views and dilemmas
First Point of View: We didn’t want to give our child access to internet or mobiles but we had to bend to peer pressure .We didn’t want him to be left behind or feel low in front of his friends. Everyone in his group is having mobile and has an access to internet account.
Second Point of View: My kid is doing well in academics. He is not allowed to use internet I have put password in it and he is not allowed to use mobile phone. Till he is into something serious and is on his own , he is kept away from all distractions .
Third Point of View: As a parent we need to respect our child as an individual and as an independent thinker .We have given our child all the latest gadgets and he has access to everything. If we as parents are on the right track, leading an ethical and rightful life it is not possible for our kids to move off the track that easily. After all they imitate us and pick up whatever they see at home. In our point of view as independent thinkers they can suggest us on latest technology related things and useful services available in the market.
We may have any one of these point of views or any other point of view but as a parent it is our foremost duty to provide safety cover to our children.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
1. Don’t completely deny access to the internet because banning only increases their curiosity.
2. Encourage children to make off-line friends i.e. friends in person whom they can interact with.
3. Allow the administered use of internet. Somebody responsible should be around when they are accessing internet.
4. Set and lay down rules. Fix and regulate the timings and stuff they are allowed to browse on internet.
5.If as a parent we are giving them entry to the cyber world it is our duty to inform them about the dangers in the cyber world. Some parents have the view that their children are too small to understand all this. But, if your child is big enough to go to cyber world then understand that he is big enough to be told of the lurking dangers and ills in the cyber world. It is our big mistake to leave them uninformed in the cyber world. Leaving children uninformed in cyber world can be as dangerous as leaving children uninformed in real world.
6. Give children better options such as playing outdoors. Involve them more in outdoor activities.
7. Do keep an eye on the sites your child visits often. Many of them may be good and informative but if you find something fishy about some site be extremely strict with that -you need to put your foot firmly and say “NO “ to it.
8. Look into internet security options. Internet security providers have packages that help you keep an eye on how your kids are using internet and they provide security for kids.
What you can do if your child has turned out to be an internet addict or spends a lot of time in texting messages on mobile:
1. Internet addiction and excessive texting is mostly the result of emotional and behavioural disorders and problems the child is facing. As a parent you can act as his best friend and find out what is happening in his life and what are the things that are disturbing your child. If you can manage and fix the things on your own it well and good otherwise you can take the expert advice of a counsellor.
2. Encourage your child into outdoor activities and constructive activities .If your child is shy and does have many friends to play outside put him into some classes or activities of his interest-where he enjoys and feels refreshed.
3.Develop his interest in household activities –this is also a skill. Let him provide meaningful help in household activities such as cooking, buying grocery, cleaning his space, gardening etc. Make him responsible of certain household tasks such as maintaining the garden.
4. As an example look into this. South Korea is one of the most wired country in the world. In this country addiction to internet has become a major problem. There they have started Riding Healing Centres. It is a therapy organisation that uses horse riding to cure emotional and behavioural disorders-which they believe are an underlying cause of internet addiction. They say that horse is an animal that anyone can get easily make emotional connection with .Moreover, thinking about how to ride them better makes children lose their interest in sterile internet activities. So you can also plan something on similar lines and divert his attention from sterile activity of internet surfing to some more lively activities that will involve his mental energy and also give him emotional satisfaction.