The internet: what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word? A whole new world of exploration. Now think of your child using the internet…why the doubt? Fear of the unknown? From a cell phone to your tablet or even the now humble desktop, the internet has penetrated into so many different types of technology today. How then should you seek to translate this fear into something constructive that helps your child grow to unleash his/her full potential?
Internet an Integral tool for learning :
Today the internet has become a part of a child’s natural environment. The same as it was essential for us to run out and play in our summer holidays as children, it has become almost synonymous for today’s kids to know the latest fad on the internet. Beyond home, the internet today is also made available to them at schools as well. An integral tool for learning, the internet, has also been well appreciated by teachers. Apart from the given advantage of being a vast expanse of knowledge, an added benefit is the interactive element. Websites that are designed especially for kids not only help them connect with other kids around the world but express ideas and receive feedback almost instantly. Furthermore, the internet is also known to improve cognitive abilities such as memory, abstraction, critical thinking, comprehension and spatial and logical problem solving.
Set a good example in their usage of the internet :
There are yet many parents who have expressed apprehensions about this resource. Did you ever have an experience of telling your child not to indulge or touch something and come back to see that they have done the exact opposite of what you said? The same goes for the internet as well. While you browse through search engines to social networks and entertainment portals on the internet, your child is watching you and is curious to know what you are doing. While this natural instinct of curiosity enables kids to become more creative and come up with some brilliant questions, shunning them away tends to encourage them to explore without supervision. Parents thus, should firstly be able to set a good example in their usage of the internet.
Content, usage and safety :
The content that our kids consume of the internet is of extreme importance. Many social networks do not allow kids under the age of 13 years, yet according to a recent report by McAfee, over 70% of tweens in metropolitan cities in India use such sites regularly with their parents help! It is absolutely essential that parents do not encourage their child’s presence on such platforms and expose them to unsuitable content. You would rather introduce your child to age appropriate games and platforms which help hold your child’s attention in the right direction and do not prove to be misleading.
1.One hour every day of the week, some parents are most comfortable with one hour in the weekend. When you set your expectations early on, it would be easier for your child to further adhere to the same.
2. A rule of safety is to know what your child is doing on the internet. It is essential that parents always maintain the upper hand with regards to usage.
3. Instead of invading privacy, means of supervision should be formed so much so that the bond is based on friendship.
Internet is a powerful tool which when used effectively can help your child explore and learn something new everyday. The Boston Consulting Group has estimated around 134 million children online in India by 2017. In such a scenario, it is essential to maintain a balanced approach in communication with your child. This will not only help keep them safe online but also strengthen your relationship. After all, changing times demand a change in attitude in every aspect – in this case being more welcoming and communicative!
This article has been written by Mr. Harsh Wardhan Dave – Head, Experience and Brand at worldoo.com
Smita Diwan a Television Journalist and Communication Specialist with an experience of 10 years in media and leading satellite channels started whatshelikes.in as a digital hub for women in India. Smita specialises in Lifestyle, Home Decor, Health, Food and Product reviews. When she is not working,she is researching or practising yoga! @SmitaDiwan