It’s Time You Had the “Tech Talk” With Your Child.

It’s Time You Had the “Tech Talk” With Your Child.

‘The talk’ is probably one of the most important discussions parents and educators will have with children. While everyone knows that these sex talks are a necessity, another discussion, which we’ll call ‘the tech talk’, should be given equal importance as your child becomes more active in the digital world.

As your child grows, so does their digital footprint. This means that they’ll be increasingly affected by their social media presence: Teachers and friends will have a perception of them from their online presence, their future careers may be affected by their online identity, their online safety might be at risk from cyber security and they may become victims or perpetrators of cyberbullying in their lifetime.

With that in mind, here are several talking points we’ve suggested for the next time you have ‘the tech talk’ with your child.

Privacy

The internet is a great place for your child to learn about what’s private and what’s public. If your child is at the age where they know that being nude in public is not appropriate, then they’ll definitely understand the importance of the private and public on social media. The next time you’re posting pictures on your child’s social media page, model the process and show them how you pick the right pictures. Start with the fun stuff where you’re picking the pictures with the best colours and best smiles and then lead your way into the more serious stuff where you’re avoiding pictures with personal information like street addresses or pictures with people in the background that might not approve of themselves being there.

boy and dad  watching something in a smartphone under a colorful blanket - kids smartphone stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The internet is forever

This is the cardinal rule for active web users and your child should know this as soon as they start using the internet as well. When creating posts around them (and especially about them, make this fact known until they eventually get it. 

Shot of a cute young boy using a smartphone at home

Don’t talk to strangers

Today, many of us can make our lives change for the better by making online connections with people we can collaborate with in our careers, or people we can create new friendships or romantic relationships with. Children may just be too vulnerable and naive when interacting with people online and they are more inclined to be groomed, scammed or manipulated into meeting with dangerous strangers. The rule about strangers should be just as important online as it is in real life. This talking point may require you to take the extra mile and make the effort of monitoring the interactions your little one is having online.

keeping a watchful eye over his internet use - black child smartphone stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The importance of passwords

Explain to your child that passwords are almost like street addresses, if you give it up to just anyone, they can use it to invade your privacy, steal things and use your private belongings in a way that they see fit. Let your child know that people can steal their information or pretend to be them and say things that they would never say as well. Highlight the importance of keeping passwords private.

african american senior woman and her granddaughter making an online purchase at home - black child smartphone stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Digital etiquette

Teach your child to be wary of the things they say to others online. Remind them that being mean to people online is wrong and if they’re at the age where they can understand it, explain to them that it can affect their friendships and careers as adults. On the other hand, if your child is being cyberbullied show them how they can protect themselves online by blocking bullies, reporting them or making their accounts private. If the cyberbullying from a fellow schoolmate is aggressive, widespread and concerning, familiarise yourself with their school’s cyberbullying policy (if they have one) and visit the school’s staff to inquire about the options that can be taken to ensure your child’s safety.

mother and daughter using smartphone. - black child smartphone stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Keep communication open

You know how your friends often ask you which picture to post online? Have this kind of relationship about online activities with your child, but try and make it stronger. Let them know they can come to you before they respond to bullies who are harassing them or sites that may be requesting personal information. You can also talk to them about differentiating between what’s real or not real in the online world. With these topics, you may need to initiate the conversations first and then slowly build trust until you reach a point where they can trust you and come to you first.

Have you had the tech talk with your kids yet? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.

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