Have you heard about the latest app – The Blue Whale Challenge? If you haven’t, you need to read this.
The Internet and related tech, especially apps and gaming, are dangerous, and sometimes potentially lethal, for children when not fully monitored. I tell parents in my office, put this largely unknown, fast-moving world of the information age into context. Would you put your twelve year-old behind the wheel of a car and let them drive on the highway? A parent I know put it this way: It’s like an unchartered forest. I wouldn’t let my child wander around in there unsupervised, let alone without a compass and the tools to survive should something bad happen!
So, monitor screens at all times. Know what apps are on your child’s devices. Snoop at will on your young teen’s social media as a reasonable condition for them having the privilege of such powerful technology. Tell them up front, for a while until I know you can handle it, I’ll be needing full access to what you’re doing. I’ll back off in time, but only if you show you can manage this responsibly. If you comply, great, if not, the devices and data plan gets stopped.
When your kids complain that they are the only kids in the universe who don’t have a game, app, or device, just smile, never explain yourself or justify what you have to do to be the best parent you can be. They know deep down you have their back and are doing right by them. And when other parents suggest it’s the norm to have phones or a necessity to keep up a “normal” or “healthy” social, smile again, and politely ignore these ridiculous, follow-the-herd statements.