Every now and then we run into a situation where there are stories of children being cyberbullied, suffering from a fear of missing out or even sexting on the internet. However scary these things sound, however, there’s actually very little chance of these situations happening and social media (and the internet in general) can be a very safe place for kids to meet new people and form new friendships. Should we really be as worried? Is it about talking together and setting boundaries?
The internet helps to strengthen friendships
In the past, we used to build friendships by going to the park, playing games together and heading out with friends. However, the distance between friends is growing and there is less opportunity for young children to meet with their friends. As a result, they can use video games and social media to stay in touch, share videos or music and even get help with their homework from each other. The internet is a fantastic and cheap way for children to interact with each other, making it an amazing tool for social reasons. If your child doesn’t go out much because you live too far away from the school, then perhaps turning to the internet is a viable alternative to frequent trips to visit their friends. Nothing can replace good old fashioned social interactivity though, but friendships can be strengthened by talking online.
Allow your children to express their creativity
Getting creative on the internet is easy, all you need is an idea and perhaps some kind of method to approach it. For instance, you child can start making YouTube videos to show off their arts and crafts creations or even to teach their friends how to do something cool or wonderful. You can spice up the channel and make it look more visually appealing by using a YouTube channel art template, and you can upload videos directly from your smartphone as well. Most parents are worried about exposing their children to something on the internet. For example, they might be worried their child’s innocent video will be taken too seriously and they will receive last of nasty comments or be bullied at school. However, with moderation and helping them choose which videos to upload and which not to, there should be no problem.
Your child can find support online
Whatever situation your child is going through, be it bullying in school that they are too afraid to speak up about or if they’re having trouble with a school subject, they can find support on the internet. Social media is full of accepting folk that are either the same age as your child or a little older and wiser, and they can find a place online that accepts them for who they are and can help them deal with issues in life that they are too afraid to tell you about. This teaches them about independence and how to deal with problems on their own, and also how to speak up and seek help when they are in need.
In general, as long as you monitor your child’s browsing history and the programs they use, you shouldn’t really have much issue with what they are doing on the internet.
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