There comes a time in most homes when we start to think about purchasing a new internet enabled device. This might be because of constant requests from your child for an iPad or maybe you’ve decided that they need a mobile phone for safety purposes. What about a gaming console for the whole family to share?
Once you have decided that it is the right time to bring a new device into your home, there are some things you might like to consider before you physically hand it to your child/children.
In the spirit of guiding our children in their digital journey’s and keeping them safe when they are online, I’ve created a checklist of areas you should address before you wrap or plug in the new device.
New Device Checklist
- Have you been preparing your child for the responsibility of having their own iPad?
Responsibility can be split into two different areas.
- Do you have constant, open dialogue with your child about appropriate online behaviour and
- Does your child know how to correctly handle a device? This includes handwashing prior to use, using gentle hands, keeping the device in its protective case and so on.
- What is the capability of the device and what will your child be doing on it?
- Do you know how to activate the restrictions and other other parental controls including controlling the downloading of apps? Gaming consoles also come with parental controls.
- What about the type of content that your child will be able to view on their device? Consider a Cyber Safety Solution such as Family Zone.
- Create a Family Contract. This should includes things like:Where is the device allowed to be used?When are they allowed to use the device? (for example: after they have done their homework, helped with some jobs, or maybe you’ll develop a screen time routine with them)
- Where will the device ‘live’ whilst not in use and where will it ‘sleep’ at night?
Consider setting up a charging station in an open part of your home and making the placement of the device on the charging station part of your child’s routine.
A note about “Smart Toys”
If you are purchasing a smart toy, it is definitely worth doing some homework. Look into the functions that the smart toy comes with. How do they work and are they retaining information they hear in your home and storing it somewhere? It’s important to consider your family’s privacy.
Bringing a new device into the home is an exciting time! Taking the time to prepare your child and address the items on the list above, will make the devices introduction much smoother. As parents, we are all aware that there are times when setting the expectations from the outset, can make a potentially difficult or dangerous situation a little easier on everyone!
If you were reading through the checklist and nodding your head in agreement but you feel a little fuzzy on how to go about it then don’t forget that I’m here to help. Got a question? Just contact us and we can help you out.
Enjoy sharing technology safely with your child!