The leaked sex tape video involving a 10-year old female pupil of Chrisland School, Lagos and some male students underscores the need for parents/guardians to re-evaluate what their kids watch on television and on their smartphones.
Here are useful tips on how to go about this all-important task.
A recent survey shows that children can spend up to 32 hours a week in front of a television. If you’re not setting rules or limits on your child’s viewing habits, that’s 32 hours of potentially inappropriate content your child could be exposed to. Here are some useful tips for how to effectively monitor your child’s television time.
1. Set limits for your child: Let him know how much time he can watch TV each day, perhaps one hour. Let him know when he is young so he grows accustomed to this rule. As he grows older, he will be used to the idea and find other ways to occupy himself.
2. Watch television with your children: Make sure you know what kind of television shows your child is watching. You may be extremely busy with work and other obligations, but you must take some time each day to sit and watch TV with your child.
3. Talk to your child about TV: Ask him what his friends are watching. Explain why certain shows are not appropriate. Try to have an honest discussion.
4. Keep the television in the family room or living room: Do not allow your child to have a TV in his room. A TV in his room makes it more difficult to monitor usage.
5. Activate Parental Control on your TV set. Most televisions made after 2000 have a V-chip in them to block out certain programs or channels. All programs come with a rating. Refer to your TV owner’s manual for instructions on blocking particular shows.
Note: for the purpose of this article, ‘him’, ‘he’, and ‘himself’ refer to both genders.
Monitoring your child’s online activities can seem intrusive. But, according to a recent statistic, 63% of teens said they would change their online behaviour if their parents were watching them. It is important for parents to know what their children are doing in the digital world. Sexual predators, cyberbullying and dangerous internet challenges are targeting children online. Here are five tips to monitor a child’s online activities:
1. Use the apps that they are using: The best way to understand what your child is doing online is to be on the same app with them. This will give you an insight into what the app is all about and what type of content your child is exposed to. You will also know the possible dangers of the app. Familiarise yourself with the app they are on and start monitoring their activities.
2. Google search the app: After downloading the same app as your child do a Google search on the app. Type in keywords such as risks, reviews, privacy and usage. These keywords can give you a wealth of information about the app.
3. Talk regularly to your teen about online safety: Speak to your child regularly about what they watch and read online. Having a one-off conversation is not enough. Talk to them about the latest online trends so they know that you are aware of what is happening in the online world.
4. Control access to apps and content: Parents can control access to apps and content by setting up multiple user accounts on a smartphone. This lets them share the phone with the child while keeping their apps separate from the child’s. You can monitor what your child is doing via the app’s dashboard and email alerts, and require parental approval for any new app your child wishes to download.
5. Using parental control apps: These apps also help monitor your kids’ online activity. The Family Link app for example lets you create a time limit for your child’s daily usage as well as a bedtime period when your child is prevented from using the device. If your children want more time, they can send a request to your phone. The app also enables you to prevent your child from sharing Google Photos and limit Google’s ability to save information about your child’s web searches, voice commands, and other activities. You can also block access to most social media apps by selecting the appropriate App and Games setting using the app.
It is not easy to monitor children’s TV and online activities. Kids are smart in hiding things on their mobile phones. But the more parents monitor and try to keep up with it, the harder it is going to be for children to hide things away.
By letting children know that parents are monitoring their online behaviour they will be more careful about what they post or watch online. This will also keep them safer.
Above all, parents must serve as role models and also keep an eye on the friends their children keep.