Whether your child has a laptop or tablet computer, a cell phone with internet access, or a video game system with internet access, it’s important to monitor what your kids are doing with mobile technology.
- We know that too much screen time isn’t good for kids. Being able to access TV shows, videos, and movies anywhere and anytime only increases the number of hours kids can be glued to screens. Learn more about kids and screen time
- More and more websites are promising instant enjoyment of free TV shows, videos, and movies with just a click of a mouse. Often, no one asks how old the user is. A five-year-old could view an R-rated movie if he or she knew how. (And some do on accident just by doing a lot of random clicking.)
- Ask how your child is using the internet. Point out the worthwhile places to go, such as sites that host documentaries and educational shows. Learn more about online safety
- Have firm boundaries regarding when your child can and cannot use mobile devices. Try to keep computers out of your child’s room. You’ll be better able to monitor what your child is watching if he has to use a computer in a public area of your home. Establish a “bedtime” (and a “wake-up time”) for electronic devices so that your child isn’t using them in the middle of the night.
- Consider waiting until your child is older (such as in high school—or even after graduating from high school) before getting a device that has mobile internet access. Having her get used to using a cell phone is one thing. Having a cell phone with unlimited internet access is another. Read more about kids and cell phones
It wasn’t all that long ago that internet access was limited to a home computer with a dial-up modem. Now kids have high-speed access to the internet on their cell phones and video game consoles. They can upload pictures from their phones, play games with people across the world, download music, and more. Therefore, it is more important than ever to set boundaries and discuss responsible mobile internet use with your child.
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