The Digital Parent’s Guide to Setting a Cyber-Curfew

February 4, 2016 | 6728 Views

INTERNET ADDICTION. Mostly perceived word by everybody, nowadays. Isn’t it? Internet addiction is not an issue associated with teens only but also popular for adults and kids. We can’t blame only teens as we also spend most of our hours on internet, computers, cell phones, etc. Stay alert! This addiction may be a call for an upcoming storm. Watching news online, playing online games, searching media sites- all this means spending time on internet.

Teaching your kid about limited and healthy usage of internet or other technologies is very essential. Your child should not be enslaved by the internet. For the wellbeing of your kids, tell them the most suitable ways to spend quality time on the internet. Please note your child may be following a detraining path if you notice the following changes in your kid:

  • Spending more time on the internet
  • Spending more time in their rooms without interacting with you
  • Showing unsociable behavior
  • Bunking schools or tution

Fencing your kids with limitations in this regard is called cyber- curfew. But how to proceed?

Calculate the time spent on the Internet

Track your child secretly using child monitoring software and get to know how much time they spend on internet. You will come to know how your child is accessing the internet and for what purposes. View the sites visited and the content read by them. They may be accessing the internet for the following purposes:

  • Homework
  • Gathering information
  • Social networking
  • Watching TV shows/ videos/ movies online
  • Gaming
  • Other entertainment

Once you realize the internet usage of your kids, you can easily prioritize and manage their time. You can allot more time for homework or gathering information and lesser for gaming, watching videos or other entertainment. This will make them well arranged as they have to follow that timetable particularly. In this way, they enjoy their life besides learning new things from internet. They will also not hide things from you as you have given them that time. On the other hand, if you’ll not do so, they would continue to spend their hours on movies or games on internet and never realize that they are doing wrong. Also instruct them to get involved in outdoor games to keep them healthy.

Set No-Internet connection zones

At your home, you have an authority- where should be internet connection provided and where should not be. If you allow the connectivity only in their study room then your child will have limited time to use the internet as they will not sit there for whole day. Disallow the connectivity at dining table or living room. Your child must not use devices while having dinner with you. The mobiles should also not be allowed in the living rooms where family wants to spend quality time together. So better to avoid without internet connectivity at such places. This will make your child more alarmed and they would limit their internet usage.
3-Hours Break Rule
We have heard many accidents that happened due to overusage of mobile phones. The reason behind them is the internet addiction of the children- watching movies or playing games.
Once they enter the internet platform, they continue to explore more and more, they cannot decide their limits. So, it’s your job to direct them. Develop a system that is healthy for your child and instruct them to follow it strictly. They should not sit on the computer network for more than 3 hours whether they are doing some meaningful task. Tell them to have some exercise, walk, to read a book etc. They must have a break in between and then they can continue. You can also check them if they are not lying as you have already provide them enough entertainment time.

Make these Practices a Rule

Make your practices a rule like creating time table for your child, setting limits for internet usage and regular talk etc. Don’t forget these rules, once you achieved your goal. For the healthy development of your child, these practices need to be followed perfectly. Your child is in growing stage, if you plan such rules at the right time, they would understand the difference between right and wrong. This is the right time to tell them their limits. Don’t stop them to explore, rather teach them.