Whenever Father’s Day is near, I find myself thinking about the role of a father in the life of his children. He isn’t merely the provider or the solution-finder; he is their anchor, their source of security and mom’s support system. He is the one kids want to impress, his is the approval that make them happy.
Congratulations, Dad! Your task as a parent is no less tough and I know how hard you strive to do your best. May you always remain the superman your kids think you are.
Father’s Day is the perfect time to call all Super Dads to get their cyberparenting capes in shape and help our super cybermums ensure that the kids are ready for the digital world. Let’s talk cyberparenting today. (If you already are one, well then, double congratulations!).
5 ways to get your Cyberdad act together:
- Monitor kids online: Start from the time your toddler begins to fiddle with your phone. Check gadget security and activate parental lock. (you can even reduce screen brightness that may not be good for the eyes). Once they start playing games or listening to stories, buy them the products and mentor them. You need to review the content beforehand though, to know if its age appropriate. It’s the same when kids sign up on social media so that you know the websites and platforms your kids are on, the people they befriend, and the way interact.
- Teach kids social media etiquette: I remember the ‘looks’ my otherwise benign Dad sent my way if I faulted in my speech or behavior in public. Digital age dads need to do the same for the virtual world too – teach kids how to behave online- what to say and what not to; how to respond and how not to react; how to tackle issues and when to seek help.
- Check security levels of all gadgets: Every new gadget in the house must pass “Dad’s security check.” Change default passwords and review preinstalled apps. Install and activate a licensed security software. In the future, your kids will be doing the same automatically.
- Secure Wi-Fi and determine accessibility: Change default password of the home Wi-Fi and router and be the admin in control of internet access.
- Be frank and approachable: Talk to your kids and share your own real life and digital experiences so that they in turn learn to share their concerns with you. Also, it can be helpful to set up device-free hours for the whole family to follow, or, if mom has already done so, abide by them.
Not difficult at all, is it? So, go ahead and implement these simple guidelines. Enjoy all the love, cards and gifts you are showered with on your special day- you deserve it all. Have a wonderful Father’s Day, Cyberdads!!