In today’s digital age, ensuring the online safety and digital well-being of our children has become more critical than ever. As parents, we play a crucial role in creating a safe and healthy digital environment for our children to explore, learn, connect and entertain. Eveminet, a trusted company specialising in digital literacy and online safety, is here to provide practical strategies, tools, and tips to support parents, guardians and those within the ecosystem of the child. Let’s dive in and explore how we can promote online safety and youth well-being together!
Empathy and Understanding:
Empathy forms the foundation of a healthy digital relationship with our children. By putting ourselves in their shoes and understanding the challenges they may encounter online, we can approach conversations with empathy, fostering trust and open communication. Practicing Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, we listen to their ideas and feelings without interruption, seeking to see things from their perspective. By being confident in voicing our own ideas and maintaining eye contact, we create a supportive environment for effective communication.
Creating an intentional and supportive environment, both within the family and in spaces where children frequent, is essential for fostering open communication. It is crucial for children to feel safe and comfortable discussing their online experiences. Encourage your child to share their concerns, questions, and interests, acknowledging that their feelings are important (often referred to as “red flag feelings”). By actively listening and maintaining a non-judgmental attitude, you can establish a solid foundation for ongoing dialogues about online safety. Remember, reflecting on your own experiences as a teenager can help you empathize and better understand their perspective.
Children of different age groups have different levels of digital maturity and exposure. It is important to customize your guidance based on your child’s developmental stage and digital experiences. If you need to make the information more engaging and enjoyable, feel free to sing or play out characters to make it fun and memorable. Stay updated on popular apps, platforms, and trends to understand their digital landscape. You can also follow our “Jitume” campaign through the Parents Unplugged program, which offers valuable resources and support. By having a comprehensive understanding of your child’s digital world, you can provide appropriate guidance and supervision to ensure their safety.
Educate on Risks and Threats:
In the online world, children are exposed to various risks and threats, including cyberbullying, age-inappropriate content, grooming, online predators, and excessive screen time. It is essential for parents to educate themselves about these risks and equip themselves with practical tips and resources to identify red flags and address issues promptly. Empowering your child with knowledge on how to navigate these challenges safely is crucial. Teach them about in-app privacy settings, have conversations about your expectations regarding their online behaviour, establish boundaries, promote responsible use, and discuss the consequences of their actions. Additionally, ensure they know how to report incidents, either within the app or by calling the toll-free National Child Helpline at 116.
Digital Literacy and Skill-Building:
Digital literacy is a crucial skill for children to succeed in today’s digital world. Evemient’s Whiz Kids Africa Program offers a comprehensive digital literacy and online safety program that involves not only children but also their family members and guardians. Through partnerships with Meta and Google, Evemient conducts trainings like My Digital World by Meta and Be Internet Awesome by Google. These programs provide opportunities to explore digital platforms, establish boundaries, and become familiar with privacy settings and safety features, both within applications and in social contexts. By actively engaging in digital literacy together, parents can empower their children and enhance their resilience in the online sphere.
Setting Boundaries, Establishing Rules & Positive Role Modelling:
Setting boundaries and establishing rules regarding screen time, online behaviour, and content consumption or creation is crucial. It is important to involve your child in creating these guidelines to foster their sense of ownership and responsibility. Encourage a healthy balance between online and offline activities, allowing for diverse and enriching experiences. As a parent, being a positive role model is essential, as children learn by observing and emulating their parents’ behavior. Demonstrate responsible online habits, mindful technology use, respect for privacy, and constructive online interactions. Your actions will significantly impact your child’s digital well-being.
Parental Controls and Monitoring Tools and Digital Well-being Practices:
To ensure your child’s online safety, it is important to utilize parental control and monitoring tools available on devices and platforms. These tools should be used as a means of guidance and support, complementing your role as a parent rather than replacing it. Respect your child’s privacy while providing a safety net through these tools. Additionally, encourage digital well-being practices to promote a healthy relationship with technology. Help your child understand the importance of taking breaks from screens, engaging in offline activities, fostering face-to-face interactions, and participating in physical exercise. Establishing a balanced approach that prioritizes their overall well-being is key.
At Evemient, we believe that collaboration and support networks are crucial in promoting online safety and digital well-being. We encourage you to connect with school communities, parent-teacher associations, and online safety organizations to collaborate with other parents, sharing experiences, challenges, and best practices. By building a support network, you can learn from one another and access local resources that focus on online safety. We are proud to have established important partnerships with industry leaders like Meta, TikTok, and Google in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the Communication Authority of Kenya, Kenya Film Classification Board, Kenya Scouts Association and Riara University. These partnerships have empowered us to develop comprehensive online safety awareness programs tailored to schools and communities. Through our workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns, we address the unique challenges children face in the digital world. Together with Meta, TikTok, and Google, we equip parents, educators, and children with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to navigate the online landscape safely.
In conclusion, promoting online safety and digital well-being for our children requires a proactive and collaborative approach. By embracing empathy, fostering open communication, providing age-appropriate guidance, and nurturing digital literacy, we can empower our children to thrive in the digital world. Through positive role modeling, setting boundaries, and utilizing parental controls, we can create a safe and balanced online environment. By leveraging partnerships with industry leaders and engaging with support networks, such as Evemient’s collaborations with Meta, TikTok, and Google, we can access valuable resources and contribute to building safer digital communities. Together, let’s ensure the best interest of our children in the online world and promote a healthier digital future.