Addictions, online friends or bullying are frequent problems of children and their parents that may happen not only at school. Computerization has transferred all real issues to the virtual world, where the young ones are spending more and more time. There also new threats that lurk in cyberspace. How to recognize them?
1. Nervous reactions
If your children browse the Internet or do other things on their computer, tablet or smartphone that they are not allowed to do, their reactions are nervous if you show interest in their online activities. What are the symptoms? Quick closing of browsed webpages, vacant staring on the display or browsing through the computer content. There may be quite a few different reasons why they want to hide what they are actually doing. For example, a trivial one may be watching a childish cartoon or having a conversation with their first boyfriend or girlfriend. But the situation may be much more serious! Teenagers that constantly seem to be hiding something may be in a problematic situation that they cannot solve on their own. Parents should monitor activities of their children on the Internet and react if needed.
2. Spending too much time online
In theory everybody who uses the Web finds it useful and simply likes it. Many of us use it in everyday work but it is also a source of entertainment, knowledge and many other interesting things. The youngest users often spend much time online during the day. They use social media, browse various websites or watch videos on popular sites. Constant being online is not only good fun, as it may be perceived by teenagers, but may encourage to make friends with strangers, and this is extremely easy via the Internet. Making friends online is not a good option for the young because fraudsters often take advantage of their naivety. These situations may lead to various problems, also psychological ones, thus adults should control time spent on the computer or smartphone. Spending too much time online has also several other minuses.
3. Lack of interest in hobbies and aspirations
Children are fast learners, that is why you should encourage them to try new things that are available outside the virtual world. It may be football, dancing, gymnastics or any other activity. If children get interested, they will surely want to continue it. Computer may however impede this process! This is closely connected with spending too much time online as virtual world with its attractions may hinder personal development. Computers and the Internet are no doubt addictive. Many people spend hours playing games and browsing webpages, such behaviour may lead to lack of interest in what is going on outside the virtual world, being alienated, neglecting duties and giving up passions.
4. Double identity in the Web
Parents should control all online accounts belonging to their children so that they have insight in their social network profiles, can identify potential issues and react if needed. The same concerns e-mail accounts, they should regularly be checked, especially in case of young users. Children in need of total privacy may be hiding something from their parents. If adults find any secret accounts, they should immediately talk with their offspring.
5. Messages and calls from strangers
Online calls very often transfer from computers to smartphones and then to phone calls. The role of parents is to control their children and check who they talk or exchange messages with. This should be done sensibly as unhealthy and strict control may lead to unnecessary arguments. But if your children leave the room to answer a phone or give vague answers when asked who are they texting with, you should definitely react.
The Internet has unarguably made our lives easier but it has also facilitated the lives of fraudsters, bullies and others for whom the young are the easiest victims. If you children use the Internet, you should definitely monitor their activities and solve potential problems as quick as they occur.