It’s no secret that kids communicate through many different online apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. However, apps like these aren’t necessarily safe for kids to use, as they can open them up to online dangers such as predators and bullying. As a parent, you want to take steps to allow your child to stay in touch with their friends and classmates, especially during periods where the school may not be in session, such as during the summer. But, you also want to take steps to ensure that your child is safe.
Getting a safe phone for kids is one of the ways that you can safely encourage your child to stay in touch with classmates while also ensuring that they stay safe online. Here are a few of the other tips that you can use to help your kids safely keep in touch with classmates while keeping them safe online.
One of the best and safest ways for your children to stay in touch with classmates is through in-person interaction. In-person interaction is safe for both kids and has many benefits. As a parent, you can encourage in-person interaction with your child and their friends in several different ways.
You can encourage playdates for your child, set up sleepovers, or even offer to drive your child and their friends to the mall, to a movie theater, or other local points of interest. You can also volunteer to chaperone. Not only is in-person interaction good for your child, but it also allows you to see who their friends are and ensure they are making healthy friendships.
Encouraging in-person interaction may also allow you to make friends with your child’s parents. This can be invaluable to learning who your child is around and ensuring that the people your child is around are safe.
While it may sound a bit dated, another way that your kid can stay in touch with their classmates is through pre-tech communication methods. For example, you can encourage your child to be pen pals with their friend or send cards for their friends’ birthdays.
Pre-tech communication methods are beneficial to your child as they encourage your child to develop writing skills, maintain social skills and increase their creativity. Encouraging your kids to stay in touch with classmates via mail may seem a bit dated. Still, children typically like receiving mail, so having a letter to look forward to or receiving a card in the mail can also brighten a child’s day and be something unique for them.
In many communities, the children playing baseball, flag football, attending dance classes, or taking music lessons go to school together. As such, another safe way that your child can stay in touch with their classmates is by participating in extracurricular activities or events.
In addition to allowing your child to stay in touch with others, participating in various activities and events allows your child to explore their interests and passions. It can help your child learn more about what they like and help develop skills, such as team-building skills, that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
If your child has particular friends they are looking to maintain relationships with, talk to their parents and see about potentially enrolling the children in the same activities or events.
Anytime you are looking for the safest ways for your child to stay in touch with classmates, you will find out that technology will likely play a role in that communication. While there are many ways for your child to communicate utilizing technology, sticking to phone calls and text messages may be the safest routes to take.
It is easy to block phone numbers if the calls or text messages get out of hand or become inappropriate. It is harder to stop things like emails or social media messages. If your child truly wants to maintain interaction and communication with classmates via phone or tablet, try to encourage your child to stick to phone calls and text messages.
Kids often have social media accounts or apps to interact with their friends, post pictures, or play games. Lastly, if your child wants to stay in touch with classmates, they may look to download apps or create social media accounts. Unfortunately, many of these apps lack security features that help keep kids safe.
As a parent, it is your job to monitor your child’s phone, including the apps they have downloaded or the social media accounts. Do your research and learn about these different apps or social media platforms. If they are not safe, you need to explain to your child that they are unsafe and require them to delete their profiles and the apps themselves.
It is important to note that you may be met with resistance, but you must explain to your child that having a phone is a privilege, and you need to be able to trust them and ensure they are safe to keep their phone.
Allowing children to have cell phones has its pros and cons. When your child has a cell phone, you can stay in touch with them and track where they are. However, giving them a cell phone may also allow them access to apps that may expose your child to danger. Taking the time to ensure that you are selecting a safe phone for kids helps maximize the benefits of phones for children, including allowing them to stay in touch with classmates while minimizing the negatives.