Keeping Kids Occupied at Home and Safe Online
During this challenging time, many more people are now working at home. Thanks to the internet and smart home technology, working from home can be safer, easier and more convenient. But if you’re a parent, also caring for kids who are now online more than ever, it’s important to keep them occupied, yet safe.
There are lots of great resources online, providing opportunities for both parents and kids to learn and have fun, but there are also risks that you should avoid. Here are some helpful hints:
Monitor the situation
As parents, we know our children better than anyone. Knowing what our kids are up to, supporting and guiding them through this time, and ensuring they have safe online experiences are key concerns. Many kids are missing their friends and the freedom they feel when they go off to school and mingle with their peers. Kids should not be left to navigate the internet by themselves and for long periods of time, even though you may be busy. Offer them space, but be sure you take breaks and monitor where they are roaming on the internet.
Mix it up
To ensure life remains balanced, make sure screen time includes eLearning, watching movies and family-together time where kids can feel safe and happy to be together. Activities like cooking, baking and doing crafts are also perfect family pastimes. Many kids are expressing their feelings by displaying messaging art in their windows, such as hearts (we’re all in this together) and rainbows (everything is going to be ok). This encourages a sense of community for youngsters who may feel isolated, letting them take part in a group activity while still maintaining a physical distance. If you go on a family walk in your neighbourhood, your kids will spot other window art and know others are sharing the same experience. There’s even a “Hearts in the Window” Facebook group, started in British Columbia and now with members worldwide, where you can share your own window art and the ones you spot in your neighbourhood.
Foster good online values
Encourage children to stay connected with friends, but to be wary of cyberbullying, predators and inappropriate content. Kids should know about dangers and feel free to share with you anything that troubles them. These are hectic times, but try to not be too distracted. Keep lines of communication open and use these days as an opportunity for plenty of family talks and activities. Listen to children. In fact, learning to be a good listener to our children is one of the most loving things we can do for them.
Keep in mind these 5 expert tips for online safety:
1. Talk openly, and listen to your children about their online activity
2. Keep screens and devices where you can see them – indoor cameras can be used to help
3. Use parental controls and search restrictions
4. Stress “share aware” to protect privacy
5. Track online time, but be open to occasionally letting go of your usual screen time rules
Stay secure at all times
We know it won’t be easy to juggle child care and work-from-home issues. ADT by TELUS smart home options can help you do it with fewer worries for busy moms and dads. For example, smart locks can alert you immediately if your child opens your front door. A Wi-Fi doorbell will allow you to respond to deliveries safely from inside your home. Video surveillance can help monitor your children’s online and other activities, even if they are in the basement rec room and you’re in your home office. Our company’s commitment has always been to help Canadians stay safe and secure. These trying times are no exception. Our monitoring centres are still on active duty 24/7 for you and your family.
For more information on how smart home options can make your life easier, safer and more secure than you ever thought possible, call 888.ADT.ASAP and speak to a home security expert. We’re always there, helping you protect what matters most.
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