“I have a bald spot!”, Ibukunoluwa screamed in exasperation. Her children, like millions across the country were forced to stay indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic raging through the world. After four weeks of having her three young boys at home, the hair she had been tugging at finally let go.
The pandemic has turned everything upside down, inside out! Parents of young children, especially parents with very demanding schedules, are beginning to have a profound appreciation for teachers. How did they do it?!
If you haven’t figured out a way out of this problem, here are five steps to keep your kids safe online:
1. Calm down
You are wondering what this has to do with anything you can use online. You can’t find anything useful or engage your kids long enough for them to stop bouncing off the walls. They might ‘moonlight’ as energy balls with no pause buttons, but you need to calm down and figure out what makes them thick. What do they love? What do they want to spend their time doing?
2. Lock All Other Devices
If you have a very ‘active social media life’, one of the first things you can do is to childproof your devices. You don’t want your child stumbling on an Instagram post of one of Tory Lanez’ Instagram live sessions, or worse. So, if you were rarely home during the weekdays to think about this, now would be the perfect time to change the passwords and lock up all your devices, put safe search on the browsers, etcetera. If your kid is going to use your phone, then please be careful.
3. Educational apps and sites
With technology, there are thousands of apps and sites that provide education activities that could keep your children entertained and sufficiently informed. You also need to make sure that these sites and apps have solid privacy policies. If you are looking for a Nigerian company that is doing a world of good right now, a great example would be MTN’s mPulse.
It’s a teen and teen offering that allows the young ones to learn and build their academic and development skills, play brain-stimulating games and enjoy age-appropriate entertainment (the company has donated over N39 billion worth of products, services and support in Nigeria, so that solves the doing good bit).
The company also created the MTN Education Suite Quick Guide that offers Schools packages to empower teachers and students for online learning.
4. Speak To Your Kids
This might be the birds and bees equivalent of the tech world. If you have not already had that talk, this might be the perfect opportunity to sit them down and break out your concerns as a friend and parents, the possible dangers, your trust in their judgments, safety, safe and appropriate platforms, discussions with strangers, etc.
5. Get A Front row Seat In Their World
Get in on what they love! Why don’t you play their games with them online? You could be surprised at what you could learn about your child. It could lead to both of you bonding offline; and trust us, that’s where the win is!
Hopefully, these can help you. It’s important we all stay safe and find ways to understand our families on a much deeper level. What better time for this than when you are stuck at home. Many families may never have the time to be in such close proximity for an extended period of time. Don’t waste it. Rediscover your kids!