Every parent will have a different opinion on what age is the right age for certain activities. Some parents, for instance, may be happy to give their child a tiny sip of wine when in a restaurant from time to time (to show them the taste), or they may be happy piercing their ears from a young age. Others may not find either of those choices to be suitable or appropriate for their own child. Some children are purchased iPads for their tenth birthday, while others aren’t given a phone until they are fourteen. We’re not here to tell you how to make parenting decisions of course, that’s your territory.
But at what age is it right and justified to give our children internet access? After all, it’s not just them that will be using it, as the internet gives us access to other people like never before. So – at what age is it right for us to allow for this process to take place? It’s worth asking these questions. Let’s try to do so, below:
Don’t Base Your Decision Based On Their Peers
As mentioned above, every child has different parents, and every parent has different priorities or principles. It can feel tough to see your eight-year-old talking to their friends about YouTube videos their friends might be enjoying (don’t forget YouTube has a kids version!) or the fact that their friends had a new phone for Christmas, but try not to base your decision alongside what their friends are doing or how they might be developing. This can help you more easily judge what is right and proper for your own child.
You Can Set Parental Controls
Remember that you can set the parental controls easily if you plan it ahead of time. This can involve dictating how long they can spend time on their device for before internet access or even screentime locks out. Parental controls also help you define what types of content they might be able to see, what websites are blocked, and what files they may be allowed to access. This way, you can automate their protection ahead of time within clearly defined boundaries.
Monitor Their Activity
It’s a good idea to monitor your child’s activity online, for obvious reasons. This not only helps you ensure they’re not attempting to access anything that is inappropriate, but it also helps you determine what sites might not be suitable, or how long they’re spending in certain areas online, or where future issues may lie. You can use monitoring apps by taking the time to explore here, and see which may be the most appropriate.
At the very least, monitoring can help an otherwise non-internet-focused parent understand the browsing habits of their children, and to properly double check it. This way, you become more informed, and any parent deserves to be.
With this advice, we hope you can give your children internet access at the right age, using these tools to help determine what that may be for them.