In Dr. Kate’s interview on URBusiness’ podcast MYOB (which can be found on their site here) she discuses problems regarding kinds and the internet in today’s world. The question is how do you keep you child safe online, especially when the internet is often required of children at an increasingly lower age. Laptops are now often being required in schools, says Dr. Kate, so how do you monitor everything.
- Set Limits- one or two hours a day should be plenty of time on the computer.
- Don’t be influenced by other people- you need to be in control for yourself and your kids.
- Be Informed- know what your kids are doing online. If you are worried you can have them only use a computer in an open area and not behind closed doors.
- Get your kids involved in other things- suggest that they play a sport or play outside
Today, there is a sense that you always need to be connected, but you don’t need to be, says Dr. Kate. Technology gives a more availability physically but not emotionally. You cannot be totally present if you are always on your phone or checking your email. Set an example for your children and only be connected when you absolutely have to be.
Kate also explains how now that we can see what other people are doing all the time, through social media, there is additional stress. We now feel that we have to live up to what other people are doing all the time. Stay focused on yourself and your family.
As far as when Dr. Kate thinks kids should be getting cell phones; whenever they need it. Every child is different, so there is no right age, says Dr. Kate. Whenever your child is given enough independence where you feel like they should have a phone, then that is when they should have one. Start by giving your child the most basic phone for emergency use only and build up from there.
Dr. Kate says the most important thing is having access to the right resources and information, so you can make the right decisions for yourself and your family. Thats where Dr. Kate comes in. She has offices in Salem and Hamilton, MA and is a great resource for families.