If there’s one truism about parenting that’s wholly honest, it’s that we never really know if we’re doing the right thing, all the time. And when it comes to our children’s online lives, it often feels like we’re in particularly murky waters.
Last week, two well-known South African bloggers shared their perspectives on their children’s online lives, giving us a glimpse into how their families manage it.
Jeanette Verster, a Johannesburg mom of two, had this to say:
“A lot of children in senior primary have smart phones, so the next step is to start using social media. Saying NO is not the answer, because they’re just going to use it anyway behind your back, and that’s quite a scary option in my opinion.”
Importantly too, Jeanette touched on the importance of parental involvement:
“I believe that it’s up to parents to help their kids navigate through this. Granted, it is unknown territory for most parents. And a lot of people I know, with kids at school with my kids, have no idea how Instagram works for example. But learn. Teach yourself. Try them out. Read up about the sites. Enable yourself and your kids.”
Jeanette also shared some insightful, from the ground, tips on helping your child navigate the online world. You can read her post here.
Laura-Kim le Roux, a fellow Johannesburg mom with four children, shared her views:
“The last two days we have had to deal with a few issues relating to online behaviour and set some boundaries. This is unknown territory for us as parents, our parents never had to deal with it so we are really setting the rules for how to deal with it.”
She also emphasized the need for parental involvement:
“Dealing with your children being online is your responsibility – you need to take it seriously.”
Laura-Kim tackles two important points in her post – the sharing of images and information, and teaching children how important it is to be aware that, once it’s online, it’s out there forever, even if you delete it. You can read Laura-Kim’s post here.
How do you manage and supervise your children’s online lives?