It happens to the best of us. Despite our best efforts to monitor and instruct, sometimes our children still find ways to get themselves into trouble. When it comes to online activities, trouble mean a variety of different things such as viewing an inappropriate site, talking to a stranger, or posting offensive words or images on a social media site. Whatever the behavior, it’s important that you take steps to address it right away before it becomes a habitual or more serious problem. Here’s what you can do:
When you discover that your child has found trouble on the Web, the first thing to do is talk to him about his actions as well as the potential consequences of those actions. Try to be calm but firm, and let him know in no uncertain terms that his behavior was unacceptable. Go into detail about the dangers of using the Internet improperly, and make sure that he understands the seriousness of the situation.
### Take Action
Depending on the seriousness of the incident as well as whether or not this was the first infraction, you may want to take computer and Internet privileges away for a while. At the very least, you should issue a firm warning, letting your child know that if she repeats the behavior, then there will be more serious consequences.
### Set Firmer Boundaries
Obviously, whatever boundaries you had set before weren’t firm enough to protect your child from the many dangers that exist online. If you were letting your child use his laptop in his room during the day, for instance, then it may be necessary to insist that he use the Internet only in a common area such as the dining room or living room. If you were allowing your child to use social media networks, you may want to reconsider this decision until your child can demonstrate that he knows how to use these tools responsibly.
### Seek Additional Support
No matter what restrictions you place on your child’s computer and Internet use, there is always the chance that she will find a way to circumvent these limitations and get into more trouble. The smart thing to do is to install a parental control app like Qustodio on your child’s computer as well as any other computer that your child has access to. This app will allow you to block certain sites, track the time your child spends online, and see detailed reports on all of her Internet activities.
Make sure your child doesn’t find more trouble online. Download our free online monitoring app today!