Right. Let's talk about handling the predator of technology as a whole. So starting when your kids are little, what you wanna do is develop a relationship with your children's technology that they know that it is your job. Just like when you are helping them look both ways on the street to check both ways on their technology.
So you are not giving little children tablets with unfettered access that. Do your very best to create structures and boundaries in a relationship between them and you, that they are used to you saying, okay, this is how we're gonna handle technology. Now this is how much time we're gonna have. This is what we have access to and don't have access to.
Here's why, so when kids are zero to two, you're supposed to do as little as. I understand it happens. Try and keep their experience with technology, to being screens. They aren't holding the more, it can be something they're looking at and not holding onto the less integrated that experience is for them of feeling like they have ownership over it.
So let's say you start letting kids do a little bit more to. Let's say two to five before they're in kindergarten. All of that you still want to say, here are the three things that we do here. We watch Daniel tiger. We watch puff and rock. Um, common sense. Media is a great resource to look at in terms of picking what shows your children are allowed to watch shows that are at least educational and not offensive and not super fast Twitch or overstimulating their dopamine.
then when they get to be about kindergarten, they're getting a little Savier and I don't know if you all have noticed this, but my kids are better at navigating technology than I am they, because they've been born with it. There's this understanding it's integrated into the world. So let's start getting into kindergarten, then you really wanna make sure you have parental boxing controls.
I would do it earlier if you can, but by this point, you make sure that they do not have access to YouTube, that they do not have the ability to search the internet without your help. Um, because the computer is. Fickle beast. And there are malware ads. There are, um, potential. Um, oh my gosh. What's the word you guys.
Oh, um, still can't find it. People spying on your children with their cameras using that footage for nefarious things. So making sure that your child's technology is deeply protect. Okay. When we think about slowly giving them the reins around that technology, you wanna think about opening up the content they're allowed to interact with, and then you can also be opening up the amount of time they're allowed to interact with that content, but you still want to keep that at a very balanced place as they start to be interested in social media.
My recommendation is that you limit social media and here's why there is a direct correlation between the advent of the smart. and an 30% increase in teen suicides. So we want to reduce the amount of exposure our children have to the bullying into information that they can't process. It's overwhelming, not just sexual content, but also other issues in the world that they're, they can't hold all of those things at once.
Honestly, we can't either. So they definitely can't. Um, and social media is a perfect place for children to be groomed. So groomers are online connecting with them, acting like kids, getting them to, you know, create a relationship. A lot of kids end up in these sextortion situations where they create a relationship with someone playing Minecraft or.
Some other context, and that person slowly begins to integrate, and they have pictures of themselves that aren't really of them. That kid starts to feel this connection and bond. And as their sexuality develops, or as this relationship develops, this person then invites your child to sh give them sexy photos or information.
And over time that information then gets used to continue to get them to do things they don't want to do in fear of having those things. So we're wanting to prevent sex extortion on the internet, and we're also wanting to prevent early exposure to pornography. When children see sex acts online, that they don't understand it is confusing and overwhelming and shame producing for their brains.
We want them to, to as much as possible ease into their understanding of sexuality and sexual acts as they grow, um, your child will get exposed to other people's technology. So this is something you don't have a lot of control over, except that have conversations with other parents that you are having interactions with.
If your child's going over to someone else's house say, Hey, here's my rules about technology. I'd really love if you could uphold those, if you can't. Can we please talk about that? What that looks like, talk to your kid about it. Be explicit, especially as they get into their tween years. You know, here's what pornography is.
Here's why I think it's not great for you to see it right now. Let's talk about it. The more that you can talk about things at a developmentally appropriate level, the less likely your child is to get super curious. And we really wanna know we have this backwards thing where we think if I bring it up, then they're gonna really wanna know more.
But what really happens is when we're secret and awkward and we don't talk about things, and that is what spikes something into our children's brains going, why aren't they talking about it? What is it? Then they have to go do their own curious, digging with their peers instead of having conversations.
All right. So the bulk of the technology predator is access. How much does this technology have access to your child? And the way that you prevent that is parental controls and dialogue. Those are the two things that we're working on their children and those arenas, so that they can be protected from unwanted sexual trauma and sexual abuse via the interwebs.
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- Start early in developing a relationship between your kids and technology, creating structures and boundaries for technology use.
- For children zero to two, limit their experience with technology to screens and keep it passive.
- For ages two to five, choose educational and non-offensive shows and limit access to technology.
- By kindergarten, set up parental control settings to protect your children from the internet's dangers.
- Gradually increase access to technology content and time, but keep it balanced.
- Limit social media exposure to prevent bullying, information overload, and grooming by predators.
- Address the issue of sexuality and pornography by talking to your kids about it at a developmentally appropriate level.
- Communicate with other parents and have conversations with your kids to ensure they have a safe and healthy relationship with technology.