As beautiful as parenting is, the fact remains that it’s a responsibility. You’re responsible for nurturing and protecting your children until they become responsible adults. Just when you think it’ll get easier, you realise that it only gets tougher. Much like a video game where you graduate to tougher levels as you win and progress. The world is not the safest place or kid-friendly either. I tell anyone who cares to listen that bringing up one child today is like bringing up three children in the past. Parenting is definitely more challenging because the walls, doors, and windows of our home can be broken down by the internet.
Unless you don’t allow it and do something about it such as getting a site blocker – which is a part of Happinetz, a parental filter control box. Because handing over a smartphone to your child or teen without a site blocker is not smart parenting. It’s dangerous parenting.
Your children can get into serious trouble when they have free access to the internet with no restrictions or a site blocker.
The human brain is fully formed and developed around 25 years. It’s no wonder why so many children and teenagers make poor choices on their own, including internet and social media use. Unless, of course, they’re ably guided by loving and supporting parents and mentors.
Internet that needs a site blocker at all times
The internet can be a wonderful resource for learning and discovery. But it can also be a rabbit hole that not only wastes your children’s time and energy but can also be detrimental to their mental health and physical safety.
Our children and teens are exposed to harmful content on social media, be it violence, sexually explicit content, or online bullying and harassment. Excessive social media and internet use are negatively affecting their sleep and coming in the way of meaningful in-person time with family and friends. Social media is a prominent driver of the growing mental health crisis among children and teenagers.
As parents, let’s not allow a mere tool of communication, like a phone, to define our children. Their identity should not be defined by a smartphone, but through their character.
And we build character through real-life experiences and engagement with family and friends—in the real world, not the virtual world or the internet.
The internet and social media shouldn’t be your children’s primary places to find and build connections. In fact, spending excessive time on the internet can hinder their communication and relationship-building skills.
So, let us parents make a vow to wean our children and teenagers from social media as much as we can, so that they can focus on face-to-face human interactions and thrive physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
The good news is you don’t need to banish the internet completely from your child’s life. The internet is not bad when consumed in moderation and with intention and purpose. It’s good for sourcing information and maintaining connections. But as mentioned earlier, children and teenagers can get addicted to it, and cannot know when to switch off from it.
But how do parents set healthy boundaries and ensure that their children are using the internet safely and judiciously?
Well, I have some reliable and effective solutions for you.
How I Enforced Healthy Boundaries On My Child’s Internet Activities
My daughter is in her early teens now and had a smartphone around 11-12 years. I have seen the impact of the internet and social media use on her personality. Some of them haven’t been good, such as the preference for online relationships over real-life relationships, or exposure to online bullying on gaming platforms. Some of these have been good, such as researching a certain topic or subject of her interest, be it academics or hobbies or talking to family members and friends in other states and countries.
Here are some steps I took to help wean my child off the internet and limit its usage.
Be their friendly guide:
It is necessary to keep the lines of communication open with your child at all times and know what’s happening in their lives. The only way you can be their go-to person when they have something to say or need advice is when you’re non-judgemental and truly listen to them.
Have the talk:
The internet or social media cannot be their go-to source for entertainment, relationships, and even information. It’s so important to discuss with your child all about responsible social media usage. The internet can be a dangerous place where anything from addiction to grooming children for sexual exploitation can happen. So, educate them on never responding to strangers, falling for online scams and gimmicks, revealing any personal information, or meeting anyone online in real life.
While your child or teenager might hate you for this, it’s important to monitor their internet usage and activity. The only way you can do that without cutting off the internet for them entirely is to set parental controls on their phone. A fantastic option is Happinetz, which comes with a site blocker, which helps your children use the internet judiciously and keeps them safe from online predatory threats and forces.
Now, depending on their age, you can choose not to let them know about it. My teen daughter is internet savvy and there’s no way I can set parental controls without her knowledge. I told her that my intent to get Happinetz for her phone was to empower her through knowledge. Only when she knows how much time she’s spending on the internet and on what activities can she take the steps for course correction!
Happinetz: Your Friendly Parenting Partner In Helping Your Children Thrive In Real Life
Happinetz works as a site blocker, ensuring that your child or teen spends LESS time online and MORE time in the real world.
It takes only 5 minutes to install Happinetz that works as an effective site blocker and you’re all set to manage your children’s screen time and internet usage at home. The Happinetz app is installed on only your phone and not on your children’s phones. One Happinetz Box can monitor up to 10 electronic devices at once.
There are 3 modes you can choose depending on the user:
- Kid Mode (Under 13)
- Teen Mode (Above 13)
- Parent Mode (Above 18)
The best part is that Happinetz doesn’t intrude on your children’s privacy. This was really important for both my daughter and us, parents.
Just like Happinetz’s philosophy, my husband and I are firm believers in guidance over surveillance.
Happinetz creates a safe internet playground for your children and teenagers. Think of it as your kid’s Internet Filtering System. Much like how you have a filter at home for clean drinking water.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your Happinetz box today and protect your children at home from unhealthy internet behaviours and online predators. To learn more about Happinetz, its features like how it works as a site blocker, click here.