Top tips for kiwi digi-kids
Even tiny toddlers these days seem to have no trouble swiping through the photos on Mum or Dad’s smartphone. And they might have discovered touchscreen jigsaw games, just right for little fingers learning to drag and drop.
But, because they’re so young, they need you to be involved and engaged, offering guidance and supervision – just as they do in the real world. Putting ground rules in place now helps them become part of the family routine.
Under-5 simple checklist:
- Start setting some boundaries now – use a timer to set limits for the amount of time they can spend on the computer.
- Supervise all their screen time – a child under 5 is too young to be left alone with a device, tempting as it may be to use the Tablet as a babysitter!
- Keep devices like your mobile out of reach and make sure you have passwords/PINs set up on them before you lend them to your child… or for when they simply get hold of them themselves!
- Check the age ratings or descriptions on apps, games, online TV and films before streaming or downloading them and allowing your son or daughter to play with or watch them.
- Explain your technology rules to grandparents, babysitters and the parents of your child’s friends so that they also stick to them when they’re looking after your child.
- Remember that public Wi-Fi (e.g. in cafés) might not have Parental Controls on it – so, if you hand over your Tablet to your child while you’re having a coffee, they might be able to access more than you bargained for.
- Set the homepage on your family computer or tablet to an appropriate website like Fun with Spot or Sesame Street.
- Work together to create your own Digi-Family Agreement, with rules you can all agree to.