Friday, January 20, 2023

smart lessons for your child enjoying their first laptop

Pexels - CC0 License

It’s nice to see our children gaining independence at the right age, such as the first time they head to the store or go to the cinema with their friends, and without any adult supervision. As a parent you will worry about them ten times over, and that’s good, because you care.

It’s also good to make sure they adapt to other means of independence in the best way, such as when you buy them their first online device like a laptop or smartphone. In this post, we’ll discuss the former most of all, but most of these have similar functionalities and so many of the same points can apply.

Obviously, safety, online conduct and security are the most important markers to hit here. With that in mind, please consider the following advice: 

Teach Cybersecurity

When your kids get their first laptop, it's important to teach them about cybersecurity. This includes teaching them about creating strong passwords, not sharing personal information online, and being cautious when clicking on links from unknown sources. Additionally, you can teach them about safe browsing practices and the importance of keeping their computer and software updated to protect against viruses and other malware.

This guide that shows how to protect your email, as well as showing them how viruses can be downloaded via ensuring websites have security certificates when you visit them (this is the ‘lock icon’ at the top section of each browser”) will make a huge difference.

Encourage Online Safety

Online safety is absolutely crucial, now and always. To help them understand that, and how to ensure it, teach them about responsible social media usage and the importance of being kind and respectful to others online. Additionally, you can teach them about the risks of cyberbullying and how to handle any negative interactions they may encounter online, by reporting them, telling you, and limiting comments or setting appropriate privacy settings.

You can also:

Set Limits And Boundaries

When your kids get their first laptop, it's important to set limits and boundaries on their usage. This can include setting time limits on how long they can use the computer each day, as well as setting limits on the types of websites and apps they can access. Additionally, you can use parental control software to monitor and filter their online activity.

This will help you ensure that their online activity is properly monitored, and that they remain protected from bad sites such as those which present adult content, or those that allow them to access online chatrooms or apps which connect them to other people. It’s a horrible and unacceptable fact, but it’s not uncommon for those with poor intentions to seek out children online. This step helps completely stop that from happening, or allows you to cut any issues in the bud before they can begin.

It’s good to set some ground rules also - such as limiting their access to certain social media sites, or ensuring they have the correct privacy settings enabled for them.

Encourage Creativity And Learning

While it's important to set limits and boundaries on your kids' laptop usage, it's also important to encourage creativity and learning. This can include encouraging your kids to explore educational websites, apps, and games that can help them learn new skills and expand their knowledge. Additionally, you can encourage your kids to use their laptop for creative activities such as writing, drawing, and coding.

Now, let’s be honest, they might also care about reading celeb gossip, talking to their friends from school, and generally being a teenager watching YouTube. But it’s also good to help them use the laptop for more than this, for instance as a means by which they can edit their photography or even enjoying writing and video games that take thought. 

Teach Them Appropriate Laptop Care

When your children receive their first laptop, it's essential to teach them how to take good care of it. This includes instructing students on how to handle and store their laptop properly and stressing how crucial it is to keep it clean and in good condition. 

You can also emphasise to them the value of shielding their laptop from physical harm such drops, spills, and scratches. This will ensure that their laptop lasts for a very long time and teach them the importance of caring for the possessions they have. Perhaps with the gift you can also provide a carry case to make this easier.

With this advice, you’re sure to offer smart lessons for your child enjoying their first laptop, keeping them safe as the utmost priority.

This post was written with Life According to Steph readers in mind

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