Internet rouses mixed emotions: it is a source of fright and a godsend tool, both at the same time. It houses all sorts of information and has greatly aided entire humanity in learning. Similarly, internet is also lauded for connecting people. It is not an exaggeration to say that it has played a pivotal role in the world becoming a global village.
However, there is a dark and sinister side to internet as well. Information is not always constructive; there are all sorts of filthy things to radical ideologies that are mostly destructive. Likewise, while social media has allowed for connecting with other people, it has severely impaired mental health as well.
From things like bullying and harassment to problems like inferiority complex, the dangers are aplenty. Adult content leads to physical and mental health issues in the children. Moreover, as children are still growing, they are especially are vulnerable thus to these vices and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, mood disorders etc.
From diseases to reduced development, unlimited access can be very dangerous. Parents then might need an intervention by the best psychiatrist to help their child recover.
Therefore, parents should be hypervigilant about the use of internet at their house. There are certain things that can prevent your child’s mental health from getting scarred by uncontrolled use of the internet.
Limit screen time
Digital devices are mostly utilized for access to the internet, and as long as the child has these, use of internet will remain unregulated. Hence, it is vital for the parents to set bounds. Allow kids only a certain amount of screen time.
Promote other activities
Children of digital age spend all day in front the screens. Parents can also be held responsible for this, after all, you have to set the precedent for the child!
Too much use of internet or digital devices is extremely bad for the physical health of the child; they do not get enough exercise, digital eye strain can take toll on them etc. Similarly, their mental health also suffers.
Therefore, children should be moved away from the screens. Parents should engage them in other productive activities like reading, sports, playing board games etc.
Make time for them
When parents are too busy for the children, internet is the only solace they have. Many parents also tend to deliberately put the kids in front of the screen as they are super busy with work.
However, parents should realize the impact of their neglect on their child. Lack of attention and the liberty that it gets can also manifest into rebellious attitude and resentment. Access to adult content also leads to a bad impact on the mental health of the kids, who are none the wiser.
Hence, parents have to prioritize the wellbeing of their child as well.
Put on parental control
Parent controls allow parents to block access of the child’s machine to any webpage they want. It thus prevents children into exploring adult content, parents are able to police their children better.
Supervision is important
Do not let your child have access to internet without any supervision around. Even if the child does not know what adult content constitutes, there are still pop-up ads etc. that are full of pornographic images.
If the parents are around, they can intervene timely. Pornographic elements and lewd sexual content can be dangerous for the thinking of your child.
Password-protect the devices
Protect your devices to protect your child’s mental health. This way, access to the source will be blocked, therefore, parents will be better able to moderate their child’s use of the internet.
Set a good example
Children learn from the parents, and if they are addicted to internet, you cannot expect the children to turn out any different. Just because adults have better grasp over the content being shown, does not mean they are not getting influenced by it.
Therefore, do yourself and your children a favor and stop abusing internet, yourself as well. Parent guidelines too, will hold more value if they are themselves following it; kids otherwise will call their parents out on the double standards.
Get them help
While parents can keep a watchful eye on the kids at home, they cannot do much when the child is away, under the influence of factors like friends, peer pressure etc. And whereas you might regulate the use of internet at home, your child might be on the internet when you are away.
Moreover, it is important not to neglect the pressure the child is under as peers can be a source for immense anxiety as well. Children might heed to the parent’s instructions, but they are still very unsure in themselves and hence are more vulnerable to the pressure from their environment.
They thus might end up abusing the internet, because it is what everyone at school does, not because they want to defy their parents.
Also, in such cases where parents are not allowing digital devices, children might feel worse because of the scorn they get at school. This can be counterintuitive as the mental health of the child suffers regardless.
Parents therefore have to be very careful in dealing with such situations. Being sensitive and empathetic towards the child is crucial. However, if the circumstances are very precarious, consider talking to the best psychiatrist, as experts know best!