For parents, it can be difficult keeping up with the constant life your kids are leading online. What’s new and exciting today might be dated tomorrow. What appealed at five years of age is pretty unlikely to appeal at eight and almost definitely won’t at 10.
Being intricately involved with your kid’s activities online and screen time can often lead to an ugly power struggle with your kids. It’s more important to show an overarching interest in what they’re doing and finding some common interests. For example, reading a current book they’re enjoying. Or there are plenty of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities parents and kids can do together. The Diet Coke and Mentos experiment is one example. This could combine STEM, making a video of the experiment, posting it to social media and lots of laughs! You might even become a TikTok star for five minutes!
Other activities you can do together could be playing a game (although it would be understandable that, as a parent, watching someone playing video games online might be tad boring!), research a topic of mutual interest or finding a recipe that the kids want to cook, or they want to cook with you, for dinner! There might even be a video or television programme you all have an interest in, from a David Attenborough or Neil Tyson documentary to an Enola Holmes movie.
There’s one overriding issue though. It’s important to set guidelines. Guidelines can include the hours for device use, the activities online at certain hours from homework to entertainment, and what you as a parent find acceptable. You may also want to consider whether devices are allowed to be used in your child’s bedroom, and if so, when.
There’s plenty of wonderful things kids can do online and it’s a great, and essential, resource for their education. They can also have a lot of fun with their friends and people around the world through games and social media. Getting that balance right between education, fun and avoiding the darker sides of online, as well as some suggestions for guidelines, are some of the issues we’ll be covering in future posts.
Do you have an idea for a .KiDS domain name? Do you want to share your ideas about how kids can have fun online, from tips to posting a successful video to your favourite STEM activities? Or even your safe surfing guidelines? If so, why not register a .KiDS domain name in the only space online dedicated to kids! A list of registrars, where you can register a .KiDS domain name, is here.