How do you protect your teenage son from the dangers of the Internet?

How do you protect your teenage son from the dangers of the Internet?
How do you protect your teenage son from the dangers of the Internet?

Raising children is one of the most difficult tasks that parents experience, especially with the increasing technological development and the danger that the Internet world poses to our children if we do not deal well with it as educators.

The virtual world of the Internet is an exciting place that attracts the curiosity of children and teenagers, so they follow its paths browsing and searching for everything new. This browsing may be subject to several problems such as harassment, and may also lead to some behavioral disorders represented by addiction to the Internet.

In order to be aware of the extent of this phenomenon, it is sufficient to know, for example, that the European teenager spends more than 15 hours a week browsing the Internet, which makes parents confused. Do they prevent the teenager from entering this world completely? Or is it sufficient to have parental control over the nature of the material viewed? And how can parents sensitize adolescents to the extent of the danger of this network to their psyche and their future. We will try to answer these and other questions through the following lines.

What is the nature of the dangers of the Internet for adolescents?

Whether it is direct electronic games, or the virtual worlds provided by social networking sites, the great danger and frightening concern that preoccupies the minds of parents is the identity of the people with whom the child deals and the nature of the conversations that are being circulated. It is never possible to predict who is behind the other party's screen, is it another small child, a teenager looking for a good time, or a human monster lurking children for a despicable need in himself?

The nature of the topics presented may shock the child’s psyche, as no one can prevent the display of some pages that provide pornographic content, incite violence, or call for extremist or terrorist sectarian currents. Statistics indicate that more than 90% encountered such content once or more while browsing the World Wide Web.

Social networking sites represent a fertile breeding ground for the spread of those obsessed with sex and violence, which may develop this aspect in the personality of the adolescent, especially since the lives of children are not free from some problems and quarrels that erupt between peers due to verbal or physical violence. There are also some psychopaths who may affect the psyche of some children and eventually make them commit suicide.

The most prevalent danger to adolescents and children is the excessive addiction to electronic devices, which negatively affects the communicative abilities and social skills that should facilitate the smooth and healthy integration of the child into society. Also, the search for electronic fame and the link to the virtual image that allows the child to draw the features of his personality as he likes, makes him enter into a cycle of frustration whenever he decides to return to reality.

The identity of the people the teenager interacts with online

Figures indicate that more than a quarter of children between the ages of 9 and 17 communicate with anonymous people. Where people with homosexual tendencies use direct gaming platforms as a haven that enables them to identify their prey from children in a way that does not attract attention and does not leave any room for explicit disclosure of their identities.

Thus, they lure children, whether for the purpose of meeting them personally and sexually assaulting them, or forcing them to provide them with pictures in sexually obscene positions, which they later take as a means to blackmail them financially or morally, or they sell these offensive content later on sites designated for these purposes.

This does not mean that the child is always in the category of forced in such incidents, he may also be among the instigators or admirers of these behaviors. By registering him to like such content or publishing it on the virtual world, which negatively affects his personality, but in all cases he remains a victim of misuse of these means and the lack of supervision by educators, whether parents, school or others.

The three-year plan to protect children from the dangers of the virtual world

Protecting the child from potential dangers on the Internet requires establishing solid foundations for effective communication between parents and children. Many children believe that their parents do not pay any attention to the content they browse on the Internet, but there is an important segment of children who believe that parents get rid of the inconvenience of the child by allowing him to enter the Internet, and therefore there is no control over what should be done in this network. For this, parents should draw boundaries and red lines and set the rules that should be followed from the first time the child enters this network.

Ban a child before the age of eight

The first step is to prevent the child in his early childhood from entering this world, due to his need to form his personality and acquire social interaction and communication skills, which this technology does not allow and makes him tend to introvert and isolationist.

Keeping up with him when he first discovered the Internet

When he reaches the age of eight, he can be allowed to surf the Internet, provided that he is accompanied by one of his parents, so that he learns how to access the right websites and is able to distinguish the necessary matters related to the protection of his personal information so that he does not fall easy prey to stalkers.

Leaving a margin of freedom with the onset of adolescence

If the child can understand the above and you notice that he is dealing with the rules you have set for him effectively and responsibly, you can start leaving room for freedom starting at the age of 13. You can allow him to create an account on social media, but he must always feel that you are watching him and interested in the content who is browsing. Parents can use some protection programs directed at parents to reduce the risks of the web at this stage, especially with regard to pornographic sites and online gaming sites.

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