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Guest Blog by Stephen Bennett

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First, I’m thrilled to announce I will participate in the Blogs by Christian Women (BCW) First Christmas Blog Tour. My Christmas blog will be featured on Dec 8.  If you’d like to follow our tour, the first stop is with Ally V. on Dec 1.

Second, I’m excited to introduce my guest blogger, Stephen Bennett,  who works as a Data  Scientist and Researcher at Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website. He studied psychology and empirical science, and believes  the vast  information available provides robust and evidence-based findings is of  real use to  fellow web users worldwide. Stephen shares with us his research findings on internet usage for children, and suggests how to best manage it as parents. Please welcome Stephen!

Blessings, Rebecca

Steve

Is the internet a good or a bad influence on children? Used correctly it can help them study and it provides creative and interactive learning resources. However, as many adults know, access to the internet 24/7 can have negative consequences. Distraction frome work and family life, as well as a disturbed night’s sleep if digital devices are used before going to bed.

If the internet can do that to adults, just imagine what the distraction they provide for children. A new study from of 3000 parents by Stop Procrastinating discovered a parent’s fears about the internet. A majority of parents surveyed found that their children were using social media and browsing the web when they should be sleeping and as a consequence it lowered their chances of doing well in school.

Being distracted from sleeping had a major impact the following day at school. The survey found that children were more irritable, less able to concentrate and more tired in the classroom. Parents said that teachers noticed a gradual drop in performance in the classroom as well. Independent research has also found that the grades of children who use the internet too much are lower than those who don’t. It found children with poorest grades at school spent most time on social media websites. Children also learn best by interacting with people not with screens, according to American Academy of Pediatricians.

The survey also found that children are undermining their school work by using social media while doing their homework. Research found that this multi-tasking impairs memory development and reduces concentration.

Luckily, the study also asked parents to reveal the techniques and strategies they use to reduce the negative impacts of social media and the internet on their children. This was especially important as many parents in the study felt disempowered by the prevalence of the internet, believing they had little chance to control their children’s use of it.

The best and most popular strategies were those that combined building up a trusting relationship with their children, so that they were able to have open conversations about the internet without stress and confrontation, and boundary-setting by parents. For instance, stopping children using digital devices an hour before they go to bed. Some parents also tried to make cutting down on internet use an enjoyable and fun challenge that their children could share and compete with their friends by creating a digital detox challenge week.

The survey also found that parents are more successful at cutting their children’s internet use if they work with other parents and the school. If all a group of friends are all treated in the same way they will feel less pressure to break the rules and get online when they shouldn’t.

The survey has been designed into an accessible infographic which details all the findings and help for parents who want to control and reduce their children’s internet use. You can view the infographic below:

 

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Guest Blog by Sarah Dyson

Happy Labor Day!

Sarah Dyson enjoys gaming. Her My primary gaming experience has been Massive Multi Player Online Role Playing Games or MMORPGs. She has played games on all platforms (i.e. consoles, personal computers, and handheld devices) for the past 25 years. Sarah has a Masters degree in Information Technology and Project Management. She is pursuing her PhD in Social Psychology to better understand cultural and social factors related to gaming. Please welcome Sarah Dyson!

Blessings, Rebecca

Internet Safety for Parents!

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As parents, we continually ask ourselves what parts of the Internet are appropriate for my kids.

Internet safety can be challenging to say the least.  With so many devices, and forms of entertainment parents continue to question child’s online safety.  Public Wi-Fi networks, such as Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, and McDonald’s are in my opinion not safe for children.  These are open networks, and easy targets for predators to infiltrate your device and reach our children.  The most reliable network is one that you can monitor.  If a device is needed to entertain your child while, in public, I suggest that you have a 2nd device that does not access the Internet. 

What are the best ways to keep kids safe while still having fun?

As parents we want to connect with our kids, we want them to enjoy life, and have fun, but remain safe while doing it.  Playing games online can be safe, but a parent needs to make it safe and keep it safe for them.  Below are a few quick steps we can take to implement and maintain this environment.  Children are brilliant, fast learners, and today have access to a variety of information online.  If we keep this in mind while protecting our kids, we not only keep them safe online but also teach them to be safe online as well. This concept is no different from “stranger danger” while in public.  Talking with our children about who they play with online, what types of games they like most and why, provides prime opportunities to teach online safety.

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Here are a few tips, on how to keep your kids safe while online and monitor their game play.

  • Having a family computer or console in a central is a great way to monitor the content children are playing.
  • Observing whom they are playing with, talking to and interacting with online is important as well.
  • Asking questions about whom they play with, why they like to play with them, and what they like about the game are all important aspects of connecting with your child and monitoring their gaming habits.
  • Learning about your child’s interest not only establishes a connection but also gives you insight into your child’s perspective.
  • You can learn whom your children are playing with on a regular basis without being argumentative or intrusive. solutions4 Key Steps to Safe Online Gaming!
  1. Home networks are the safest
  2. Secure your network with these 6 steps Click Here
  3. Always keep your virus protection up-to-date, check this regular
  4. Password protect all gaming devices with a combination of capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols that only, the parents know what it is also; update this password on a regular basis.

For more information on Gaming, Internet safety, or Device security click here or head over to Parents Guide to Gaming to get your free e-book on How to Painlessly Remove Devices from your Child’s Bedroom.

http://www.parentsguidetogaming.com