Keeping your 11-year-olds digitally safe

Some parents may overlook their kids’ growing age number, but there are a lot of changes that kids are going through everyday.

Eleven is a number that is usually linked with the onset of adolescence in many kids, and this means, a lot of changes for the parents to deal with. As your kids turn into young  adults, their digital needs will change entirely. This is the age where they would not longer borrow your smartphone to use social media or to text their friends, because they will ask for one of their own smartphone or personal computer.

While it perfectly makes sense that your child wants to have independence, parents have to set some standards or expectations about how their kids should behave, both in the digital and real world. There will be a lot of requests, demands, whining, cries, etc. So watch for all the melodrama and nerve-wrecking parenting experience.

Parenting isn’t difficult, if you are able to understand what your kids are going through. Your kids  are young, naïve maybe, but they are instinctive. If they want to have a personal cell phone, it’s because they have seen others having one too. And if you tell them that they can’t have it, you better have a crisp explanation that your kids will buy.

Are we telling you to give explanations to your child? Yes, we are, and there isn’t anything wrong about it. We are talking about having a conversation with your kids that will make them listen to you. So let’s just first see how technology and development takes an abrupt turn in your child’s life, and why you need to keep your 11-year-old digitally safe.

The 11-year-olds’ development and the role of tech

How you have been telling your child to do stuff in the past would be different to how they will be doing it in their adolescence. And for an 11-year-old, you can’t time bound them with their use of technology in the same manner as before. Enforcing limitations on your child can get tougher with their own handheld devices or computers.

Time Boundaries

What is the optimal screen time for your kids? Well, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommend us to keep our kids’ screen time to not more than one to two hours every day. But is this the amount of time that kids are spending with their electronic devices? Nope, it’s ridiculously much more than that. According to a study, teens on average, have 9 hours of daily screen time on their smartphones. Using a cell phone monitoring tool can really help you enforce the rules that you have been trying to implement.

But at the age of 11, kids aren’t profoundly obsessed with their cell phones, and it’s a good time for you to keep a limit on their usage. What an 11-year-old usually like to do is to spend their time in front of TV for some popular movie or show. You can set boundaries on their access to TV, unless they are done with their homework and house chores. This will not only limit their screen time but will also let them understand their priorities a lot better.

Content boundaries

Your 11-year-olds will be tempted to watch prime time TV hits, but you can’t let them watch content that’s not suitable for their age. However, there are tons of good TV shows that are fine  for your eleven-year-old kids. They include, The Flash, Once upon A Time, Fuller House and Dance Academy. These programs have easy-to-follow plots that your kids can understand and comprehend with genres like suspense and comedy. Your kids may also be tempted to watch adult content by this time, and it’s largely due the unsolicited access to the internet that many parents have provided to their kids.

In fact, what we have seen is that majority of the parents aren’t giving a dime about their kids’ use of internet. And this is a threat for the digital grooming of your kids. Many parents aren’t even aware that their kids need mediation and support to successfully tread through the social media and internet-use.

At Trackmyfone, we have been emphasising time and again that your child’s digital habits can make or break their future. And once they are addicted to screen time, they will hardly revert back. Therefore, starting early is the key.

To help your kids surf safely on the internet, restrict them to kid-friendly websites, like Animation & Drawing by Do Ink, Discovery Kids, or Animate it. If your kids want to download application onto their newly acquired smartphones, make sure you have restricted their access to downloads. Phones that are equipped with fingerprint scanners can easily keep your child away from adult apps (you can register your own fingerprints).

Remember, it’s that time in your child’s life when they will be more inclined towards the opinions of their friends over yours. So it’s the right time to monitor your kids and to learn about their friends. Make sure your kids’ digital space is free from adult content and inappropriate online streaming.

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