AVG just released the results of a new Digital Life survey, which found 2-5 year-olds all over the world are learning computer skills faster than life skills.
- More young children know how to play a computer game (58%) than swim (20%) or ride a bike (52%)
- 69% of children aged 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces
(For full results: http://bit.ly/AVGDigitalSkills)
If the findings are a reflection of how children today are being brought up, then tech safety, must too, become a skillset taught early on by parents. In an era of cyberbullying and online predators, the question we should ask ourselves is how much should parents be concerned? How much tech savvy is too much, and can very young kids be protected?
To guide you and your readers on how you can help your toddlers establish positive interactions with today’s technology, AVG (www.free.avg.com) offers the following tips:
- Keep your computer in the living room where Internet activity can be more closely monitored and set a time limit. If you let your kids play with your mobile phone, keep it and them nearby.
- Keep your children off social networks. Create a folder of parent-approved sites that your child can visit on their own. These may include trusted online gaming sites such as PBSKids.com or educational sites such as Discovery’s HowStuffWorks.com.
- Keep parental control software on your machine.
- Keep your children close. Talk with them. Know what is going on in their lives, and look for any signs of new influences or distress.
- Keep from getting comfortable. Kids know more than you think. They learn it in computer lab. They learn it on their friend’s computer during playdates. Never assume your child doesn’t know enough or isn’t capable enough to put themselves in harm’s way.
- Keep informed yourself. Follow Larry Magid on SafeKids.com or CommonSenseMedia.org for reviews of Web sites and more.