When it comes to ensuring that your kid makes the right choices in the digital world, communication is key
No parent loves monitoring their kid’s every move online — but it’s a necessary evil, kind of like driving underage kids around to all of their activities. You just have to do it until they’re a certain age.
And, according to the Avast Kids Online: Generation Lockdown survey, more than half of parents of kids under 12 expect their child to be digitally independent (meaning their online behavior is no longer constantly monitored by their parents) by the time they are 12 years old.
However, only 50 percent of parents have actual conversations about good and bad behavior online with their young children. And that’s worrisome. Just as you wouldn’t put your kid in a car at age 16 and say, “Drive, kid!” without ever talking to them about how to drive — and why speeding or driving intoxicated or looking at your phone while driving is dangerous — you can’t let a kid run around freely in the virtual world without first preparing them for how to do it.
But while there are very clearly defined steps your family can take toward preparing a child for the type of independence that comes with a driver’s license, the steps toward preparing them for digital independence aren’t as obvious. Starting with: What is the appropriate age for digital independence?
Catherine Knibbs, a psychotherapist and author who worked in tech before she went int ..