Some sobering statistics on our digital age: According to UNICEF’s preliminary results on Violence Against Children in the Philippines, almost half of Filipino children experience cyber-violence. Additionally, about a quarter of those who experience it are exposed to sexually explicit content.
Numbers like these make it appealing to simply bar your kids from the internet. However, this isn’t just impossible, it’s also counterproductive. Growing up as a digital native is beneficial for your kid’s future as his future career will depend on the internet—whether at its core or as an enabling technology.
What you can do is guide them to its more child-friendly parts. Fortunately, tech and social media giants alike have created these safe spaces for your children to go online exploring. Increasingly, these are also becoming avenues for digital marketing specifically aimed at kids. From toy unboxing videos to fun character makeup tutorials, savvy marketers are rolling out fun kid-centric content that captures their attention.
SafeSearchKids & GoogleJunior
Google is the doorway to the internet. Numerous users are simply searching for their favorite websites instead of remembering the URL or bookmarking them. Many people discover new sites by discovering a new, curious search result, and encountering something completely unexpected. Your kids will be no different.
Wiki for Kids
Wikipedia is a valuable resource for learning, and curious minds can spends hour clicking from link to link. Unfortunately, many articles are written for more mature audiences who may have enough experience to contextualize the topics, especially the more delicate ones.
Thankfully, WikiforKids.ws attempts to provide results that sanitize the collaborative encyclopedia, enabling parents to breathe a sigh of relief when your little one wants to start learning by clicking. Like the safe search sites, keep WikiforKids as an easily discoverable bookmark or add the site to your smartphone’s or tablet’s home screen so they will think of it as the encyclopedia app.
YouTube Kids & Vine Kids
Videos are both incredibly useful and a dangerous minefield. As many grateful parents know, they can keep their kids occupied for hours—but the possibility of expletives, sexual content, and violent scenes suddenly appearing is high. Thankfully, video-sharing sites YouTube and Vine have released apps, YouTube Kids and Vine Kids, that attempt to show only content appropriate for children. Open the app, lock the tablet to it, and let your little Juan or Maria explore funny cats, cartoons, and people.
Like the real world, the internet is wonderful place with many dangers. Protect your kids with the help of these initiatives to ensure their healthy growth and development.