Talking About Online Safety With My Preschooler

I shared previously that my family is part of a year long study with Trend Micro called The Digital Joneses. Each month we are given internet security related challenges. Last month Sinisa and I had to take a quiz to see how technologically savvy we were and this month we have to have “the talk” with our kids {no, not the one about the birds and the bees… the other important talk- the one about internet safety}.

Out of the seven bloggers in the study, I have the youngest children so I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject of online safety since Jacob is not on social networks and he doesn’t go online without my supervision. One thing he does do though is go on YouTube to watch videos. He is three so he is watching video clips from kid shows but occasionally a video will come up that was made by an adult. A lot of times it’s just the same clip of the cartoon with inappropriate music playing in the background but it’s still something I don’t want him watching. And if something like that can show up in search results for his favorite shows, it makes me wonder what other things can pop up.

In preparing for “the talk” I checked out the Trend Micro website and looked over the questions they had put together for parents to use as conversation starters. {You can find the questionnaire with questions for children of all ages here.} I knew that I would have to keep the questions really basic but they gave me good ideas on what to talk about.

The first question that I asked my preschooler was what he liked to do on daddy’s phone. {We don’t call it the internet and he usually uses his dad’s phone to go on the internet so that’s why I worded it the way I did.}

Jacob’s reply- “Watch Videos. Thomas game. Cars game.”

The next question I asked him was what he would do if something came up on the screen that wasn’t Cars or Thomas?

His reply- “Click it.”

Umm. That’s a problem. I explained to him that if something came up on the screen that wasn’t Cars or Thomas or anything he watches on television it was important that he show it to mommy or daddy right away. I also told him he should not click on anything but one of his shows.

The last question I asked him was why he thought that mommy and daddy needed to watch him while he watched his movies and played his games on daddy’s phone.

His reply- “Cause I want dad be happy.”

Well that was a good answer. I also added that there could be bad things on there so mommy and daddy needed to watch him so he didn’t see bad things.

He said- “bad things?”,  paused for a second, and then said “I go upstairs now?” I breathed a sigh of relief that further explanation of all the bad things he could find online was a conversation that could wait till he was older. And honestly? It’s one that I wish I never had to have in the first place!

***

Keep up with the Digital Joneses here.

(Disclosure: I am receiving technology and software as a member of the Digital Joneses blogger study but all thoughts are my own.)

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One thought on “Talking About Online Safety With My Preschooler

  1. I think you did a great job and my son is 4 I wonder if I should be having this talk with him as he does get on the internet but I am always there with him but I guess I can not be to careful can I? So I will be checking out the site so I will know what to say.

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