During the COVID pandemic over the past few years, one of the things that is a growing concern for parents is the amount of time their children are spending in front of a screen. In fact, prior to 2020, screen time for kids was less than 4 hours per day, but today it is nearly 8 hours per day.
Along with this massive increase has come an increase in social media usage, which naturally increases chances of online bullying, and an increase in accidental exposure to pornographic content as well. All of these things are detrimental to the mental health of our children.
It’s a devastating truth that children simply don’t have the monitoring and protection they need when they engage in online interactions. Often, adolescents are talking to complete strangers, and they can easily get caught in pressures to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.
In fact, in 2022, 1 in 7 children between ages 9 to 12, have shared a nude photo of themselves. This tragic statistic is 3x higher than it was in 2019.
Parents can and must do more to protect their children online. In the past there have been many obstacles to actually protecting children, and parents have felt there was nothing significant they could do since children could easily bypass protective measures.
Today things are different. While protection begins with conversations and teaching our children safe online practices, parental controls have also gotten better. There are programs available that will help to keep your children as safe online as they are in the physical world.