Google this. Google that. Growing up pre-Google, if I wanted to find out something – there were only a handful of ways to get the information. I had my parents, family and friends that I could ask. Then there was the library, but the library of 1995 looked nothing like the library of 2015. Getting information required effort and required me most likely talking to someone else in order to learn whatever information I wanted or needed to know.
Now a days, we can research anything in a matter of seconds. While this is fabulous and all, it does create some interesting scenarios in the way of parenting because if we can find it, so can your kids. If you are a parent raising kids in the age of Google, here are 5 tips that will help when thinking about your kids and Google.
1. Don’t Tell Your Kids to Go Google It
I am so guilty of this. Someone asks me a question and I tell them to go “Google it.”
Have you seen: lmgtfy.com – LMGTFY = Let Me Google That For You — it’s a sarcastic way to say, JUST GOOGLE IT! Why yes, this works fabulous for co-workers or tech-challenged family members, please don’t do this to your kids.
(Who would do such a thing to your kid? Mom confession in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…)
I caught myself doing this to my daughter today. She asked about France, 500 years ago – I was busy doing something and I uttered the words “Go Google it.” I did tell her “Wait, let’s find out,” after catching my mistake. whoops.
2. Research Things Together
Google is not going anywhere and even kids at a young age need to know the proper uses for Google. When your kid has that question that you want to say “Go Google,” why not research it together. Use Google has quality time.
3. Talk to Your Kid About Sex
Google is great for answers – and it’s also great for lies. Before your kids type in “sex” or “whats sex” or “s e x” – do this. TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. I am not here to blog about how to talk to your kids about sex, or when to talk to your kids about sex or what to say to your kids about sex. I’ll let you research that (Google it.) What I AM saying is that you want to be the first person to talk to your kids about sex or else it will be a matter of time before they do a search and find out absolutely too much distorted information. Be the sex resource for your kids. Yes, it’s awkward but do this, Google all the sex terms you can imagine your kids searching and you will see AWKWARD that you don’t want your kids to see.
4. Teach Your Kids How To Use Google
Simple little search functions will make your kids’ searching and your’s much more effective. Here are a few things that I make sure my kids know how to do and use.
Google Images – Make sure smart search is turned on. Google Images is a fabulous tool for especially for us visuals. Teach your kids uses for Google Images and how to search for them.
- images.google.com or type in a search and click images
More Than a Search Engine - Teach your kids how to pull up a calculator, use Google Drive to store files, Google Docs as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Google Sheets as a replacement for Microsoft Excel, Gmail as a mail service, Google + as a social media platform, YouTube as a video hub…. must I go on?
Google Search Tricks – From using quotes to find exact phrases to filtering results, check out this list of Google Search Tricks from Time.
5. Install a Filter on Your Network
I’ve mentioned this before and to drill it in your brain, I’ll mention it again – make sure your network has a filter. Filter your internet people! Read: Monitor Your Kids Internet
We live in exciting times. I often wonder if curious 12-year-old me had access to Google, what my life would have been like. The world is at our fingertips – but remember that means it’s at your child’s fingertips as well.