Do you remember the first time you bought something online? Was it Amazon, eBay, or somewhere else? Our children are growing up in a world where buying goods and services online is not new, but the norm. They will never know a world without that option. What should the rules be for shopping online? Keep reading for ways to keep everyone safe.
Supervision at all times
This is important for many reasons. First, you might think that if you tell your child to only stay on one site, everything will be fine. The e-commerce sites, like Amazon, have some great stuff. They also have shady things that young eyes and ears should not be exposed to. Some websites also have terms of service that require shoppers to be legal adults.
Explain that Real Money is being Exchanged
This step may seem unnecessary, but don’t skip it. There is a body of psychological research that we experience commerce differently when we don’t exchange money with our own hands. Online shopping magnifies this even further. The designers of your online store of choice don’t want you, as the shopper, to feel any friction when you buy. Because of this, it’s important to help your young shopper understand that actual money is at stake. Adults, sometimes, have trouble with this concept as well.
Spending Limits are Still Relevant
If you take a child to the store, it’s a good practice to remind them your family has spending limits. A “trip” to an online store should be no different. This doesn’t mean you can't browse or look. It does mean teaching your kid that your family has dominion over spending choices and no one else does.
Continue to Enforce Screen Time
If your family has rules about screen time, good for you. Include shopping on the web in your screen limits. This time may be different from a game or show, but it’s still time when young eyes are locked on screens. Don’t forget to apply moderation here just like you would any other activity with a device.
Stay Safe, Everyone
Don’t forget there’s things that will keep family of all ages safe online. This includes avoiding shady sites, using good passwords, and more. Review our guide for more ways to keep safe when you do business online.
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