7 things to watch out for when your child uses discord

Discord can be a fantastic platform for kids to interact with friends, but it’s not without its pitfalls.

Navigating the digital world as a parent is a balancing act. You want to give them a bit of freedom to explore, but you also want to keep them safe.

Discord, for those still getting the hang of it, is an app where kids can chat, join groups and play games. And while it’s got its perks, it’s got its share of issues too.

In this article, I’ll be sharing with you 7 key things to watch out for when your child uses Discord. It’s all about striking that balance between freedom and safety. Let’s dive in.

1) Privacy settings

First off, let’s talk about privacy settings.

Discord, like many other apps, has a variety of privacy settings. But, it’s up to us as parents to ensure these are set up correctly to protect our children.

The reality is, the internet can be a wild place, and Discord is no exception. There are countless chat rooms and groups that may contain content we’d prefer our children not to see.

In the midst of this digital jungle, privacy settings are our first line of defense. They give us the power to control who can contact our child and what content they can access.

So, before you let your child loose on Discord, take the time to go through these settings. It’s a surefire way to establish a safer environment for them.

2) Monitor their activity

My personal journey with Discord started when my son joined a chat group for his favorite game. He was excited to connect with friends and other gamers. But, as a parent, it was my responsibility to ensure this virtual playground was safe.

I made it a point to monitor his activity on the platform. Not to spy on him, but to ensure he wasn’t exposed to inappropriate content or conversations.

One evening, while checking his recent chats, I found a user being excessively rude and using foul language. I took this as an opportunity to discuss online etiquette and bullying with my son. We also reported the user and blocked them from contacting him again.

Monitoring your child’s activity on Discord may seem intrusive, but it’s necessary. It helps you understand their digital world better and allows you to step in when things go wrong. Trust me, it’s worth the extra time and effort.

3) Age restrictions

Did you know that Discord has an age restriction? The platform is designed for users who are 13 or older. This is in line with many other social media platforms that follow the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

This is important to consider when letting your younger children use Discord. While they may be keen to join in with older siblings or friends, the age restriction is there for a reason.

The content and language used on Discord can vary dramatically between chat rooms and groups. And not all of it is suitable for younger users.

When it comes to Discord, make sure you’re aware of the age restrictions and what they mean for your child’s online safety.

4) Online friendships

Discord is a social platform, and naturally, your child will make friends there. While it’s great that they’re connecting with others who share their interests, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not everyone online is who they claim to be.

Online predators, unfortunately, do exist, and they often pretend to be children or teenagers to gain the trust of your child. It’s essential to have a conversation with your kid about the dangers of sharing personal information with strangers online.

Encourage them to only add people they know in real life and remind them to always check with you if they’re unsure about anything. It’s all about fostering a sense of open communication and ensuring they feel safe coming to you with any concerns.

5) Screen time

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun, and this is especially true for kids on Discord. Between chatting with friends, joining groups, and playing games, hours can fly by.

Excessive screen time can lead to a variety of issues, from lack of physical activity to disrupted sleep patterns. That’s why it’s key to set limits and ensure your child takes regular breaks.

There are various apps and tools available that can help you manage your child’s screen time. However, it goes beyond simply imposing rules. Explain why these limits are necessary and encourage healthier habits.

6) Loss of real-world social skills

In the midst of all the chats and virtual interactions on Discord, it’s easy for children to lose touch with the real world.

Real-life social skills are crucial for your child’s overall development. It helps them build strong relationships, understand emotions, and navigate various social situations.

When your child is spending more time on Discord than interacting with family or friends offline, it could be a matter of concern.

It’s our job as parents to ensure they don’t miss out on the beauty of real-world connections. Encourage face-to-face interactions and group activities.

After all, no amount of online interaction can replace the warmth of a real-life conversation or the joy of shared laughter.

7) Exposure to online scams

The internet is a breeding ground for scams, and Discord is not exempt. From fake giveaways to phishing links, the platform can be riddled with traps for the unwary.

I’ll admit, I’ve fallen prey to an online scam before. It was a bitter pill to swallow, realizing that I’d been deceived by a faceless stranger behind a screen.

We can’t shield our children from every danger, but we can equip them with the knowledge to protect themselves. Teach your child to verify information before acting on it and to never share personal data without your consent.

Awareness is the first step to prevention. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Final thoughts: It’s about proactive parenting

The digital world is an integral part of our children’s lives and Discord is just one of many platforms they will encounter.

It’s not about demonizing these platforms or shying away from them out of fear. Rather, it’s about understanding their nuances and potential pitfalls, and using this knowledge to guide our children towards safe digital practices.

Our role as parents isn’t to shield our children from every potential harm. It’s to equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the world, both online and offline, safely and responsibly.

From understanding privacy settings to recognizing signs of online scams, these are skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

In a world that’s increasingly connected yet can sometimes feel isolating, our greatest strength lies in open communication, empathy, and understanding. This is the essence of proactive parenting in the digital age.

So let’s embrace this journey with open minds, compassionate hearts, and a readiness to learn alongside our children. Because in this rapidly evolving digital landscape, we are all learners.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a nomadic writer with a background in psychology, specializing in child development. Born and raised in diverse cultural settings, she developed a deep understanding of human behavior and the intricacies of parenting. Driven by her passion for helping others, Tina now contributes to Careful Parents, offering practical advice and insights drawn from her expertise and experiences. Through her articles, she aims to empower parents with effective strategies for nurturing healthy relationships and fostering their children's growth.

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