Children and Internet - What can we do as Parents
Created by Bhavna Updated on Sep 19, 2012
My father had gifted me, an Oxford English Dictionary when I had passed out of class 12 (1995). It still has a prominent place on my book shelf and I consult it from time to time but truth be told the Oxford English dictionary gets updated every year and if I need to consult for a word that is not in my version of the dictionary I have to either buy a dictionary or log on to the internet which will have the latest/updated version of the dictionary and it is accessible on a single click.
Times today have changed and our children have access to the Internet that they use in all phases of their lives. Children and Internet are walking hand in hand towards the future. There are positives with regard to children and Internet while at the same time the evils that come along with the Internet cannot be ignored.
Children and Internet – Some Positives
1.Entertainment and Information leading up to edutainment
2.Knowledge and mental stimulation
3.Fostering creativity, self-expression and a feeling of validation in children
4.Information and research helps with the school work
Internet for children has led to a parallel world where communication, learning and fun all happen at the same time.
Children and Internet: Some Negatives
1.Exposure to media that may carry sexual, hateful or Violent content
2.In some cases, children have been introduced to Internet sites promoting drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
3.Internet has led children at times to receiving persecuting messages that are demeaning and lead to harassment leaving psychological damage on the innocent minds
4.Children on Internet have created this alternate reality world where lack of contact with the real world may lead to anti-social behavior and the real potential of the child is not harnessed
5.Physical development of a Child may get affected as children spend most of their free time indoors hunched before computer screens.
Children and Internet – Signs to watch out for.
1.Screen Switching: When you notice that your child has switched screens the moment you have entered the room, you should know it is not a good sign.
2.Odd times for calls: If you notice that your child is receiving phone calls at odd times or from people unknown to you that it is time for your intervention. Most often sexual predators try to form some sort of a connect with the children and talking to them is the easiest first step.
3.Indoor-all-the-time syndrome: If your child starts to stay indoors and is not interested in interacting with friends and family, it is a clear warning that he/she is being harassed in some way through the Internet.
4.Unidentified gifts: If your child suddenly has unaccounted gifts, new clothes or excess cash then it again means that your attention and intervention is required.
Children and Internet- What can we do as Parents.
1.Filter and Block Programs that a have offensive content
2.Keep a check on the download folder on the computer and watch out for any files with endings as .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .tif and .pcx these can be graphic files with inappropriate content
3.Participate with your child online to know more about your child’s Internet behaviour
4.Have the computer in a common Place that is accessible to all, that way you can keep an eye too
5.Be a role model for your child, if you respect piracy laws then most likely your child will also do the same.
Tips that we can have our children adhere to:
1.Children need to understand the financial and legal implications, if they give out information on the Internet. We need to let them be aware of how innocent information can be used against them/ to harm them
2.Children need to have clarity on the purpose of Internet Usage. It should be defined clearly that the Internet is to be used mostly for research and education
3.Children cannot respond to mails from unknown people for their own safety and the safety of the computer as sometimes these unknown mails are the carriers of viruses that can steal valuable financial and social information from your computer
4.Children need to follow the guidelines and time rules that have been set by the Parents
5.Children need to know the importance of passwords and personal information-Under no condition can they divulge these to anyone on the Internet for personal protection
As children and Internet walk hand in hand towards the future, we as Parents can try our best to protect them from Cyber Predators and at the same time enrich their lives with the vast ocean of knowledge that is out there within their grasp.
Image Source: www.oneworld.net
| Jul 16, 2014
thanks for the information shared
| Jul 11, 2014
Nice blog. Tips r of great help.
| Sep 17, 2013
Thanx v. informative. Will keep all the tips in mind.
| Nov 06, 2012
I got access to the internet when I was 20 and my child has had it since he was 7. There are pros and cons however if we can keep a tab on what the kids access, the internet can be a great a/v learning tool for kids..