According to a survey from The Love and Logic Institute, one in five American adults are more concerned with the Internet’s negative impact on children than television, friends, movies, or even popular music.
The World Wide Web contains some very real risks. Unfortunately, when our kids sit down at a computer to gather information about chemistry, politics, and the arts, it doesn’t take too much time or effort for them also to learn how to make a bomb, join a hate group, or view pornography.
But if parents follow several simple-yet powerful-steps, they can protect their children from inappropriate and potentially dangerous Internet content, while also allowing them to experience the benefits of a wired world.
The Internet is like any other powerful tool. It takes training and guidance to use it well and to use it without getting hurt.
As a teenager, I received my first lesson on the use of a very powerful and dangerous tool – a chainsaw. My father was careful to stand close by and guide me. Children need the same type of careful teaching and supervision as they learn to use the Internet. Here are some specific Love and Logic tips for keeping your kids safe and helping them make responsible choices about the Web:
Tip #1: Don’t rely on electronic safeguards.
Will your child’s first car, his first girlfriend, or her first year of college be equipped with a device designed to limit harmful information or activity? Electronic safeguards are no substitute for good parental role modeling, supervision, and guidance. This approach also teaches children to learn how to make wise choices by giving them plenty of practice as they encounter tough choices on the Web and in the real world.
Tip #2: Keep the computer out of your child’s room.
Despite children’s protests, parents have a right, and a responsibility, to have the computer someplace where they can stay in touch with how it’s used.
Tip #3: Have honest discussions and set positive expectations.
Read the rest of the story on by Dr. Charles Fay at loveandlogic.com