Kids Surfing the Web

Posted: August 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

August 19, 2010, By Jean Scheid

// Kids Surfing the Web

What happened to kick the can and dodge ball? If you want to shorten Internet time for kids, these days it seems like you have to come up with innovative ways to entice the kids. A game of catch just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. So what should you do as a concerned parent?

Before you rip the wireless box out of your house or take the computer away, here are some tips to help you keep Internet time at acceptable levels:

  • Keep the Computer – This is sort of like when our moms told us not to play with bad boy Billy down the street. It only made us want to play with bad boy Billy even more so we did. Taking the computer away will only make kids find other computers where you can’t monitor their activity.
  • Be a Computer Buddy – Remember when you read to your kid? It was a fun and interactive time so why not try this at the computer? As a computer buddy, not only can you both explore new things, you can play games and browse some of their favorite sites—get to know your kids and what they want to do online.
  • Limit Internet Usage – The Web is here to stay but as the parent, you do have to set some time limits. Once you set those limits stick with them. Do allow more time on weekends, days off from school and holidays or birthdays.
  • Keep the Computer Centralized – Kids are asking for computers of their own at earlier and earlier ages. Sure you want to make your kids happy by giving them something you didn’t have, but is it wise to allow them to hide in their bedroom with no supervision? If they’re in their room and you’re not, how can you control Internet use?
  • Are You a Good Example? – How often are you browsing, playing games or chatting yourself on the Internet? It it’s OK for you, then your kids may interpret that it’s OK for them to use the Internet as much as they want.
  • Passwords & Software – Learn how to set passwords on your computer through your operating system to help limit Internet time for kids. You can also visit GetNetWise.org. This website offers many software downloads that not only limit online usage but also track how long your child has been on the Internet.
  • Keep Communications Open – Do you know why your child wants to spend so much time online? If not, keep good lines of communication open and discuss what you feel are acceptable time limits. Ask them what interests them most about being online and see if that converts to interest into something offline.

Many parents seek ways to limit Internet use for their kids but to be successful, you have to chip in and work with your children. Entice them to participate in outdoor activities that they enjoy and use the tips here not only to keep your kids safe from too much Internet usage, but also to gain back some family time.

Jean Scheid is a freelance writer and Ford dealer living in Taos, New Mexico. She is a contributor to Six Apart Media.

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