What Parents Should Know About the Internet
The Internet is a global network of information networks accessible with a computer. Entertainment, education, and information are all at your fingertips. You can visit the world's great libraries, take a college course, play a game, or check weather forecasts and sports scores. Virtually anything you want to know can be found somewhere on the Internet.
However, not all the information that appears is accurate. Some people can be rude, obnoxious or exploitative face-to-face. The anonymity of a computer may encourage even more such behavior.
Does this mean you shouldn't allow your child to use the Internet? Of course not. It simply means that you should be on the alert and be aware of the risks. A few tips will ease your fears and allow you and your child to take advantage of this new technology.
Minimizing the Risks
The best way to assure that your children have a positive online experience is to be aware of what they are doing.
- First, have your child show you how to access the Internet.
- Spend time with your children when they are online.
- Explore the wide range of information that is available and discuss with your child which topics you consider off-limits.
- Keep lines of communication open so that you can talk to your children and they will recognize that your interest in what they are doing is genuine. The same parenting skills that apply to the "real world" also apply while online.
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends with the computer. Excessive use of online services, especially late at night, may signal a potential problem.
- Set your own rules for Internet use.