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Parents, Get Net Wise!

Check your kid's time on the World Wide Web

You feel so good when you see your kid on the computer, all abreast with the latest on the Internet revolution. Your pride soars even if your confidence dips as your child talks to you in the language of a computer manual.

And just how can you ask your six year old to wipe his nose or finish his cereal when he has just destroyed 20 spaceships, conquered planet Venus, won thousands in cyber dollars and saved humanity from the scourge of the ruthless aliens!!!

It's not at all uncommon for kids to know more about the Internet and computers than their parents or teachers. If that's the case in your home don't despair. You can use this as an opportunity to turn the tables by having your child teach you a thing or two about the Internet. Ask her where she likes to go on the Internet and what she thinks you might enjoy on the Net. Get your child to talk with you about what's good and not so good about his Internet experience. Also, no matter how Web-literate your kid is, you should still provide guidance. You can't automate good parenting.

At the outset, following issues requiere you immediate guidnace and monitoring.

E pals: Ask and learn about the friends your child has made on the Internet through the various pen pals web sites or chat sites or through email. It is important that you know what kind of friends she is making on the web.

Personal Information : Parents should instruct children about what kind of personal information they should not divulge on the Internet. Home address, telephone numbers and other personal information should not be revealed on the Interne and if requiered they should refer back to you for doing so.

Inappropriate Material : There are areas in cyberspace that are not necessarily appropriate for children or teens. Just what those places are depends on the child, the family, and the community, but these typically include sites which are sexual in nature, which contain violent or hateful material, or which advocate the use of weapons or harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.

Privacy: You can make your children aware of the fact that they have their right to privacy on the Internet and they are not bound by any obligation to discuss their private matters with any experton the web. This should also be making them cautious about any emails, which solicit counselling, or any methods of therapy or crystal-ball-gazing.

Be their NetFriend

Just as adults need to help kids stay safe, they also need to learn not to overreact when they find out a child or teenager has been exposed to inappropriate material or strayed from a rule. Whatever you do, don't blame or punish your child if he tells you about an uncomfortable online encounter. Your best strategy is to work with him, so you both can learn from what happened and figure out how to keep it from happening again.
The challenges posed by the Internet can be positive. Learning to make good choices on the Internet can serve young people well by helping them to think critically about the choices they will face.

What you can do_

Set rules about where kids can go online and what to do if they stumble upon inappropriate sites.

Keep any connected computer in a public area of the house (not a child's bedroom), and make sure that other family members walk in the room periodically.

Consider not allowing children and teens to use the Internet if parents aren't home. You may wish to consider using time limiting software to make sure that kids can go online only when you're around.

Consider checking the browser history to see where kids have been and having a "talk" if they are visiting inappropriate sites.

Consider installing monitoring software that tracks where kids have been.

Consider installing filtering software that blocks kids from visiting sites that you feel are in appropriate

The above software are very easy to acquire and easy to insatll too. You can get more information about these softeares from the following sites

Internet family Guide
Get Net Wise
Net for Kids

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