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Sunday, November 15, 2015

To Parents out there: How do you control your children's internet usage?

Back when I was a kid, we had no computers at home so my form of entertainment was playing with my siblings or simply playing by myself outdoors or inside the house. Nowadays, kids have access to the internet, gaming consoles, cellular phones, and several other gadgets. My three year old kid loves playing Lego Jurassic World on our PS Vita. My one year old, on the other hand, enjoys watching the Minions on my smartphone. Although I allow them to go outdoors and practically sweat running around under the sun, technology has managed to touch their lives, even at this early stage.

My toddler also knows how to use the internet. He loves going through dinosaur and Disney videos on YouTube. However, I make sure that he remains to be attended at all times while doing so, not only in fear that he might drop my phone but to see what’s he’s watching.

Older children on the other hand have a different story when it comes to the internet. Some kids, even below their teen years registers to social media sites like Facebook by simply faking their age. With so many things to do, see, read and watch in the internet, parents need fear how much and what type of information their kids are getting online. No matter what internet service you use or optus broadband plans you have at home, child-safety in the internet is necessary.

With these, I decided to write a few tips on how to control and monitor a child’s internet usage according to their age.

Photo Credit: Intoxicated On Life via Pinterest

Kids Below 13

Most kids below the teen years will most likely open videos that are related to gadgets, play, movies and videos that are usually kid-friendly. However, they might accidentally click unknowingly and be led into sites that they should not be seeing at all.

As much as I would not want my kids to touch the internet at this age, they need to fulfill assignments and research projects that can be obtained online. The best thing you can do is to be always at their side when they do their research online. Discourage them from having social media sites an such an early age and try to encourage them to do outdoor activities to divert their attention away from the internet. Your full guidance is required during this early stage in their life.

13 Years to 17 Years Old

Kids tend to be rebellious and curious during the teen years stage in their life. Be sure to make them feel that you are open to discuss topics like the sex and relationships so that they would not be looking for information elsewhere. Limit their access to the internet by placing the computer in a public place in your home. This could be in the living room or the kitchen area. However, as they grow, they will have their own Smartphone and can access internet elsewhere. Check the History of your PC at home to get a glimpse on what they see and look for online. DO not be a stalker though for this is not advisable because they will tend to be more secretive if you do. An open communication between you and your kids is necessary during this stage in their life. Have a set of rules, implement these rules and let them understand why such rules are being implemented. Hear their sides as well for open arguments for a better understanding of their current generation.

Several software are also available to filter and restrict the web content that your kids can access at home. However, I would rather discuss differences with my children than intruding with their activities online. Raising your children well with lessen your worries on the dangers that they may encounter online.

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A graduate of Civil Engineering but a writer by heart was the main reason why I figured out that the corporate life was not for me. I enjoyed being at home, far from the competitive atmosphere of a typical 8-hour job. I hated the idea of extending work hours at the office or bringing work at home. I cringe about the idea of having to prioritize work over my family and living. Luckily, i managed to break free from the corporate world after seven grueling years. Although I must say that I have learned a lot both personally and professionally from my office job, I would never see myself turning back after being able to achieve my dream of being at home and working online. As I try to reach my first million while working online I also plan on entering a home-based business in between blogging and taking care of my kids.


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