Children are growing up in a world surrounded by technology. Long gone are the days of typewriters that could only produce what was already in a child’s imagination.
These days a computer is essential for typing reports, doing research and largely used as a base for educational learning. Students are expected in most schools to do many lessons on the internet.
Younger than students, toddlers are often found streaming their favorite cartoons through the internet and playing games online. But how young is too young for these activities?
Unsupervised Internet Surfing for Younger Ones – Steps to Follow
The real world and the online world blend together as you cannot protect your child from everyone and everything no matter how hard you try. There is no set age that tells parents when they can leave children alone with the internet. They may never be 100% safe because it’s a world full of all types of people on that same internet.
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It’s up to the parents when they believe it is okay to leave the child alone to surf. Many internet service providers step in to help with this. They give you options to set up areas the child cannot access. They can block certain websites and put guards on anything that might be harmful for any age. Though internet service providers can do all of the technical work, they cannot shield you from everything in the online world. Cyber bullying can happen on games and social media sites from enemies just as quickly as you can find new friends on that same site.
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To ensure you along with your internet service provider work together for the good of your child, no matter what age, talk to them about security issues they might have. It is also best to sit down and explain the fantasy world and the real world. You can sit beside them staring over their shoulder every hour of the day while they surf the internet, but at some point you will have to move on, and they will have to be trusted to surf alone.
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US law says that a child cannot use some social media sites until they are 13. This might be the law, but many young children are lying about their age to access these sites. As a parent, you must decide if the child is trusted enough to get on the social media site under the age of 13. Once clue is if they’re lying. Letting them surf alone does not mean you don’t need to monitor their surfing at a later time. You are still the guardian and can pick up on any clues when things are going awry.
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Talk to the different internet service providers in your area to know how they regulate different sites for children. Remember that the age you can leave your child unsupervised playing on the computer is up to you and your child.
Leaving younger ones to have an unsupervised internet surfing experience is like putting fire on the roof while you’re pretending nothing is happening. Like it or not, the fire will soon kindle the whole building. Then you’ll know that something is indeed happening somewhere. Unsupervised internet surfing is for the adults or teen who knows what they are doing; knows the right from wrong.
Do you think leaving your children to surf the web without policing will, or not have negative impact on them in the future? And in time of cyber bullying, how do you manage to contain the situation? If you have a tip that you normally use to help your children stay at the top of their game, would you mind sharing them with us?
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