This is the final part of my previously published article entitled Teenagers Online.
Previously, I mentioned that a teenagerís curiosity must be considered when deciding how much freedom to allot them online. Secondly, I consider how security plays a major factor in deciding which sites your kids should be allowed to visit.
Most Internet browsers have some kind of built-in security to limit the content your child is able to view, or the sites they can visit. Sadly though, most of these work haphazardly and aren't very effective against a determined teen. There are a variety of parental software available to monitor what your child does online that you can purchase. But the best way to keep your child out of trouble is to do it yourself. I don't mean sit uncomfortably close to your children during computer hours. Rather, try the following:
- No computer when no else is home or asleep.
- Keep the computer in an open area such as the family room.
- Set a time limit for how long they can be on the computer.
- Come to a mutual agreement with them. They stay out of trouble, and you let them use your computer.
Don't get me wrong, the Internet is an amazing invention. Itís extremely useful for school and doing ordinary research. Also it has plenty of other benefits. Despite being too young to enter the working force, I am still able to legally make more than fifty bucks a week. It may not be as much as a regular job, but itís something. Through proper use of the Internet nearly anyone can make a better life for themselves. Whether they start a billion dollar company or just a blog.
Just like anything else though, the Internet is both a force for good and for bad. You just have to help your teen decide how to use it. As a kid, I enjoy the basic things such as: sending emails, playing online games, and watching videos. There are actually plenty of innocent things for your child to do online.
Remember, there's no perfect program or device to completely stop your child from viewing what they shouldn't. Even if you get some high grade security software, from personal experience, we'll find a way. Not to be morbid or anything, but your best protection is fear. Our fear of getting caught should be enough to keep us out of trouble as long as you keep up the good parenting.