Assalam o alaikum Divas,
- Parenting a child online is not so different from parenting a child in a "real world".
- The key to remember that the Internet is a lot more like the real world than like television, to which it is so often compared.
- Parents often set curfews and have rules set about visiting a friend's house without an adult escort.They expect to meet friends, boyfriends,girlfriends in person.They want to know where a child is heading to;what the kids are upto before leaving the house.Parents act as escorts or arrange an escort for their young kids if they are going further from home.
- Usually we see parents grounding their kids or take away the privileges for not obeying them.You may or may not enforce similar rules in your home,but they are excellent starting place for creating a positive and safe online experience.
Talk to your children:Much like anything else, it's important that your child knows what your expectations are,understands the basics of "Internet safety" and feels comfortable talking to you about problems and concerns.
- Create a set of guidelines when and how long your children can use the computer.
- Just make yourself clear to the young tender hearts what they can and cannot do online.
- Discuss things like instant messaging,chat rooms, blogs and social networking sites to make it more interesting and commanding as well.
- Work out a contract with your children about household expectations and have everyone sign of it.
- Forget not to announce consequences for breaking the rules.
- It is extremely important to stick with your rules.
- It's true that kids need boundaries and ,as much as they fight you on it,count on you to set them.
- Another appeasing way is to set a timer for online activity.
- If its possible parents may also take help of monitoring software which tracks where the kids are heading to and what they are doing.
- It's not enough for your computer to be in a central location in your home,if you are not paying attention to your kids activities. Just make a habit of pulling up a chair and talking to your child about what they are doing.
Read more about it:
- If you ask child what they are doing and you don't understand the answer,it's time to read more about it.Try to visit the website if possible,search for related news about it and see if you could find an article on other sites as well. Whatever path or ways you choose it's really important to understand what your kids are doing when they are online.
Join the fun:
- If your child shows interest in any online community such as Webkinz,MySpace, Facebook, Tango etc find out what they like about it. Must hurry to sign up your account and add your child as a "friend".Now this allows you to have a better sense of what they are doing and what sorts of things they are coming in contact with, but you know,just the other way round your kid is excited that you are interested in their activities.
USAGE of avail technologies:
- Various Internet tools are available to help you control, track and/or limit what your kids can say and do online.
- First please take enough time to teach yourselves about Internet filters,firewalls, monitoring softwares,browsers for kids and many other tools.
- They are not a replacement for strong parenting, but generously to say they can help to make your task easier especially with younger kids.
Do a little sleuthing:
- Use your browser history,cache and cookies to find out what sites your kids have been visiting. This is not to suggest that you should spy on your child,but just a spot checkup now and again is a good idea.
- Enter their name,nicknames, your address,or phone number in the popular engines to see if they have public profiles on social networking sites.You might be surprised by how much of your personal information is leaked on live.
Watching for warning signals:
- Please keep a look out for your child who is reluctant to talk to you about what they are doing online or may seem to you that the child is withdrawing from family or friends may have a problem.
- It can be easy to chalk up certain things of normal teenage behaviour but that doesn't mean you should ignore changes in your child's personality.
- Cyber bullying is just one bad experience that may cause your child to withdraw.
Know when to say "NO" :
- If your child continually spends too much time online or ignores rules set by you,it may be time to pull the plug on the Internet as a sort of "virtual grounding".Make it clear to your child the reasons behind this act and how long this will last. But before grounding them virtually you must think what you will do if they have a homework project that requires access and remember that they may be able to use computers at school , the library and at a friend's house.They may even be an able to browse the Web on their cell phone.
- Prepare your child for predators. Kids internet safety means letting them know about the bad people out there and telling them never to meet anyone without an adult with them.
- Don't let them meet with someone online you have never met either.
- On the other side of this, very thin line, parents must let them have fun and be kids.
- Social networking and playing games online can be very fun and fulfilling time in their lives.It also setting them up with the social networking skills they may need in their future to communicate with friends and employers.
By ARSHI JAVED.