The Internet can be a valuable research tool and brings to your fingertips resources that would otherwise be very difficult to obtain. It can open the door to new countries and languages, and help your child or teen to get the most out of his or her education.
Educate your child and protect him or her when it comes to the Internet.
On the other hand, parents need to educate their children, take precautions and not assume that their child’s use of the Internet in school is always for education. Both teachers and parents need to educate their children on the use of the Internet.
What can parents do to educate their children on Internet use?
Parents need to teach children personally how to use the Internet. Children will use the Internet in school. Some teachers, schools and technology teachers, including media specialists (who were formerly referred to as librarians), are very diligent and conscientious about supervising children’s Internet use in school. Some technology teachers teach children diligently how to use the computer as a business tool.
On the other hand, there are many situations where the Internet in school is being used by students irresponsibly or in detrimental ways. Parents need to be aware that even in school, pornography is sometimes accessed, violent video games are often played, social networking pages are being created and used, right on school computers. Every school has a filtering system. However, computer savvy kids sometimes know their way around the system, and are able to find loopholes. What might start out with one student spreads to others.
So in addition to whatever safeguards that might be installed on school computers, educate your child on the dangers that exist on the Internet. If you might not be fully familiar with the subject, or would like to be more knowledgeable in this area, take some time to educate yourself.
Some sites and organizations that have valuable information on Internet Safety are,
Using the Internet in a Positive Way
On the positive side, teach your child how to use the Internet for research, what type of sites are accurate and trustworthy, and how to discern between a site that presents biased and unbiased information.
Additionally, when your child has an essay or report, help the child learn why it is neither wise, or ethical, to simply cut and paste what might already have been written on the Internet. Bring them to the library where they can use research books and encyclopedias in addition to Internet research tools. A combination of research tools should be used by children, teens and all types of students in completing their research.. Both parents and teachers should teach children how to gather information and to make it their own rather than copying information, cutting and pasting, from the Internet.
Dangers of the Internet
What are some of the dangers of the Internet? Pornography certainly is at the top of the list. Pornography addiction and interest in pornography can manifest itself before middle school for some children. An interest in pornography from early years can affect children when they reach teen years and follow them into adulthood. Parents may be unaware of their child’s dabbling in pornography. So, in addition to trusting in filtering software at school, the library and on home computers, parents should supervise the Internet use of their child, keep the computer in a public place in the home, never in the child's bedroom.
Also, however, parents need to educate the child as to why pornography can be harmful. Teach the child to turn off the screen if pornographic images come up, and to go to you or to the teacher if that should happen.
Violent and Non-Violent Video Games
Educate the child on the difference between violent and non-violent video games. There are some nice video games on the Internet for children which are not violent. They may not be the most exciting, but many educational games have value, and there are gentle games that a child can enjoy, if they don't spend too much time at it or get addicted. If you see that your child is spending too much time on video games, close up the Internet for video games for a couple of months. Be loving but firm.
Conclusion - How to Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Wisely
Keeping on top of your children's Internet use and taking time to educate them and yourself about the Internet will contribute to their success in education and in life.
Pages Related to Internet Safety
How to Internet Safety
- Notes on Newark, NJ School Conference
How Pornography Effects Children
Reviews of the Best Parental Internet Filtering Software
Youtube and Teens
Parental Internet Software
Free Parental Internet Filtering Software
- How Good is it?
Child Online Safety
U.S. Government information page, from Carnegie Mellon University.
Cyber Bullying - Parents
: What parents can do