Many parents worry that the Internet will expose their children to inappropriate information. Here are some guidelines developed by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to help children have a safe and rewarding online experience:
• Limit time spent online.
• Remember that chatting online is the same as talking to strangers.
• Don’t share personal information online and never agree to meet online “friends.”
• Never give children credit cards or passwords that enable online purchases or access to websites.
• Remind children that not everything they read or see online is true.
• Use the parental control feature from your online service provider or purchase software that restricts access to certain websites.
• Teach children to communicate with the same courtesy online as they would when speaking to a person.
• Insist that children follow these guidelines on computers outside of the home as well, such as at school, the library or a friend’s house.
Spending time online with a child, exploring and periodically participating, gives parents an opportunity to monitor and supervise the activity. It is also an opportunity to learn together.
To learn more, visit our Media Violence handout (and others!) by clicking this link