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Children’s Internet Usage: How Parents Can Take Control

 

At present there are around 900 million users that log on to the World Wide Web regularly for personal and professional work. Daily internet usage is at a higher level than ever before.

The Internet or the Web as it is commonly known, has come a long way from being a closed network meant only for the US armed forces, to a totally open network for each and every person irrespective of their age, origin, etc.

Part of this tremendous growth is the fact that a higher number of children access the internet than the adults in their families. Be it from homes, phones, or cyber cafes, all the kids want is access to the internet, hence children are spending long hours in front of screens.

Statistics reveal that 20% of children already have computers in their own rooms with access to the web, hence can receive infinite and unstructured information. Kids of any age imitate, or simply latch onto anything they see or hear on television or the internet.

And with time being a major constraint for parents, the risk of dependence and obsession with the web is huge with children who are subjected to the Internet without tough parental controls.

The key then, to put a stop to the web addiction is to inculcate in kids strong values, and educate them about effective internet usage. Parents should guide their offspring on how to use the internet and create a healthy environment for the same. Here are some tips for keeping good control over internet usage:

1. Parents should spend quality time with their kids and get more actively involved in their lives. This is to say that parents should be aware of things like who their child’s friends are, what do they do when away from home, etc.

2. A very significant point to consider is to get to know your child better, in terms of his/her interests or hobbies and present them with opportunities to develop those hobbies further.

3. As a parent, one should keep a regular check on what their child is doing online, what kind of sites and chat rooms he/she visits and what kind of material is stored on their computers.

4. Parents should not accept their own ignorance about the internet. If they are not well informed, they should not shy away from learning more about the world of the web. This will help them to understand their child’s activities better.

5. Parents should put a limit on daily internet usage so as to prevent their teenager from becoming an internet addict.

6. They should keep a look out for the early signs of internet addiction like mood swings, irritability, and anxiety over not being allowed access. Parents should closely monitor the personality changes as well as excessive behavioral alterations in their child.

by: Nigel Brown

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