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That is the words we told our 2 oldest kids when they received their computer. We did the same thing when Grandpa bought them each an iPod Touch. A friend and former boss had passed these words of wisdom on. While her daughter was in her early teens when technology became a big deal – she immediately set those technology boundaries.
By establishing the boundaries up front and reminding the children that what they do, we can see – it starts the process of accountability and trust. Create a set of defined rules that are CLEAR to your children. Speak their language. You can do this, you can’t do that. Setup your computer to monitor their activity. Google is a great start for monitoring searches. While yes there are other search engines, you can set this as your homepage and chances are if they are young, they’ll just use this page.
I don’t feel bad viewing my 8 year old or 5 year old’s email. I want to make sure what they are doing online is age appropriate – to keep each of the kids safe and to help guide their growth.
It’s our job (my husband and I) to raise our children. When they have questions, I know they will do just as WE do – GOOGLE IT! But that’s not the line of communication I want to set forth with my children. I want to be able to talk to them about the subjects they want to learn about. No matter how difficult the subject matter.
As I mentioned before, when I was 12, the FBI visited our house. 20 years ago, the world was a different place. It was STILL scary then, but the online thing was nearly non-existent. Today, it’s everywhere. You must keep tabs on what your children are doing online.
Something is going to happen and your child is going to go somewhere or do something online that he or she shouldn’t of. Exhibit grace and use the experience as a learning opportunity, for both you and your child.