Should kids be allowed use the internet?

  everydaymum321 11:24 18 May 2017

It seems everywhere I turn I see children with various devices which have unrestricted internet access. Am I alone in thinking this is madness? I understand the benefits of using the internet for educational purposes, however, how do I allow this but prevent them wandering into unsuitable websites or social media?

  Belatucadrus 12:06 18 May 2017

Definitely a can or worms, approaches run from adding child safe filter software to allowing unfettered access but keeping an eye on what they do and talking about it when they encounter troublesome material.

Try this as a starter point Click Here

  morddwyd 12:45 18 May 2017

How will you stop them?

They're not allowed to smoke, drink, take drugs or have sex either but they seem to manage it.

  everydaymum321 16:31 18 May 2017

Obviously supervision is key but I can't be there 100% of the time. Ikydz (click here came highly recommended, which I'm thinking of trying. Have you come across this before?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:50 18 May 2017

whatever you use hey are more computer savvy than you and will get round it, so don't pay a fortune for it. there are plenty of free programs out there that will do the same job.

click here

  Forum Editor 18:14 18 May 2017

This is a subject that interests me deeply. Today's children were born into a broadband world, and as they grow up they will use the internet as a matter of course - it has become as much a part of modern life as cars, or TV.

Learning how to use the internet for information gathering and entertainment is an essential and valuable part of childhood, but with it comes a grave danger - that of accessing adult content. Images and videos of the most explicit kind are only a few mouse clicks away, Extreme violence abounds - you name it, it's out there.

Children are naturally curious, and what they are curious about is not always going to be appropriate - some things that are perfectly acceptable to mature adults can be deeply shocking to a young child who inadvertently stumbles upon them.

Protecting children in this context is extraordinarily difficult. As others have pointed out, we adults are probably the architects of the problem in a way. By teaching our children how to use computers and the internet we inadvertently provide them with the tools to do the very thing we want to prevent them from doing.

My view is that all the software solutions in the world are never going to be as effective as proper parental guidance. You will never be able to stop a child doing what it has heard other children talking about - if your son or daughter wants to see adult content he or she will eventually do so, regardless of the software controls you use. What you can do, however, is give some moral guidance, and the secret is to start early.

As soon as a primary school child starts to use a laptop or iPad, start talking about the dangers. Explain that there are things about life that can be shocking and confusing, and tell the child that he or she can avoid problems by being careful. Talk about how search terms can often produce inappropriate results, and warn about straying off the topic - the dangers of going on a clicking journey. We all do it, and children will do it if they aren't warned.

Talk about social media. Your child will inevitably become involved as he or she gets a bit older, but you can at least try to delay the inevitable.

Understand that the lure of the internet is more powerful than your warnings and be aware that curiosity is sometimes an almost irresistible force. Your child will succumb at some point, but with luck you will by then have provided him or her with a fairly strong moral compass - you'll have explained what is right and what is wrong about human behaviour.

I'm a very firm believer in talking things through with children rather than laying down the law; saying 'don't do this' invites the response 'why not?' and the answer should never be 'because I say so'. That's not good enough for an intelligent child, and inevitably leads to rebellion or subterfuge, or both.

End of lecture - apologies to those of you who have nodded off.

  everydaymum321 21:35 18 May 2017

Well said! This subject matters a great deal to me also. We teach our children about other dangers in the world like not to go with strangers, to wear a helmet when riding a bike, to take care when handling sharp objects and so on, so why should using the internet be any different?

I don't believe in taking away their right to use the internet as it can be a very valuable tool and I have had various conversations with my children about potential online dangers, inappropriate content and social media etiquette. That being said, I would have more peace of mind knowing that I have the backup of a software filter should their curiosity kick in, as it inevitably will.

I have abandoned the use of free programs as the few I have tried have just been deleted by the kids! I'm now trying a product that I've paid for and hopefully that will be more successful. One thing is for sure, we cannot continue to allow our children to use these devices without boundaries.

  Cymro. 12:46 19 May 2017

My two are now in their early forties with their own kids to look out for. I do however find myself worrying about their kids my grandchildren. At the moment all are aged under ten and so only seem interested in playing games on their iPad but the day will come when their parents will have to have a word with them and to be honest I am rather glad it is them and not me that will be obliged to do so. Very little seems to be getting any easier in life.

  onthelimit1 11:03 23 May 2017

One of my internet related concerns is the false impression of what is 'normal'. Teenagers will access porn whatever we try to do to stop them. The boys are then likely to expect girls to behave in the manner of the 'actors'. With grandchildren aged 3 to 13, I worry for them.

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