Should you encourage your child to use the computer?
This is one question many parents don't have an answer
to. Although most parents know that it is always
advantageous for children to be familiar with computer
usage, they are not comfortable with their children
surfing the internet since one cannot predict what a
child will stumble upon.
One of the first things any parent of a computer
literate child should do is to install an internet
blocking software. Once this is done, your child's
chances of stumbling onto adult sites are reduced.
Next, get a telephone connection and disable
auto-connect, so you are required to enter the
password before connecting. In this manner your child
will be able to browse only when you are around, and
with your permission.
Discourage your child from chatting on the internet.
There is absolutely no reason for your child to speak
to strangers, especially since you never know who
exactly is on the other side of the screen. Chat rooms
are favourite haunts of paedophiles, who use them to
seek out potential prey and get as much information as
possible about them. Your child should in fact be
chatting with real friends in person, and not with
strangers on the computer. Make sure your child is
aware that he is not allowed to chat on the computer.
Your child will then know that if he ever chats, he is
doing so in disobedience of your orders.
Usually chat software is required to be downloaded, so
simply do not download the software.
Speak to friends in your child's presence about the
dangers of chatting with strangers. Your child is
likely to just wave off your warnings, but if he
'accidentally' overhears a discussion about the
dangers of chatting with strangers, he may think twice
before doing so.
Similarly, speak about how unhealthy it is for
youngsters to chat to strangers when they should be
out there playing with friends. Drop names of role
models your children admire. Say something like
"Sachin Tendulkar says that he has never chatted on
the internet as he feels it is the biggest waste of
However, there is definitely a plus side to accessing
the internet, as by doing so your child will have
access to a lot of information, which should help him
in his school work and projects. Familiarise your
child with certain informative websites like
There is a lot your child can do on the computer
without having to go online. Get your child a CD. Most
educative CDs contain a tremendous amount of
information, and the information is departed in a very
interesting manner. Your child is sure to enjoy the
experience thoroughly, and in addition to increasing
his general knowledge, your child will also get
familiar with computer usage.
Remember that computer games can be totally addictive,
so it is best to limit your child's access to computer
games. You should instead encourage them to get out
there and play in the open. You could perhaps let your
child play a few online games, because in this manner
your child will know that he can only play them for a
short while, when connected.