The Webwise 10 Tips For Paretns
1. Discover the Internet together
Be the one to introduce your child to the Internet. For both parent and child it is an advantage to discover the Internet together. Try to find web sites that are exciting and fun. Hopefully you will together achieve a positive and conscious attitude to Internet exploration, which again could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future.
2. Agree with your child rules for Internet use in your home
Try to reach an agreement with your child on the guidelines which apply to Internet use in your household. Here are some tips to get started:
- Discuss when and for ho wlong it is acceptable for your child to use the Internet
- Agree how to treat personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail)
- Discuss how to behave towards others (chat, e-mailing, messaging)
- What type of sites and activities are OK or not OK in our family
3. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
It is important to be aware that many web pages made for children ask them for personal information in order to access personalised content. Being conscious of when and where it is all right to reveal personal information is vital. A simple rule for younger children could be that the child should not give out name, phone number or picture without your approval. Children using social networkign sites like Bebo or Facebook should be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces. Once material is online you can no longer control who sees it or how it is used.
4. Talk about the risks associated with meeting online friends
Adults should understand that the Internet could be a positive meeting place for children, where they can get to know other children and make new friends. However, to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is important that children do not meet strangers they have met on the net without being accompanied by an adult, friends or others they trust. In any case, the child should always have their parents' approval first.
5. Teach your child about source criticism on the net
Most children use the Internet to improve and develop knowledge in relation to schoolwork and personal interests. Children should be aware that not all information found online is correct. Educate children on how to verify information they find by comparing to alternative sources on the same topic.
6. Don't be too critical towards your child's exploration of the Internet
Children may come across adult material by accident on the Web. If a child intentionally searches for such web sites, remember that it is natural for children to be curious about off-limits material. Try to use this as an opening to discuss the content with them, and perhaps make rules for this kind of activity. Be realistic in your assessment of how your child uses the Internet.
7. Report online material you may consider illegal to the appropriate authorities
It is vital that we all take responsibility for the Web and report matters, which we believe could be illegal. By doing this we can help to prevent illegal activities online, such as child-pornography or attempts to lure children via chat, mail or messaging.
8. Encourage Respect for Others
There is an informal code of conduct for the Internet. As in everyday life, there are informal ethical rules for how to behave when relating to other people on the Internet. These include being polite, using correct language and not yell at (write in capital letters) or harass others. Also, children as well as grown up’s should not read other’s e-mail or copy protected material.
9. Know your child’s net use
To be able to guide your child with regard to Internet use, it is important to understand how children use the Internet and know what they like to do on-line. Let your child show you which websites they like visiting and what they do there. Acquiring technical knowledge could also make it easier to make the right decisions regarding your child’s Internet use.
10. Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives
The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children. Encourage your child to be conscious and explore the Internet to its full potential.