Should I actively limit and monitor my child's use of the internet and other media in the home?
Australian psychologist, Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, says that computers can lure children into situations they are not equipped to handle. He refers to the internet as 'Cyberia', likening it to a new country and describes cyber kids as early settlers. He asks, "If you had a seven-year-old would you dump him in a red-light district in Amsterdam?"
Award your children 12 half hour tokens on a Sunday night each week. Each child can use these tokens on the computer, watching TV, talking on the phone, or playing with a Play Station or Nintendo. Parents may use a timer and strictly adhere to the time. Siblings tend to ‘spill the beans’ on each other if there is any cheating.
Install the computer in a communal area and make sure you look over your child’s shoulder from time to time.
If you allow your child to establish a profile page on a social networking site, then check it regularly to ensure personal safety issues are not being violated.
Turn off all media equipment and insist that dinner is eaten at the table, and encourage communication.
Ensure your children get outside as much as possible and maintain friendships where regular communication takes place and imaginations are fed.