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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.

Source: Forefront Families "Implementing Boundaries for Cyberkids"