The website maze – which ones are safe for my child?

It’s hard enough bringing up a child, but add into the mix of usual parenting concerns technology and the internet and you have a sure-fire headache!  Whether or not you are a regular net-surfer yourself, or maybe not quite so internet friendly, your children are going to test your parenting and IT skills all at the same time.  One thing that is sure to crop up very early on is which websites they should look at and be allowed to use.  So where does a responsible parent start and what are the right and wrong ways of dealing with issues like this?

First of all, you can find a great deal of help and advice online.  Websites like Quib.ly helps parents understand what makes a child safe website.  Make this and other websites like it your first port of call and you will definitely be headed in the right direction.  As well as telling you which types of websites should definitely be avoided, it will give you information on the best websites suitable for your child’s age range and area of interest.  Parental controls are something that need to be set up and any websites aimed at over-18’s or similar should definitely be blocked.  Also beware of the more commonplace websites such as YouTube.  They may seem harmless enough and yes, there are plenty of things on the site to interest children.  However, users of the site can upload their own videos and clips and many of them are definitely not child friendly. 
Also encourage your child to check with you before they visit new websites.  A quick cursory glance from you and a double-check can save embarrassment and a potentially uncomfortable situation developing.  Sit with your child and browse through some of the recommended websites and study them together.  Compile a list of favourite websites and add them to their online favourites so that it is easy enough for them to get back to the same sites when they need them.  If your child is going to be allowed to use their computer, iPhone or iPad in the privacy of their own room, be extra cautious.  The internet offers a whole new virtual world to be explored but you need to be certain that their exploration takes place contained within certain boundaries. 
Just like you would not let your child run amok in a candy shop, so you should restrict them also with the internet.  Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Consider also limiting the amount of time that they spend online.  It’s not a healthy or sociably good idea for your children to be stuck in their bedrooms all the time, eyes and ears glued to the net.  Make the use of the computer part of family life and don’t let it develop into an introverted type of occupation.

Your child needs to be able to deal with IT sensibly and at their own pace.  You just need to show them how to do it. 


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8 Comments

  1. July 31, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    Technology moves so fast these days I think parents need to be proactive rather than reactive right from the off. Quib.ly looks really easy to use so will deffo bookmark it now – hadn’t heard of it before I read this post – thanks 🙂

    • July 31, 2013 / 12:29 pm

      I agree, my children are a whizz on the computers as they use them regularly at school!

  2. July 31, 2013 / 12:47 pm

    I’m dreading when my two get old enough to use the Internet it scares me how quick everything changes and that by then I won’t be able to keep up with them!

    • July 31, 2013 / 1:33 pm

      It is scary how fast things move – the kids will be teaching us a thing or 2 soon!

  3. July 31, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    Information really is out only defense in the scary world of tinterweb, definitely gonna check out this website

  4. July 31, 2013 / 6:14 pm

    It is one of those things that I think most parents worry about these days, the down side to modern technology x

  5. July 31, 2013 / 9:11 pm

    I dread to think of the day Emmy starts web surfing – she can already work technology better than me lol

  6. August 3, 2013 / 6:40 am

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