Thursday, February 3, 2005
Internet & children
One of my friends (Ms A) is quite worried. She is the mother of a girl and a boy. The girl must be around 14 and the boy around 10. The girl has been demanding internet connection at home. Ms N has been putting it off. "I don't think I can put it off any longer," she tell me.
Both she and her husband return from work only by say 9 pm. The obvious worry for Ms N is that her daughter may get into "unwanted" sites and "chat" with strangers etc etc. Ms N realises that at one stage or the other every teenager while surfing "will stray into such sites" and do "a bit of chatting and all". Unavoidable.
But she is wondering how she can curb it (without making it so obvious to her daughter) so that it doesn't get out of hand. "And, you know these kids know much more than we do, yaa..!" she exclaims in near desperation. Very genuine concern for a mother.
One suggestion I gave her was to let them log into the net only when either father or mother is at home. Don't let out the password. If they insist on knowing the password and right to log in any time they want, tell them that the family needs to keep a check on the internet and telephone bills. "We didn't tell you don't surf. Limit it."
I have read somewhere that it's a good idea NOT to keep the PC in a very secluded corner. Let it be in an open area where it is visible to others. That will be a deterrent.
Any other thoughts on this very modern-day problem?