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Should Parents Let Their Kids Use the Internet?

Modern parenting has become a constant genuine struggle between letting your child go too freely or suffocating them. Sometimes parents have the trouble of balancing in the middle, making sure their children have the freedom while also making sure they are not getting themselves into trouble.

One of the most common dilemmas parents face that relates to these situations is allowing their children the use of the Internet. Parents are often divided whether they should or not. Some parents believe that it is dangerous, especially with developing children, as there is so much false content swimming around in its vastness. Others also believe that the internet has its upsides. The same concern with content, children can also learn a lot through its sources. As a parent, there also has to be trust given to your children as well as place strategic restrictions as to not obstruct their growth and creativity, while also maintaining their safety from ill content.

Advantages of using the Internet

There have been several studies about the use of the internet in children and in most cases, the results of these studies are mixed. Some studies found that children should not be exposed to the Internet until they are a little bit older while others claim that with correct use, it can be a trove for children to explore in order to become better. However, how do parents know how the Internet can be good for their children? We have listed some of the benefits of the internet that you may consider.

1. Access to a lot of information

Before the widespread use of the Internet, people had to use printed content such as books, newspapers, and magazines to find information. There can be times wherein they can’t find the right information because they don’t have the resources they need available. With the internet, sources of knowledge are within reach (and even a click, so to say). Children have the access to search through thousands of websites for information. In some cases, they can even discover new topics from the links provided. Some journals and books that are typically hard to acquire or gain access to are available online now.

2. Hand and eye coordination

The internet uses a variety of ways to keep users interested and entertained, some sites make use of interactive options that allow users to interact with the system to get content. With this, children may start to practice their hand-eye coordination as they need to press certain keys in order to get the information they want. They will also be able to practice their typing skills and apply various keyboard shortcuts that will make things easier for them in the future.

3. Develop language skills

The internet connects the world virtually and since computers are now probably the best way to get information, children will also be more exposed to research. With this, they will start to adjust their questions to get a better, more precise answer. They will have to use a different combination of keywords in order to get the answer they need for their questions so parents may also notice their language skills to improve. As such, since they are exposed to other parts of the world, they will also be exposed to a variety of languages and improve their way of communicating.

4. Improved problem-solving skills

With the many interactive websites to choose from, they will also be able to help your child learn how to solve problems. When they are browsing the internet, they will need to learn how to navigate the websites they are in. As they start to learn basic navigation, they will also be able to understand how the Internet works and as they become more exposed, may even be able to do more like troubleshooting in case the Internet doesn’t work.

All good things in moderation

Too much of one thing is said can be dangerous and with Internet usage, the risk is so serious, considering what is available online. Parents want to protect their children from exposure to these ill content so we also have gathered some tips to help parents guide their children on how to use the Internet properly.

1. Screen time moderation

In this modern age, smartphones, tablets, and computers have become great ways to keep children occupied whenever boredom strikes. However, it is still very important to make sure they are not overusing their screen time and mix their free time with active play and interaction. Parents should make sure their children don’t use their screen time all day long and stop them from using their devices hours before bedtime. This can cause sleep disruption and can cause to prevent the production of melatonin because of the brightness of the LCD screens. Aside from this, children may also be overstimulated by what they were watching causing them to have trouble falling asleep.

2. Interactive rather than passive

Technology and the Internet can produce more worthwhile results if it is interactive. Often, users are only passive when using the Internet such as when they are reading or watching something online. Interactive use comes to play when users are challenged to stay active and stimulate their minds to discover how they can get the best content.

When your child goes online, spend some time with them and challenge them as they take on information. You can ask them and help them think if the content they have found is credible or you can also join them in reading the content and what it is all about. As such, you can also discuss the content with your child and encourage them to find out more of the certain content to back it up with credible sources.

3. Engage in high-quality content

It is important for children to read and interact with high-quality content when using the Internet. Low-quality content may influence the way the child thinks and acts. This can also cause other problems with sleep and lack of socialization. There are apps that can help parents make sure their children are only getting high-quality content and can also control their children’s screen time. Several smartphones have applications that help parents control what kind of apps and games their children can use. These apps also help in restricting access to other popular websites. Other websites also have launched kid-friendly versions. Still, it is also recommended to sit down with your child and talk to them about these contents.

Safe usage

The Internet has opened new doors for users around the world to interact and reach out to each other. Social media helps friends and families interact with each other even if they are hindered by distance. These sites even make content engaging and interactive.

As you let your child browse through high-quality content, still make sure to check the website’s features and check its age appropriation. Also, remember that not all websites and apps list these specifics so review the site or app before letting your child check it out. If not, block the site or app through a tracking app. As we mentioned, there are a lot of apps that provide parental tools to help manage your child’s Internet access. Take some time to also teach your child about the risks of using the Internet incorrectly. Let them understand that there are many things they should take caution with such as strangers chatting them up online or even sites that link them to some other website they don’t know. Also, teach your child to keep private personal information and not share them online as much as possible.

Conclusion

The Internet offers a lot for its users and over the past years, it has been proven to be a staple for our everyday modern lives. It keeps introducing something new every day to help its users use it. If you do plan on introducing it to your child, make sure you are ready to guide them accordingly as well as do your research about its pros and cons.

While too much of using the Internet can be a bad thing, with moderate and proper usage, it can effectively help your child in the long run. A good Internet habit will also help your child become more responsible online as well as spread awareness to other users.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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