Advice and Worry: Parents speak about kids online
Forum member johnfalck writes:
My 4-year-old has his own login (clicks on the frog logo that has his name). No admin rights. I removed all icons on the desktop except a couple — e.g., Firefox as the browser, and that without the URL line (unclick navigation toolbar). I set his homepage to pbskids.org, with a few other related icon links (Noggin, etc.) along the top.
So far he has not deleted any files, reset BIOS settings, or ended up on eBay — all things he did at age three when he started banging away on someone else’s computer. My advice: Don’t confuse the ability to do bad things with interest or understanding. (“Daddy, why is the computer screen blue?”) Give a child their own login and make it as safe (limited) in functionality as you can or as is appropriate for the child’s age.
Re the importance of balance: Computer play is not a right. My son will start by saying, “I’ve been pretty good today, can I play on the computer?” And once the snow melts there will be more “go and play outside” instead. But when I’m trying to cook dinner and keep an eye on his 18-month-old sister, 20 minutes of computer time for him sounds great to me.
There is a great article (thanks for the heads up, Anastasia & ever vigilant ypulse) about parents & young kids & the net. This exert was my favorite of the batch.
Head over to that link and see for yourself. Feel free to ping me back if you think there is a better quote in that article.
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