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Internet Safety: Kids Are Fearless and Parents Are Clueless

Internet use at ages 7 to 9 is mostly for fun, use peaking happens between the ages of 12 and 16 when it is mostly for online socialising and research for schoolwork. By age 17 most use the internet for research and some online gaming (Don't count the 10% of teenagers believed to be gaming addicts) says, Robyn Treyvaud.

Seems to me the author of the cited Treyvaud, is urging parents not to panic if they find themselves in the dark about what’s going on. That if they want to have some conversation about setting boundaries .. they’ll need to know more about what goes on in the worlds of social networking.

There is nothing to fear from sites like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, hi5, Bebo, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, Habbo, Second Life, World of Warcraft and iTunes - yes, I know, many parents are bewildered by such terminology and have only a dim understanding of what they are or how they work, but if we teach Digital Ethics and set strict rules at home, of what is meant by cyberbullying, no concerns need to arose.

Parents need to be encouraged to view the online world as a navigable terrain, and to converse openly with their children about their online time. As a parent-educator myself, I am mindful to encourage partnerships with parents and children to best form an understanding of appropriate online behaviours, just as we encourage appropriate classroom and schoolyard behaviours.

Remember the idealism of your youth? We need to stop ‘spying’ on our children just to become conversant in a‘digital native’ language. Please, stop viewing the Internet as a problem and start finding the opportunities for dialogue – who knows, we may even find that the kids have something to say that deserves more than ever our acute attention.

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  1. Things have definitely changed a lot! My mom is still worried about the Internet, though she's getting better. Great post, and hopefully this is something that will change with time!