My 10 year old son and the online world
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|   Mar 12, 2015
My 10 year old son and the online world

Remember the days when you needed a dial-up connection and a modem to connect to the Internet. I am pretty sure that most Indian parents would remember the trials and tribulations of Internet connections in the earlier years.

I wonder if my 10 year old is even aware of the term called, “Internet.” The Internet is such an entrenched part of today’s technology that you might wonder that our kids may actually take it for granted in all the devices.

Exposure to the Internet

As with most kids, my son was always very comfortable meddling around with electronic devices from a pretty early age. With the popularity of smart phones and tablets in recent years, kids have easier access to the online world and Internet. In many cases, you can simply switch on the device to have immediate access to the Internet.
Being from an IT background, I guess it was easier for me to depend on the Internet for a variety of activities including official work and paying my bills online. Hence, it was no surprise to see my son too getting hooked on to the online world. Right from school projects to watching music videos and downloading kid games, the Internet offered a gamut of options for his fast developing mind. In fact, the current scenario is that he is no longer interested in watching TV, except for playing some of his favourite DVDs!!

Digital parenting

So while the Internet can be a healthy source of knowledge and entertainment for our kids, we also need to ensure that they do not develop an Internet addiction.Here are some tips that I try with my son:  -

  • Healthy communication with your child
    A normal and healthy family life is the best guard to prevent our kids going astray in the digital world. The Internet should not be an escape route for our child from the stresses and worries of daily life. Online friends cannot replace the family in providing care and attention to our child. Communicate with your child daily without being judgmental. Using a casual tone, you can also ask them about the latest happening trend on the Internet, thus learning more about their online activities.
  • Provide alternative options
    Fill your home with books and family games that can be an alternative to spending excess time on the Internet. In my case, I read books or play Scrabble with my son in my free time.
  • Some limit setting tips
    Well, so far, we have managed to restrict our son to use only our smartphones, not one of his own. This also ensures that he accesses the Internet only at home, so we know most of his online activities. We also try to limit his Internet time to around 45 minutes, except on some weekends when we want to catch a movie on TV!!
  • Be the role model
    To be the ideal father, I need to set the example for my son. Before advising him on the ills of the Internet, I try reducing my own Internet browsing time on my laptop or Smartphone to only when necessary. Though they may not admit it, our kids do observe us and look up to us as role models.

Conclusion

For today’s parent, online parenting blogs like www.yourekavach.com/blog/ are an excellent source of valuable parenting information. While we can and should adopt online safety measures to protect our child, I believe the best safety is in developing a healthy parent-child relationship.


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