Children on the Internet - your feelings? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Children on the Internet - your feelings?

So recently we have had some friends staying with us , they have 3 children aged between 7 and 14. Their parents have recently left back for christchurch to try and sort out what is left of their business etc etc and so the kids are staying on with us for a couple of weeks as they are attending the local school while things settle back down. This has led to some interesting questions regarding the internet.

My partner is a computer technician and so as such he has net nannied our internet connection up to the eyeballs and back, believe me - nothing is getting pass his blocks , dispite the 14 yr olds attempts to hack through. Their parents have basically said "treat them as if they are your own" and as they are under our roof I expect them to follow the same rules as the other children - we frequently have nephews and nieces etc staying with us , so same rule for everybody means no one feels hard done by - usually.

I am wondering what your rules re internet are (or if you are a child - and to me a child is anyone under the age of 18 , what are the rules your parents set for you using the internet?) I have no facebook , no forums (unless pre-vetted by us), no R rated material or material of questionable content, I am highly skeptical of online chat programs like msn and skype for kids - I dont see the need (except for if they're talking to family - alot of ours is overseas) if they want to talk to their friends , I think face to face is best - I am over tween girls getting into massive blowups over something that happened on facebook or msn. one big headache.

They tell me im a scrouge - I probably am but I just don't see the need for it all , for homework is one thing - and that is fine if you cant find it in books , then use the internet - but for anything else I really dont like it.

theres no cellphone reception at our home so that isnt an issue - but I just hate to see kids sat at a computer all day or infront of the telly - I spent my youth outside playing in the creek or climbing trees - maybe Im just old with old values!!!

so tell me , what are your rules and feelings towards children on the internet?
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:22 PM
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I don't see a problem with programs like MSN or other cyber connection tools like that - the fact is that most of youngsters (and adults) have networked that way and it's a normal part of life for most of people nowadays. Personally I can see the need - if friends don't live that close to you, it's easier to keep in touch and at least I love to have some casual chat with people around times when I can't meet anyone in person.

Personally I think it depends also on the kid's age - 7 years old is a bit different than 17 years old. I don't think that things like Facebook are for very young kids and they need also a lot of guiding when surffing on web - I wouldn't leave a kid that young alone with a computer in which you have an internet connection. In my personal opinion, also teenagers need kind of guiding ans supervising where they go (I'd personally allow Facebook or other social networks to a teenager but require that I can supervise usage), but depending on the person I'd pretty much rely on a person around his or her 18's. Also time limitation would be good; no sitting behind the screen for hours every day but have some time limit how much the kid can use a computer/web.

ETA: I'm 21 and don't have kids at the moment. Personally I started to use Internet around my teen years and actually none supervised me - thinking that now when I'm older, there are/were risks that I didn't realize around that time so maybe it'd have been good if someone had supervised/guided me more. That hacking thing you mentioned sounds like something that I'd give some sanctions.

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Hei tuu mun luo, pieneksi hetkeksi. Puhutaan, varjoni, valkoiseksi enkeliksi."

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Last edited by TaMMa89; 03-22-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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post #3 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:26 PM
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My kids are 7 and nearly 10.

No Facebook, no online chatting, no forums, no using Google or other search engine without an adult present, all e-mails are sent though my account and must be approved by an adult before being sent. No printing anything without adult consent (I was going broke buying paper!!). Games are fine, if they aren't on a pre-approved website (they mostly visit the Disney website) then they have to ask first.

Any attempt to hack or bypass the blocks we have results in the power cord to the computer "disappearing" for a minimum of a month.

Each child has their own computer (hand-me-downs from hubby and I) so we bookmark everything they don't need to ask permission to visit and ask before going somewhere new.

The internet can be a scary place!! The rules will obviously change as they get older but for now, this is fine.
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:46 PM
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Internet and children really scares me. I'm only 21 myself, but when I see all these kids with their laptops and their smartphones with internet connections, it makes me nervous.

Not including the fact that people are so plugged into their electronics that they're losing actual face to face social skills, the internet is dangerous.
You can find ANYTHING on the internet.

For younger children (under 16) I think I would want to have the passwords to all their accounts and have monitoring software and firewalls. I think the computer should be kept in a public area like the living room and the child must know that the computer is a privilege, NOT a right. On that note, internet time would be limited to a few hours a day.

It's a very delicate balancing act, IMO which makes me happy I am not yet a parent...

Sidenote: Hope all you and your family are doing okay in chch, it's been a very trying time...
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:52 PM
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(If I had kids) I do not believe I would give them unsupervised computer access until the age 15, at the least. Or even later depending on the child's maturity.

But personally, I am thankful that I never had parents controlling my every move. I do believe some parents can cross the line- causing the child to rebel.
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post #6 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 05:54 PM
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Spastic Dove,
Great point on keeping the computer in the living room, no personal laptops etc.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-22-2011, 06:04 PM
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I had unsupervised internet access at age 12. My parents trusted my brother and I, and our computer was in a public place. They used the same computer as us, so it was obvious if we had been going and getting viruses.
Otherwise, they figured "kids will be kids." If we go and find something horrible on the internet that makes us cry, we have to learn to be more careful about what we click on. My parents knew I was on an internet forum at age 12, but it was a highly monitored video game forum, so they trusted me on it. (For reference, a person got banned for a year just because they asked for a picture of me. Just my face, not even anything inappropriate.)

"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."

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post #8 of 40 Old 03-23-2011, 09:15 AM
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Luckily I was more of the outdoorsy type when I was younger (and still am), I didn't get on the internet much at all, so my parents didn't have to keep me off of it at that age. It does make me nervous a bit for kids that age to be on the internet not cause of the things on it, but cause it can get very unhealthy. I've read where kids are more likely to develop psychological issues if they are on the computer too much.
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-23-2011, 09:44 AM
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I had internet when I was younger, but I didn't really use it. I was outside all the time. Now I use it way too much I'm sure.

The main thing that worries me is when I see children and teenagers revealing tons and tons of personal information about their whole lives. I don't think they realize that whatever they write on the internet is a permanent record. It could potentially backfire on them later on in life. I know, kids will be kids, and I don't fault them for that. They just need to be more careful about what they reveal. It's very easy for people to look up others on the internet. Every identifying detail they give out makes it that much easier.

I also think lots of children/teenagers aren't learning how to properly socialize. They are getting less and less face to face contact, and more hiding behind the computer screen or text messages. I see it all over facebook where the person seems loud and outspoken online, but in person they are incredibly withdrawn and nervous.

A friend of mine has a 5 year old son. All I hear about it how great he is with computers, and playing video games. I hardly ever hear of him doing anything outside, or even playing with his parents. I have heard that he doesn't get along well with other children. It's really sad, as he seems like a nice boy, but he has minimal guidance and exposure to the world.

I don't think the internet is bad, but it needs to be used in moderation. If all the child does is go on the internet, what lifeskills are they going to learn? The internet should be used in life's downtime, not as a life.
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post #10 of 40 Old 03-23-2011, 09:47 AM
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Hmmm my childern are only 1 and 4 so I have thought about it, but I'm sure I'm going to end up being a lot like the OP.
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