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Moms Q&A: Should You Be Monitoring Your Children's Computer Activities?

Be part of the discussion on a weekly question posed by the Patch Moms Council.

Once a week on Lynbrook Patch, we're going to post Moms Q&A, an interactive feature in which village moms can discuss, debate or brainstorm parenting ideas with fellow parents.

Our Lynbrook Patch Moms Council, currently comprised of three Lynbrook mothers, will help get the conversation started. All residents are welcome to comment, though we do ask that all commenters be courteous and respectful of one another.

This week's question is: My kids spend a lot of time on the computer. Should I be monitoring what they're doing, and if so, how?

Scroll down this page to see the comments.

Maura Bermiss March 05, 2011 at 09:44 PM
I think the quick answer to this question is yes, of course. For many reasons children of all ages need to be monitored and need to have limits of time. This activity, like anything our kids take part in needs to be followed and questioned. Our Children have anything available to them at their fingertips on the computer. They can connect with anyone anywhere. For small children 6 and under who merely want to play games they should be sitting with an adult. They may accidentally find something inappropriate or download something that could crash your computer. As the kids become more savy things can get scary. The 7 to 11 year old may spell something wrong and find x-rated sites that count on them to make these spelling errors. You need to be constantly checking in on them. They could sit there for hours watching You Tube Videos that have absolutely nothing to offer them but foul language and inappropriate behavior. As your preteen becomes a teen they may start looking to make friends and that is something that requires you know what sites they access and who they connect with. You need to know your teen and know what they are doing. I would think if they try to hide things from you it can't be a good sign. At any age we need to stay connected with our kids. The computer can keep them occupied and quiet for hours but is it worth that peace and quiet to you in the long run? Maura
Julie O'Connell March 05, 2011 at 11:04 PM
YES! Although my children are young and don't spend too much time on the computer yet, I am frightened to think about the future! I think the rules and guidelines need to be set from when they are young so that they make good choices as teens and young adults. None of us can really understand the magnitude of the internet, social networking sites and email. I think we should make sure that our children know that even things that are written in an email or social networking site can affect them for years to come. The written word is OFTEN misinterpreted and the youth today spend a great deal of time communicating in that mode. I know that there are programs that can watch what your children do on their computer and although I am not someone who likes to violate the rights of others, as a parent I can understand why parents choose to do this. The world is very big and scary and this generation has the ability to be exposed to so much more than we ever were!

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