The Internet: Setting Usage Guidelines

As a parent, if you feel that your children are spending too much time on the internet, they probably are. There’s no problem with setting limits on your child’s social internet usage, and although they may make you feel like the worst parent in the world, you’re actually doing what’s best for them. It’s important that you take the initiative to establish a balance in your home between internet usage and other activities, such as time outdoors or socializing with friends and family. Today, we’ll discuss some tips for setting usage guidelines for the internet in your home, so that it and your family can peacefully coexist.

Limit time spent online: Set a guideline for the amount of time per child on the internet each day. This should be time used socially, not time that they are spending on research or homework.

Set online rules instead of banning the internet entirely: For example, set rules that they cannot surf the internet or chat on an instant messenger program until their homework has been completed.

Keep the computer in a public area: This keeps your children accountable about where they go and what they do online. Be sure they know that you can and will check the browser history to see how they are using their time online.

Set guidelines for usernames and passwords: make it a household rule that you must have a list of all usernames and passwords, and that you can access their accounts at any time.

Encourage other activities: Encourage your children to participate in activities that don’t involve the computer – sports, outdoor activities, socializing with friends, etc.

Use software if necessary: Research software that monitors or restricts your child’s internet use. Keep in mind, however, that if your child is technically savvy, they may be able to disable or circumvent the software.

Limit Gaming: If your child is interested in fantasy or role playing games, try encouraging them to read books or watch movies with similar content, instead of spending so much time on the internet playing the games.

Most importantly, remember that you are the parent. The computer and internet are tools, and you have the right to limit their usage in your home. Taking the time to set clear guidelines for internet usage is a great way to teach your child responsibility and time management. It also helps to avoid more serious problems, such as internet addiction. Teach your child the value of balance by helping them to limit their internet usage – it will make all the difference in your day to day family life.

Have a great day!