Parents are in a unique position to "monitor" their children's internet activities and to observe their behavior with respect to any actions generated by the child's internet use. If children are hiding something from a parent, usually an astute parent will sense that something is askew... in these times it may well be internet associated. This is a delicate balance of empowerment and trust. And it is a wise parent that verbalizes this balance and discusses it openly with the child, especially teen age children.
The internet is a powerful tool for schoolwork and knowledge. It is, at the same time, a significant danger, offering pornography to underage children and the real danger of a personal contact with an undesirable internet "friend."
Here are some ways that a parent can thwart the jeopardy:
1. The computer needs to be in a family room, not in the child's bedroom.
2. Parents should get computer smart and learn how the internet functions.
3. Be aware of your child's use of the computer.
4. Ask your children about their online friends.
5. Obtain programs that will block undesirable, "adult" sites.
6. Pedophiles use teen and preteen chat rooms to prey on children. Do not let your child enter any personal information in a chat environment. Chat rooms allow for one on one conversations... do not permit your children to engage in such conversations.
7. Be sure your child reports anything unusual that they observe on the internet, and, certainly never to answer any rude or offensive e-mails or messages.
8. Be sure your child knows that it is very dangerous to actually meet anyone that they have talked with on the internet.
9. Do not allow your child to send or receive any pictures on the internet from anyone not personally known to you.
10. Do not allow your child any "late night" sessions on the internet.
There are many jeopardies in which children can be trapped. Many are discussed in a new book by Dr. Stuart J. Malkin, "Empowering Children." More information at: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/description.asp?ISBN=0-7414-2331-6
Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.