How to Manage your Kids Use of the Internet – What you Need to Know

Many Australian parents are concerned about their kids and how they interact with the World Wide Web; if you don’t have much IT know-how, it is likely that your children know more than you, which kind of puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

Here are a few tips to help you effectively manage your child’s time online.

  • Communication – The most powerful tool you have is direct communication with your child; explain to them that spending too much time online can have a negative impact on their health & well-being. Older children should understand that porn and online gambling are taboo and if they access a website that asked if they are over the age of 18, they should not enter the site. Negotiate a time limit agreement – It is pointless to tell your child that they are only allowed to go online at certain times; kids do not usually respond well to being told what to do. A better approach is to come to an agreement about this; be reasonable and even seal the deal with a handshake. It might be that they must finish their homework before they surf the web or that their room must be tidy. You could offer a prize; a PE Nation hoodie if they manage to stick to the agreement.
  • Parental controls – You might not be aware that there are ways to prevent your kids from accessing the Internet; this can be done via the PC or via the Internet router and if you need help, Google can take you to a site that shows you step-by-step, how to configure the parental controls.
  • Monitor web activity – You might not be aware that you can track user activity if you are the administrator; there are online tutorials with step-by-step instructions in case your IT know-how doesn’t stretch that far. Check their Internet browsing history on a regular basis and you will know exactly what content they have accessed.

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  • Password changing – As the administrator, you should change passwords often and choose strong passwords that your kids would never be able to guess. If, for example, you want your children to tidy up their room, you can offer a temporary password as an incentive. It is a comforting feeling to know that you have ultimate control over your children’s access to the web; if you need some help, hire a local IT consultant to teach you how to manage access.

Some parents are at their wit’s end trying to control what their kids see online and we hope the above information goes some way to helping you gain essential control. The older your children are, the more they will know in terms of IT and it is a question of staying ahead of the game. The Internet has both good and bad content and hopefully, your kids will never access unsuitable content.

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