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Since the NET is not regulated by anyone it opens the door to many risks.
First and foremost, the best way to monitor your child's online activities is to know what they are doing online. Monitoring a younger child is not difficult. Until a child becomes a preteen they probably will need your help accessing the NET and assistance surfing from place to place.
Also, based on the many children we know surfing the NET, until a child is a preteen their interest is going to be limited to playing online games; visiting safe commercial sites; finding information on topics they are learning in school; and searching for information concerning a hobby.
But older children present a problem. Therefore, for older children you must set rules for their use of the Internet. And you yourself, need to spend time with them online. It is important to explore the WEB with your child and discuss with them what you consider off-limits.
And it should go without saying, you must keep the lines of communication open with your child. Not only for NET exploration, but for everyday life. Children need to know that your interest in what they are doing is real!
With older children, particularly those that have a computer in their own room, monitor the amount of time spent surfing the NET. If a teen is spending a lot of time on the WEB late at night it may be a signal to a potential problem.
In our home there is a 10 and 5 year old. Both of them surf the NET. But when they do, someone is always nearby to help and monitor.
Monitoring the 5 year old is easy because we do the surfing for her. We pull up the sites and then let her play the game or color the picture. And when she is done, we surf to the next location for her.
But the 10 year has more freedom. She uses the search engines, jumps the links, and generally browses herself. So, when the 10 year old first started to show an interest in browsing we felt it was necessary to give her a set of rules. Some of the rules include: