Monitoring your Childs Computer Time

There are two issues to consider when deciding how to monitor your child’s computer usage.

The first is, as parents we need to ensure they are not spending too much time on the computer, and not enough time being physically active. Childhood obesity is on the rise, so the best way to ensure that the computer is not robbing your child of exercise, is to ensure that your child has had at least two hours of vigorous exercise/play, before allowing your child on the computer each day. Next, you need to set a limit on how much computer time is enough for your child. Many parents find a suitable amount is between 1-2 hours. Once you have chosen a space of time that is appropriate for your child, it is a good idea to set a timer for that hour or two. Once the timer goes off, the child must turn off the computer, no questions asked. Of course, you can give them a minute to save work, and so forth, as long as they don’t milk it!

The second, more important issue is, protecting your child from unsuitable content and sexual predators on the internet. The most important thing to do first is, to not allow your child to surf the internet in their bedroom, under any circumstances. They need to be in the same room as you, where you can keep a watchful eye on the content they are viewing. If you don’t have time to supervise, then don’t allow your child online until you do have time.

Supervising your child is the best way to monitor your child’s usage of the computer, but another important thing we must all teach our children is to behave safely on the internet. Teach your child not to give out personal details, or to meet people from the internet. Teach your child to tell you immediately if someone is talking to them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, or that simply doesn’t feel right to them.

It is very important to teach our children to be computer literate, it is even more important to teach them how to use computers safely.