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What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?: How to Understand the Electronic World Your Children Live inby LPC M.Ed. Barbara Melton
Synopses & Reviews
PROTECTING YOUR CHILD IN CYBERWORLD
Internet predators. Cyber-kidnappers. Online child molesters. You've probably heard thousands of warnings about these dangers and wondered how seriously you need to take them. Just how safe is the Internet for your child?
We'd like to set your mind at ease. While your kids face some danger from Internet predators, it's relatively small and fairly easy to manage-and in this chapter, we’ll tell you how. We’ll also help you protect your child from online gambling and from what some experts have come to call Internet addiction-becoming too focused on or obsessed with the electronic world. And we'll help you set some ground rules, enabling you and your family to relate to Cyberworld in healthy and productive ways.
But we'd also like to stress the positive aspects of Cyberworld, the wonderful ways in which it can enrich and enlarge your child's life. Parry Aftab, an attorney who works with the cyber-safety group, www.wiredsafety.org, points out that one of greatest risks children face from the Internet is being denied access to it. Although she is well aware of the dangers of abduction, unsupervised chat rooms, and unlimited access to pornography, Aftab nonetheless believes that if children don't learn how to use the Internet and feel comfortable navigating it, they'll be seriously handicapped for life in our increasingly electronic world.
We agree with her wholeheartedly. Cyberworld can be deceptive, disturbing, and downright dangerous. But it can also be a thrilling, exhilarating place, offering your children extraordinary opportunities for learning, socializing, and expanding their horizons.
So let's start with some basic ground rules. Some of these rules apply to virtually any parenting situation; others are cyber-specific. All of them are intended to make you and your family feel happier, calmer, and clearer about your relationship to Cyberworld.
GROUND RULE 1: Remember that cyber-access is a privilege, not a right
Your child doesn't have to have a private e-mail account, a cell phone, or access to the Internet beyond what’s absolutely necessary for schoolwork. You get to monitor his or her cyber-activity as you see fit, and you get to give or withhold all or part of these cyber–privileges.
Of course, that's not the message you’d get from the cell phone ads. But they're trying to sell you cell phones-we’re trying to help you parent
GROUND RULE 2: Pick your battles-don't sweat the small stuff or overreact
Easier said than done, but it’s crucial nonetheless. Part of the problem is that your kids are growing up in Cyberworld, while you got there after you were already grown. You won't be able to draw on your own childhood experience as you make judgments for them, which may make you anxious, uncertain, or simply frustrated.
You have a right to all of those feelings. But your child's life-not to mention your life—will be much easier if you don't turn every difference of opinion into a battle royal. Accept that there will be some aspects of Cyberworld that you simply hate and that your children love. Figure out what issues matter most to you and concentrate on them.
GROUND RULE 3: Know what you can a
A comprehensive overview of today's electronic world looks at the physical, emotional, and intellectual hazards of the online universe--from predators and pornography to plagiarism, shortened attention spans, and online gambling and illegal drug purchases--as well as what a parent can do to protect a child's safety while using the computer in healthy and productive ways. Original. 15,000 first printing.
Examines the physical, emotional, and intellectual hazards of the online universe--from predators and pornography to plagiarism, shortened attention spans, and illegal drug purchases--as well as what a parent can do to protect a child's safety while on the Web.
About the Author
BARBARA MELTON, M.Ed., is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and supervisor in private practice; sheregularly workswith families with challenging kids, conductsworkshops, and lectures on a variety of topics. Her practiceis in Charleston, South Carolina.SUSAN SHANKLE, MSW, LISW-CP, is a licensed clinical social worker who focuses on the treatment of adolescents experiencing difficulty due to modern technology. She lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Both authors have been featured inMSNBC.com articles addressingadolescents, parenting challenges,and technology.
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