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My two little girls are getting more and more interested on being online, mostly for games like on PBS Kids or Nick Jr. but I'm worried about them being online. What do you do to protect your kids online?”

5 replies so far...

  • My children 6 and 3 both play on the computer/internet - supervised. I prefer to the let them use the iPad because I feel like I have more control over what they are accessing since I download the apps for them. They seem content to play the games available. When they are looking for other games or music/stories on the internet then they use my laptop and I am with them, it's password protected.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by overscheduled_mom on 1st August 2011

  • Thank you so much for your input!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Shan Ellwood on 29th July 2011

  • Download a free kid-friendly internet browser like Zoodles. I have a five- and seven-year old who love it, and I feel fairly confident they can play safely there. There are a lot of learning games, drawing and coloring sites, and so on, including the Nick Jr., and PBS lineup of games.

    You set up a parent account and create a profile for each child, to include their ages. Then you download the browser. When Zoodles is open, the rest of your desktop is blocked until you type the password in, so you don't have to worry about a four-year old deleting important spreadsheets, etc. When they click on their profiles, the system allows them app-style access to age appropriate sites. You also get a report card every week that spells all of the activity for the week (time spent, which sites, what artwork they've created and so on).

    As yet, I have not seen anything with chat features, and as noted in the other two replies, the key is communication. Both of my children know that they don't talk to or "type with" anyone on the internet unless Mommy or Daddy is right there.

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by awebber on 28th July 2011

  • Obviously, talking to your children is key for their success online. Also teaching them about what's expected from you, and from them. Another way is using programs like the safe web spaces project (I just checked out thanks to Caroline!) they have this program that has websites grouped together that are good for certain age groups.
    I'm not a mother to my own children, but I've helped raise my little nephew for the past 10 years. I know it's tough to be a parent and now with the Internet being so prevalent in day-to-day life, it's just got to be so scary! Talk to your kids, open that line of communication, and work with them online. Don't leave them unattended and do your research. Be up-to-date on what's new and what your kids could be using. Be a net-savvy mom, and your kids will know you know what you're talking about!

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Elizabeth Wilson on 25th July 2011

  • Seeing as I just found out my youngest has been surfing porn while I was at work, I can see why you're worried. Another woman I've talked to suggested that I use a resource called Apparently they have these Internet agreements that help get you and your kids talking and also they have a project that is called Safe Web Spaces.
    I think talking is going to be the most important thing you can do to protect your kids. You need to set examples, and make them realize you aren't the bad guy, you're just looking out for them.
    It's hard to protect them from everything that's out there unless you use every sort of parental control system there is out there, but you can raise them to be good digital citizens along the way. Hopefully this helped you out...I've got to go deal with my son now :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Caroline Larson on 25th July 2011