The internet today brings 3 things to mind: excitement, knowledge and danger.
Children as young as 3 or 4 years old, already start to learn how to use the internet. They learn from a young age with the help of their parents how to log onto sites such as Nick Jr. as well as many other sites that can now be found on the internet appropriate to their age group. These sites contain games for children to play on the computer.
There are also lots of wonderful educational sites for children to learn from. Some of these sites can help children develop their reading, spelling and other skills.
As children get a little older, they become very familiar with surfing the internet. Today, most children use the internet for homework projects. The internet has a lot of knowledge on it, and children can use this information for education purposes, with a little guidance from their parents.
Teenagers use the internet to socialize with their friends and also to make new friends both locally and internationally on chat lines and sites such as the MSN messenger and face book.
Unfortunately as much as the internet is very exciting, and has brought us a wealth of knowledge that we never had before, there is also a down side to it in that people use and abuse the internet.
Today we read in the news and hear stories of young teenagers who thought they were socializing innocently with someone new on one of the chat lines. The person on the other side begins the relationship very innocently and will often lie about their name, age and intentions. With time these people carefully manipulate and lure the children into meeting them at strange places. These people are smart, and make it all sound very innocent to the victim. Unfortunately a lot of these cases do end up in missing children, rapes and murders.
I am not saying that all of the internet is bad. A lot of it is wonderful. I am just saying as parents, we must not be naive, but rather be aware of what is happening out there, and also educate our children about being aware and careful when using the internet, especially as they grow older and spend a lot of time on chat lines. Parents should try their best to monitor their children’s use of the internet, one way is to keep computers in public areas of your home.