1. Kids should be 5 and up, before they can go online and even then, close adult supervision is a must, says de Asis.
2. Place the computer in a public area where you can easily supervise your child. This prevents him from logging on to inappropriate sites or lingering in front of the computer.
3. Whenever possible, sit with your child when he goes online. Be there to answer his questions. Help him use online applications. Make it a habit to ask him about his online experiences. “Children should have an outlet where they can share the things they have learned on the Internet so they would learn how to express themselves,” de Asis says.
4. Assign a person who can assist him when he logs on–if you’re not around. Sometimes, the guardian may not know too much about the Internet or may even encourage your child to log on to inappropriate sites. “Children should know the people they need to sit down with whenever they use the PC. The supervising adult will determine the appropriateness of the sites they will visit and the people they interact with online,” suggests Abe Olandres, professional blogger and IT consultant for Yugatech.com, a website that features local technology news and reviews.
5. Set a time limit. Otherwise, Internet surfing may become a bad habit. Encourage your child to physically interact with others. “Kids should only be allowed to use the Internet an hour a day at the most,” says de Asis. “Social interaction is very important. The child will not be able to hone his social skills if he is in front of the computer all the time,” she adds.
6. Explain the possible dangers of going online unsupervised. Your child should be aware of the consequences if and when he decides to do certain things such as befriending strangers on the Internet. Or he may accidentally infect the computer with viruses.
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