Sometimes we need reminders as to why we must continue to follow rules or do things in a particular way. The human mind is very flighty and tends to forget important issues, no matter how well they had been drilled into the head. Especially, if those heads belong to kids and the rules limit their activities.
You guessed it, I am talking about safe Internet usage rules, and ensuring children remember and follow them, always.
I came across a very interesting pledge that McAfee has prepared for parents/teachers just like us. With our pre-teens and teens becoming more and more obsessed with the computers, laptops, iPhones and other smartphones, we are always on tenterhooks about their online safety. But we do not know exactly what we should ask our kids to do or not do. Other than the usual stuff like, ‘don’t access websites containing violent, abusive, or sexual content’; ‘don’t spend the major part of the day on the computer,’ and ‘don’t put up pictures on social networking sites like Facebook,’ we really are confused about what other dangers we should anticipate and take preventive actions for.
Further, it does feel a bit weird to frame internet usage rules for kids who, let’s admit frankly, know more about computers than us. But should that stop us from ensuring the online safety of our kids?
Even if you have installed a comprehensive security software like the McAfee Family Protection Suite that records all your kids’ online activities, it will be beneficial for the children to be responsible about their internet usage. You can turn this into an important value-education by talking about rights and duties. Further, with the internet increasingly becoming a major source of infotainment, education and socialising, everyone must learn the right Internet etiquettes.
The advantage of using the McAfee pledge is that it is readymade; comes from a neutral but authoritative source and the whole family can take it together. This way the kids will not feel that adults have yet again imposed some new rules on them. Further, they will be mindful of their actions to avoid the associated consequences.
Why don’t you print out this form, get the kids’ signature on it, and then put it up in a prominent place near the computer? This way nobody can get off with the lame excuse of “I forgot,” and will have to voluntarily accept the pre-decided penalties. Can you imagine the peaceful co-existence of teens and adults this practice will make possible? It’s bliss!
Keep your kids safe on the net people!