TIPS FOR PARENTS
Media literacy experts and addiction specialists suggest some safeguards when it comes to kids’ computer use:
• Don’t allow laptops or other technology in bedrooms until kids are in their mid-teens or older.
• Put computers in a central and public location at home so you’re aware of what kids are up to.
• Set time limits on games, Facebook or downloading music for children and young teens, and ensure computer time is balanced with things like physical activity, family time and socializing offline with friends.
• Model restraint when it comes to your own technology use, even if it means turning off the BlackBerry during dinner.
• Don’t demonize computers or online games, because they are here to stay. Learn about the computer activities your kids enjoy and why. Discuss the importance of limits and invite their input in setting them.
• Watch for signs of compulsive behaviour such as kids dropping friendships or hobbies to spend their days online, slipping grades, excessive changes in sleeping and eating habits, secrecy and denial about how much time they spend on the computer, deteriorating hygiene, and tantrums or extreme irritability when the technology is shut down or removed.
Read more from this article…
Parents fear Internet addiction October 24, 2008 by Andrea Gordon
Barrie teen Brandon Crisp’s disappearance after a dispute with his family over an online game has heightened concern over kids hooked on cyberspace
“A growing number of parents and family therapists are seeking help for teens who appear to be hooked on cyberspace.
Addiction specialists say that in some cases kids are jeopardizing their health through compulsive Internet behaviour that includes staying up all night, skipping school and withdrawing from their real-life friends or sports to immerse themselves in online games or surfing the Web. ” – end of excerpt