Protecting Your Children From Internet Addictions

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 19, 2008

Children start using the Internet early in life, even pre-schoolers are going online. Many parents worry about the time their children spend online and if they can become addicted. Parents are wondering how much they should monitor their children’s Internet use and when they should intervene. Not only can children be in danger of predators that are online but they can also become addicted to the Internet. Here are some ideas on protecting your children from Internet addictions.

One of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child from Internet addictions is to place a time limit on how long the child is able to be on the Internet. Setting time limits and making them stick to them will help your child from getting over involved on the sites they visit. It is very easy to forget about the time while on the computer and this will allow them to have their time but not go too long. The more time a person spends on the Internet the more they become preoccupied by the Internet.

Chat rooms are one of the many common Internet sites to become addicted to. Time limits can help prevent a chat room addiction and so will monitoring. Monitoring will help your child stick to the time limit that you have agreed on. You will know what they are doing in the chat rooms and can decide if they are spending too much time. With monitoring of your children you will also be able to tell how safe they are being in the chat rooms. If your child is starting to make chat rooms a priority then with the time limits you have set and the monitoring you should be able to catch an addiction before it becomes a problem.

Installing the computer in a well occupied area of the home instead of the child’s bedroom will go a long way in helping prevent an addiction from beginning. This allows the computer to be seen by everyone and makes it harder for someone who has an addiction or is forming an addiction to sneak in more time on the Internet. One of the symptoms of Internet addiction is a preoccupation for being on the Internet and the progression of lying about it. Putting the computer in a family friendly place will protect your children from Internet addictions.

Some other tips on protecting your children from Internet addictions would include:
â—? Do not use the computer as a babysitter for your kids while you finish up other things around the house.
â—? Add software tools onto the computer to monitor how long your children are on the Internet and where they go. There are many options available either at software stores or on the Internet itself.
â—? Regularly ask your kids about what they do online and offline. Make sure they have activities that they do with school friends that is not associated with the Internet.
â—? Watch for behavior changes in your child. Also look for grades to go down.
â—? Make sure your child maintains offline friendships and that they don’t just make friends in chat rooms or on social networking sites.
â—? Set an example and don’t spend all your free time on the Internet. Have a social life outside of the Internet. Your children will follow in your footsteps.

The best way to protect your children from an Internet addiction is to maintain some balance in both your life and your child’s life between both the Internet and real life. Most people go online and become addicted because they were looking for something that was missing from their lives. It is easy to escape problems and life when online; you can really be anything you want. For children this is very tempting and without time limits or careful monitoring a fun activity can become an addiction.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Protecting Your Children From Internet Addictions." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 19 Feb. 2008. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1351/protecting-your-children-from-internet-addictions/ >.