No matter what age your child is, they are very important to you and you want the best things for them. One of the ways to make sure that they are being taken care of and not in any kind of danger is understanding how and when they socialize and knowing the methods they use and why. There are many reasons why it is important to understand how your children are using e-mail and what they are doing on the computer in general. Here is some info to help you understand what different age groups use e-mail for.
Elementary School Age
Elementary school age children are at a very important and impressionable time of their lives. They are influenced by many different factors that may change the way they think for the rest of their lives. Communication is very important for young people. They have a desire and a need to understand what is going on around them so that they can process information and learn. There is an eagerness that helps them stay in touch with their world. There are many ways that e-mail helps them to do this. First of all it provides a quick and convenient way for kids to correspond with their teachers about school events or with their friends.
Elementary school age children are primarily using email accounts as an introductory lesson to the Internet and to email correspondence. They have little experience with this type of communication and cannot always be depended on to make the best decisions and judgment calls. Children are naturally trusting by nature but also have a sense that tells them when a situation is not right. This sense, however, is much more responsive and accurate during interactions with people face to face and may not necessarily be a good indicator of who to trust online. It is important to make sure that your child is not giving out personal information to other people on the Internet, even if they are their friends. They may not always be able to tell the difference online.
Junior High School Age
Junior high school age children are becoming a little older and more independent. Things like chatting with friends and corresponding for school work are important to them. These kids are also more likely more able to tell what is good to do online and what is a bad idea. They will most likely use e-mail communication in conjunction with some type of instant messaging program to have real time chats with their friends. The same rules of caution apply here, while there may be more freedom allowed for making their own decisions. It is still important to understand what your children are doing and why.
High School Age
High school age children are using email accounts for everything from talking with friends to staying in touch with colleges and potential employers. Email has become a much more integral part of everyday life by the time a child reaches high school age. It is something that will be used every day that will not only help them stay in touch but also make sure that they are getting things in place for their more independent future. Allow your older children to make good independent decisions when they are choosing to communicate with other people. But it is still important to keep tabs on their Internet and e-mail use. They are learning valuable lessons that will help them be independent in college and beyond. Support their decisions to make good and healthy interactions with people online. E-mail could even become a very valuable way for you to stay in touch with your children before and after they have left home and are doing things on their own terms.