Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Standards and Media

So this past weekend I had a bit of a shock, when I checked my email and saw that my daughter had joined a club online with my email. Now, just a bit of background, when we are at home, if my child wants to use the internet for something specific ( such as looking up something for a school project) they can do so, with me sitting beside them , guiding them to what search tools to use and what websites are appropriate. My kids are 11, 10, and 8 and I feel strongly that they are way to young to be using the internet, without adult supervision. I may be overprotective on this, but at least I feel safe. Or did feel safe.....

Fast forward to the weekend, and my kids had the opportunity to go spend the day with their grandparents and to play with a cousin whom they don't get to see very often. Not only were they excited, but I was a little excited to have a day to myself.. shock!! I didn't think about the fact that grandpa has internet... and there you have it, my kids had the internet all to themselves all day with no supervision. Now, not knocking the grandparents here... they are pretty lax about stuff and they didn't know my stand on internet safety. But now it's time for me to really teach my kids about internet safety and teach them that its NOT ok to sign up for clubs or chat with others etc.. without adult supervision. Now this is just a long winded story, and now to the point of this post... do you have family standards and rules for media for your family? If you do, I want to hear about it! I'm going to be studying up and trying to come up with something good for my family, and I would love your ideas!
Here is two resources I'm going to personally use as I study on what to teach my children, first I will use this article :

I am also going to print these off for the kiddos :

Any other good tips??? :)
either comment here or email me at

Happy Parenting! Love, JL <3


Sandy said...

I agree, deciding what to allow or not allow is hard. Especially when friends/ cousins enjoy doing activities you might not be anxious for your kids to join in on. Monitoring the internet has gotten more difficult too as I not only have younger kids (9, 7, and 4) but also have 3 teenagers. It is amazing how that throws things though a loop. The younger kids want to play what they see their sibling playing.

As it is, we do have some set rules. Internet is only allowed in public rooms. That means they can't take their Ipods, laptops etc. into their rooms unless they have us disable the WiFi. (They rarely do this because it means they have to get us to type in the code to turn it back on. Mostly they just leave their toys upstairs. )
Also, we have told our kids that they are never to give out their real names or addresses online. Never meet with someone they only know from the internet without a parent. (Not that this has ever been an issue as even my teens rarely go anywhere without mom.) Mostly they just play the games and any chat is all game related.

We also told the kids if anything makes them uncomfortable- Turn off the computer, tell a parent.

As far as what they pick up at friends and family homes. It is going to happen. The best thing is just to make sure the kids know clearly what your families standards are so that they can live them. And then hope they DO. Even then though, sometimes the "when in Rome do as the Romans do" has to apply. eg. We don't watch TV on Sunday, but when we go to my parents or siblings it is hard to abide by that rule without being blatantly rude. If there are multiple activities going on we encourage those that align more with our standards but sometimes we just have to be gracious.

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