05 May 2008

Protecting Kids Online



Well, with my little guy being a new proud owner of his own wee computer, I have to say that I've been thinking about what we should do to protect him from accidentally stumbling across something that needs an overly complicated explanation, if you know what I mean. And as I think about it, I get closer to the reality of him getting older and even actively lookin' for trouble.

My husband found the results to a recent review on the relationship between children and new technology. It's called the Byron Review — Children and New Technology [2008]. In a nutshell, the report suggests that both technology and government need to step up and do their part in keeping children safe [i.e. reforming the classification system etc]. But ultimately parents can't be overly reliant on those efforts alone.

So do we simply forbid him from using the internet at all? Well, not that his daddy would ever agree to that, but it also seems impractical ... and a shame really. Like tossing the wee one out with the bath water, so to speak.

The report's lead, Dr Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist, says it like this: "Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe – this isn’t just about a top-down approach. Children will be children – pushing boundaries and taking risks. At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim".

Nicely said.

SOME OTHER READING
· Byron Review urges Government, Industry and Parents to Work Together to Help Make Children Safer in

· The Best Way to Protect Kids Online is to Educate Parents

· Key To Protecting Kids Online? Talk!

· Protecting Kids Online is a Family Affair

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