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Internet Safety and Tech Tips for Parents of Elementary Schoolers

Web Safety for Grade Schoolers

Get information on Internet safety for elementary schoolers and teaching children to control their TV time. The parenting articles below help with these issues and more.

By: Linda Sorkin, LFMT / Soul Empowered Coaching
No longer are the days we only have to be concerned with our kids' safety while crossing the street, walking to school alone, going out with friends unchaperoned, driving, or even dating! In contrast to the past, our parental awareness must be even more vigilant with the mainstream prevalence of modern technology. Our children are spending increasingly more time online despite the presence of technology already being a staple in their lives. They are inundated with several opportunities to explore social media and the massive cyberspace domain. Many times this happens without our consent or even knowledge of what and where our kids are traveling and exposed to on the internet. Given that parents need to be more mindful of online activity, we must acquaint ourselves with strategies to protect and educate children in cyberspace. We can never be too smart when it comes to guarding our kids and giving them opportunities to learn how to navigate and use good judgment online. There are several programs available to help parents with online safety and guidance.

Statistics indicate that nearly half of all kids in the U.S. have a cell phone. This may be because kids, even elementary school-aged kids, want to be on the cutting edge of technology. It may be because having a cell phone is a status symbol. And it may be because, in an effort to keep kids safe, parents are providing their kids cell phones so that they can reach them anytime, anywhere. Whatever the reason, there are a few things to consider before allowing your child to have a cell phone.

Millions of people around the world use social networking sites and tools. Many children want to follow suit! But, does that mean that any or all elementary school-aged children are ready to take on using such sites as Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace? The answer to that depends on a variety of factors that only you, as a parent, can assess.

Most elementary school age children love to watch television. Uninterrupted, they would probably watch a lot longer per day than parents or pediatricians would like. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young children should not watch more than two hours of quality programming per day. But what defines "quality" programming?

Two serious questions accompany the issue of kids and television. One is the amount of time kids stare at the boob tube. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of TV per day. The other issue is finding quality programming for kids to watch. But, finding appropriate TV shows for children isn’t as hard as it seems.

Today’s television shows leave a lot of parents wondering if they should force their kids to stop watching TV altogether. One of the best ways to ensure that your elementary school-aged child is having fun while watching something decent is to actually take a seat and watch TV with them. When you watch TV with your kids, you get to monitor what they are watching, and you may even have some fun!

Video games can be used to promote learning, develop hand-eye coordination, and to allow provide an entertaining break from busy school schedules. But elementary-aged school kids can become addicted to video games and can exhibit signs of moderate to serious video game addiction. Parents, of course, have the responsibility of monitoring how often kids play video games and which games they play. But what should parents do when recreation turns into addiction?

Video games are here to stay. Kids will play for hours if you let them. Help keep your child from becoming a video game zombie by implementing some simple strategies designed to put video games back into perspective.