Parental Involvement Online
Get involved with your child's online writing behaviours.
If your child uses the Internet to correspond with people from around the world, the most important thing you can do to protect them is to get actively involved. Your children need your guidance to learn how to correspond on the Internet safely. They also need you to show them how to be an unforgettable online pal.
Here is a simple tutorial on how to participate in your child's online experience.
The pals' email address.
An email address for your child.
An email program.
A creative email signature.
Some fun email stationery.
Add some graphics to your email.
Include a coupon or two.
Spice up their life by sending out a recipe.
Give them something to do when they are bored by sending a craft idea.
Add some friendship poetry to the email.
Send an eCard instead of a letter.
Send out a virtual present. Cars, trips, furniture, food, etc.
Surprise pen pals with fun and innocent hugs and kisses.
WHAT TO DO
Set up a time with your child to meet at the computer. Tell your child that you are going to allow them to find a pal online and that they can write to their new friend with your knowledge and assistance.
Set out the rules before you start so that there are no surprises for your child. Be sure to set up strict consequences for corresponding online without your permission. Remember that in order for consequences to be effective they must be logical and given immediately.
Help your child find a few suitable pals to write to. It is better to write to more than one so that your chances of a reply are greater.
Set up an email address for your child. To make sure they do not access the email without your knowledge, you may consider to choose a password that only you know.
Teach your child how to use the email program properly.
Let your child type a letter to their new friend. Encourage them to be creative and use a few of the "more ideas".
Send out the emails.
Tell your child that in a day or two you will get together and check the email account to see if you have any replies. If you do have replies, read them together and let your child reply to it.
Don't let your child loose on the Internet alone. It is a scary place.
Surf the Net before you some online with your kids. Bookmark sites you think they might be interested in.
Show them how much fun learning can be by taking them to educational sites that make surfing and reading fun. Try The Youth Online Club and Discovery Kids for a start.
Password protect your computer so that your kids cannot log-on without your knowledge.
Place your computer in an area where you can see the kids on the computer.
Check your cache and see where the kids have been.
Keep the lines of communication open with your children.
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