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Keep Computers in Communal Areas to Avoid Problems Says New UK Study

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 24-03-2009

We do it. Our family computer sits in the kitchen, screen toward the crowd. I never have to worry about where my daughter is surfing, or what she’s looking at. Of course, she’s only 8. This will change at some point, but I think the findings of this are obvious, and projectable to other areas. My general parenting guideline for my four and eight year old is that supervision at all times will avoid a slough of problems. For example:

  • don’t want your child to OD on cleaning supplies? don’t leave him alone playing under the sink
  • don’t like the idea of kids having a party while you’re out of town? Stay home or find someone to stay in the house with them
  • don’t like your kids watching inappropriate television behind closed doors? Simple. Don’t give them a TV in their rooms.

I suppose with kids as young as ours, this is probably very easy advice to follow. So far, I find that they like boundaries, as long as they are consistent. My daughter even reminds other parents that she’s not allowed to watch certain shows. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think we’re perfect parents, but we do try to stay as involved as we can and as present as we can. Obviously, as they grow, they need more independence, but each time you leave them alone to wander the internet, or watch whatever they want to watch, you take the risk that they will see things beyond their limits.

This would mean family computers being sited, wherever possible, in communal areas of the home rather than in children’s bedrooms or their parents’ private studies.

The review will also say that parents must bridge the technological “generation gap” by making sure they know as much about the internet and video games as their computer-literate children.

Mrs. Byron, who is expected to publish her findings on Thursday, has talked to children, fellow psychologists, parents and industry experts after the Prime Minister expressed concern last year at the impact of violence seen by young people. While she is likely to recommend that rules on the certification of video games be streamlined – and made simpler to understand – she is expected to argue that there are benefits for young people from some games.

          [From Computers should be kept out of kids's rooms - Telegraph]

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