Children of all ages are using the internet more than ever. According to NetSmartz.org, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports as many as 45 percent of children in the U.S. go online, with as many as 30 million under the age of 18 surfing the net.
So are your kids at risk for being addicted to the internet? A new study finds there are risk factors that can predispose your children for an addiction. According to WebMD, they include ADHD, hostility, social phobia and depression.
Online addiction can be destructive and should be taken seriously according to the study. The addiction can hurt school performance, family relationships, and adolescents’ emotional state.
Fathers should limit their kids’ screen time. Some parenting experts recommend talking to your pediatrician about how much is too much for your child, based on his or her age.
An important bit of parenting advice is to teach your children about online risks, including sexual predators, information about tobacco, alcohol and drugs as well as "how-to" information on bomb-making and other violent acts.
Most importantly, computers should be kept in common household areas so you can monitor your children’s online activities. Knowing which websites your kids are frequenting and having access to their email and social networking sites is also important so you can check up on their usage.