Nowadays the internet can be a crazy place, full of nonsense information and unsavory writing. It is ever so important to keep your kids safe - safe from pornography, from predators, from bad advice, and poor grammar that will undermine their English learning skills. Here is how to set limits and review a site's content.
Let your kids know that before they visit a new website you must approve it first. Ask your children to tell you they are going on the internet. Make this a big issue of trust between you and them, so that they know they must live up to your expectations.
Consider creating a "safe site list". This can list the sites that you permit your kids to visit.
Allot internet usage time. And make sure it remains at that time and does not blow out to longer periods. It's your job to monitor, or to purchase a program that can log out after set times.
Trust your instincts for their sake. If the home page or even the address makes you uncomfortable, it is probably not appropriate. Check it out yourself, review it and rate it according to your beliefs about what your kids should or should not interact with. Block it if needed.
If the site has "FAQs" read them. They will usually summarize a lot of the features of the site. This can help you to understand the purpose of the site and its suitability for your kids.
Consider regulating chatting and blogging options readily. Chat rooms and blogs are usually very risky even if they are designated for kids. Predatory persons can target unwary and gullible children who take them at face value. It can be easier to simply ban it. Moreover, chatting can become a very bad addiction that is hard to control in tweens and early teens, especially when they become rebellious toward you.
Be a vigilant parent or guardian. Keep the computer in an open area where everyone can monitor its use. Check the history of what has been viewed and review anything suspicious.
Create incentives for using the agreed sites and disincentives for viewing the wrong ones. Incentives can include full pocket money, a visit somewhere, a new pair of jeans, etc. for sticking with the rules. For breaking or side-stepping the rules, reduce the pocket money, can the outings, and remove the computer from their use for periods of time.
Practice good faith and benefit of the doubt. Don't accuse your kids gung-ho. Sites get visited easily enough by accident through the mere click of a URL link. If they say they just clicked on it once, take this at face value but monitor future visits; if it happens again, then you'll see a pattern develop and can block the visiting or talk to them about it further.
Follow your gut feeling. Even if your kids resent you; you need to remember that you are making these decisions for their own good. Parents and guardians are there to guide and to show the limits.
If you can't decide get a second opinion. Ask a friend with kids what she thinks of the site.
If you approve a site know the password and check what your child writes periodically
The internet is a predator's playground when it comes to gullible and innocent young minds and it is your job to keep your children safe.
Often you will need to give permission to allow a child's interaction with a website. Do this, or you may find your child is banned.