Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Online kids

I've had a couple of wakeup calls this week. First, when I went to pick Daniel up from the after-school program on Monday, my child was the only one not online in the computer lab. "He'd rather watch 'Arthur,'" said the teacher. But all the other kids were happily playing games or surfing the 'net.
This morning, I spoke to a middle-school class about blogging and other online writing careers. When I asked how many had a MySpace or Facebook page, almost every hand went up. Wow. Wasn't expecting that.
I guess because I grew up without video games in the house, and before the Internet (it wasn't THAT long ago!), I don't see the need to have my kindergartener wired. He can play board games, or cars and trains, or paint outside on the front porch. He can use his hands for more than steering a mouse, and the more active I keep his little body, the easier he goes to sleep at night (in theory).
He has one computer game that I let him play about once a week. In time, we'll expand that repetoire, and I'm kind of attracted to the new Wii - hello, golf? boxing? tennis? I'm awful at those sports in reality, but maybe I can do better in a virtual world. And I remember playing "Oregon Trail" and "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego" in my own middle school years.
But I'm not sure I want my kid online and hooked in to the Internet just yet. My discussion turned from careers to "beware" pretty quickly. It seems some of the kids had already gotten into trouble for what they'd posted on their MySpace and Facebook pages. Yikes!
So what do we do about it, moms? And how much computer time do you let your kids have? Next time: computers and tvs in their rooms: yea or nay?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a second grader and we definitely limit her time online. Right now she loves PBS kids, ABC Kids, etc, but we're waiting for the day she asks to do more. We have also STRESSED the notion of never giving out your personal information online, even at something as innocuous as PBS or Discovery Kids.

As for the TV in the room, that will never happen on my watch.