Miss Frugal knows her way round a computer better than I do.
From an early age, both my children have been given access to computers and the internet (obviously while sitting with me) and we’ve gradually progressed from sites like CBeebies to their current favourites, Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin.
We use a lot of educational sites that our school recommend and her weekly homework is often internet based so lately we’ve spent time together learning how to search for information and images. I’ve also spent time showing things like how to use Word and how to send e mails (so she could e mail her Grandad while he was away).
As a result of our little ‘lessons’, she can now put together a Powerpoint presentation, send e mails, download songs to upload to her 3DS, edit photos online and as for the internet – she can find anything you ask her to within seconds. Her teacher told me at the last parents evening that she even helps him to teach the other children in technology lessons!
But, because she’s a typical nine year old girl, she likes to think that she knows everything and doesn’t need supervision! She has a Disney laptop that had a child friendly browser installed meaning she couldn’t access any pages that hadn’t been pre approved, but that meant me typing in a password every time she went to a new page which got very frustrating (for me and for her) so I now let her browse without the parental controls but only when she’s on her laptop in the same room as me.
She’s allowed on the main PC in the kitchen on her own as long as she only plays on Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters but since she discovered YouTube a few months ago we’ve had issues. She uses YouTube to listen to music and watch music videos and trust me, you do not want to be in the same room as her listening to her kind of music. This is the current favourite….
I worry that if I’m not supervising she might search be tempted to search for something she shouldn’t or that she might click on a link to an inappropriate song without realising – I was once watching a video with Master Frugal of a dancing Stormtrooper, which was hilarious until a semi naked model joined the Stormtrooper and he bent her over his knee for a good spanking!
My point is that I’m not sure how much internet freedom to give her at this age – we’ve discussed the dangers off the internet and she knows what she is and isn’t allowed to do and the reasons that there are rules.
Do I trust her judgement enough to let her have a bit more freedom or do I continue the way I am? How do you control what your children see on the internet?