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Monitoring Child's Internet Use

Family Safety Expert Advice from Gavin de Becker

Q: My son is on the Internet every day after school and often through the evening. Although I drop in his room to see what he's looking at and who he's communicating with, I can't be there all the time. What do you suggest?

A: Some families keep the computer in a common area of the house (kitchen, den, etc.) so that kids are not assured of being alone when on the Internet. An option I recommend if your son has a computer in his room is to have a second screen that displays exactly what appears on your son's computer. This is an easy thing to wire, and can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars -- or nothing, if you use the monitor from an old computer.

I don't see you as Big Brother, simply because your son would know that anyone in the house might see what he is doing at any time. Just as you wouldn't let someone else stock your kids' library, you don't want to allow unmonitored access to the Internet.

More on: Expert Advice

Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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