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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are Parental Computer Controls Enough?

Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom

Parental controls on the computers are great, but may not be enough. No you may not be able to sit with your child each and every time they are on the computer, but have you sat with your child occasionally to watch your child play the games on the site? Every game may not be created equal. Even though a site or game received great parental ratings, you may discover it is not what you want for your child.

Have you ever watched a picture that said Parental guidance suggested and you had to turn it off because of the content? It is good if you can see a movie before taking your child to see it, then you know if it is something you want your child exposed to. It is good to discuss pictures and movies with your child. It is even better to explain why you don’t think certain picture or games are good for them. Boys tend to like the fighting, “shoot-em up games.” Possibly some of the games may contain too much violence and killing.

Remember children are very impressionable. Children will attempt to imitate and model after characters on the shows or games. You can encourage educational games. There are numerous of educational games available.

Sometimes you might just ask your child to explain a game to you that that they like. You will be amazed at how much they know about the game. They will love telling you about it too.

Just like parenting is an ongoing process, so are the parental controls on the computer. New games and new sites are developed everyday. Things change. You must make a decision to stay informed. You want to test and select the best options for your child. Evaluate whether that particular game serves the best interest of your child.

Stay involved with your child. Talk to your child. What games does your child like on the computer? What is it about that game that they like? Does your child play one specific game or does your child like new games each time they play? Are their specific characters in the games that your child identifies with? These are a few questions you might ask yourself.

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