Five Things Children Need to Find in the Internet
Children nowadays are very much exposed to the worldwide web. Even those in third world countries have certain access to the internet. In the Philippines, remote provinces, especially tourist destinations, have internet cafes which children can visit for most part during the day. And in highly urbanized cities, internet hubs abound in malls, commercial centers, and even residential communities. And these internet cafes are mostly open 24 hours a day; so even if a lot of kids have no computer and internet access at home, it would be easy for them to surf the web anytime.
So what does this tell us? This is just indicative of the far-reaching influence the internet has over the younger generation. This realization should be closely followed by a very important question that all of us adults need to answer:
What are we feeding our children in the internet?
The internet provides an unlimited resource for every type of information you need – health topics, political views, entertainment, technological innovations, you name it, the web has it. But not all information provided by this online databank is sound and safe for children’s consumption.
We, as responsible adults and parents, need to be aware of this tremendous reality. Whereas the internet serves as an extensive resource of free information, it also offers a wide array of things that children and adolescents can do better without.
Looking at it from the standpoint of a mother, I realized that with proper guidance, the internet could be very useful in augmenting my daughter’s education, as it contains an enormous reserve of information not available in school. But I also realized that since there is a lot of web content not suitable to children, I have to establish what type of information my daughter should get from it.
After careful deliberation, I have come up with five important things that our children need to find in the internet. These include:
Medically Sound Health Articles
The internet is filled with all types of topics pertaining to the health niche. Whereas most of these are medically sound and written by health professionals, some are plainly aimed at promoting certain products and increasing revenues.
Many adolescents, particularly girls, are concerned about their weight and their diet, thus they are likely to search for information on weight control and fad diets. It is imperative therefore to educate these young people about the need to be aware of the hazards of reading and absorbing anything they read from the web. They should be taught how to discern medically sound health information, and not to take anything they read as medical advice, even if they find it on reliable websites. Adolescents need to realize the importance of proper medical consultation before taking any medication or diet pills, going on a certain diet, or engaging in a certain exercise regimen.
Another essential web content our children need to find is a good range of educational websites that help improve their skills and knowledge, and enhance their learning potentials as well. Although not to be considered as substitutes for school lessons, educational websites contain valuable information for children to learn. But again, you need to discern not only the reliability of educational websites you recommend to your children, but also their suitability to your children’s specific needs.
For starters, you may visit kidsknowit, which is home to various educational websites, including biology, geography, spelling, animals, and a lot more.
Productive and Creative Crafting Ideas
Children naturally love creating crafts and trinkets. So why not channel their interests to activities that develop their creativity and productivity? A crafting activity can even be a family affair where you can spend time bonding with one another. Or, you could even consider turning your craft-making activity into a home-based business.
The net is filled with a wide array of crafting information, from material-purchasing tips to step-by-step guides. You could even find detailed how-to articles pertaining to home crafting business, should you decide to take your crafting activity to that level.
Crafting sites such as allcrafts, craftown, freepatterns, and allfreecrafts offer free patterns for various types of crafts, including homemade gifts, paper crafts, and holiday cards. And for more crafting websites offering free patterns and containing popular links to various valuable crafting resources, you could also browse through directories like craftytips.
Fun but Wholesome Entertainment
Naturally, we should not leave entertainment out of our drive to promote responsible internet surfing to our kids. We all know that the web offers a wide array of entertainment from online games and networking sites to downloadable videos and music.
However, we need to monitor our children’s involvement and interest in these entertainment forms too, to provide guidance and advice and to set limits whenever necessary. You may be accused by your kids of being a spoilsport or outdated, but you need to do it just the same, to ensure that your children are not exposed to unnecessary harm.
For more fun and excitement, you may engage in online games with your kids, or download a few games. As much as possible, encourage your kids to take interest in educational games like scrabble, puzzles, and sudoku. Popular game sites include Spintop, GameHouse, and Games.
Enjoyable Earth-saving Projects
Finally, we would want our children to find enjoyable earth-saving projects and going-green activities in the web. We should do our part in educating our children on the importance of going green in our daily living. There are a lot of websites dedicated to promoting environmental awareness in people from all age groups, so you can learn with your kids. You simply have to search the web using certain keywords such as “going green,” “green earth,” and “earth-saving,” and you will be introduced to numerous websites pertaining to this subject.
For starters, you may check out going going green sites such as kidsforsavingearth and kidsgoinggreen for valuable environment-friendly information as well as some fun activities and projects you can enjoy with your kids.
The internet has opened a whole wide world for our children to explore and enjoy. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, we can certainly find informative and entertatining websites that can help augment our children's education. However, we need to properly guide and assist them in their internet usage so that their thirst for knowledge and adventure will be optimally satisfied with the convenience provided by the web.