Parents should try to find middle ground to keep teens safe online

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Registered: 01-20-2004
Parents should try to find middle ground to keep teens safe online
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 1:59pm

"Parents might take a lesson from Goldilocks and find a balanced approach to guide their teens in making moral, safe online decisions, according to Penn State researchers.

In a study on parenting strategies and online adolescent safety, the researchers found evidence that suggests that parents should try to establish a middle ground between keeping their teens completely away from the internet not monitoring their online activities at all.

"It's a Goldilocks problem," said Pamela Wisniewski, a postdoctoral scholar in information sciences and technology. "Overly restrictive parents limit the positive online experiences a teen can have, but overly permissive parents aren't putting the right types of demands on their children to make good choices."

Active mediation and monitoring online behavior, not blanket rules, may be a better strategy."

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How do you handle your teen's access to the internet?

As I have a kiddo entering teens this summer, I've been thinking about this a lot. He's special needs, so he's immature right now and isn't into facebook or instagram or anything even remotely of that nature, but I know the day is coming when it is. Currently we're pretty relaxed, but I do block via blacklists in the browsers themselves. When he was younger I used a kid browser that only allowed him access to a few sites. That wouldn't work now, as I'm sure he'd rather go to sites other than NickJr and PBS. ;)

Erin
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