If your kids are like mine, they enjoy doing everything that I do.  Sometimes this is fantastic, it encourages kids to brush their teeth, use the potty, use manners, and not pick their noses.  Other times, it’s more difficult.  My children want to play on the computer just like Mommy does.  I want to encourage their computer skills, I know it is imperative for their futures, but I worry about things they could be exposed to on the internet.  Needless to say, my children do not surf the web. 

When they do use the computer I am always right by their side.  When choosing websites that are okay for your kids, look for ones that do not have any advertisements.  An accidental click on one of these advertisements can send your kid’s goodness knows where.  Look for websites that have characters that they are familiar with, and as always educational is a huge plus.  Our family enjoys pbskids.com, sproutonline.com, and sesamestreet.com.  Yahoo! offers a kid game area as well, but my kids just aren’t ready for that yet, plus there are more advertisements there as well. 

Another good bet is purchasing games for your computer.  You can eliminate the internet with most purchased games, and ensure a safe environment.  Many anti-virus programs also offer “safe searching” options for those of you with older kids.  Sooner rather than later you kids will need to do research online for school, and having a safe search setting on your browser can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your kids safe. 

Another thing you can do to keep kids safe is to keep your family computer in a well visited and trafficked area.  This way no matter the age of your child, you can see what they are doing online. 

-Stephanie Wright

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