It’s amaz­ing how some par­ents will worry them­selves into a frenzy…

The Compass - - OPIN­ION -

It’s amaz­ing how some par­ents will worry them­selves into a frenzy if their child is out an hour past cur­few. Many will phone around look­ing or go out and drive the streets to make sure their teens are safe. It’s a typ­i­cal re­ac­tion from car­ing and re­spon­si­ble par­ents.

Yet, it seems for many, that same worry doesn’t carry the same im­pact when it comes to those same teens be­ing held up in a bed­room with a com­puter, or sit­ting in their own liv­ing room — obliv­i­ous to all that is around them — fran­ti­cally tex­ting on a cell phone.

How old should a child be be­fore left to his/her own de­vices on a com­puter? How old should a child be be­fore he/she should be al­lowed to own a cell phone? There would be a great vari­ance in the an­swers for sure.

When teens are us­ing com­put­ers, maybe hav­ing it in a com­mon area is a safe rule to adopt. There’s not a lot of logic in al­low­ing a 12 or 13 year-old to have a com­puter in his or her bed­room equipped with we­b­cams and what­ever else at their dis­posal and a locked door.

Re­spon­si­ble par­ents have al­ways checked out the play­grounds their chil­dren play on, and un­til they are older, par­ents ac­com­pany their kids to these play­grounds or as­sign the task to a re­spon­si­ble adult.

When a kid is sit­ting on a com­puter, he or she is on a play­ground of a much greater scope; the dan­gers are count­less, huge and scarier than fall­ing off any mon­key bar. No one should take for granted that just be­cause they are home in their own houses that young peo­ple are safe.

Mon­i­tor­ing com­puter us­age is not a sign of dis­trust to­wards the child. It’s a sign of a lov­ing and car­ing par­ent mak­ing sure the one’s not to be trusted are not ac­cess­ing your child through this method. It’s worth get­ting wor­ried over.

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