Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kids online..

And the theme continues to be the kids, this time about D :).

I have been so concerned about time spent on gadgetry (kids used to spend a lot of time on iPad type games in between) that I may have gone to the other extreme where exposure to a laptop/computer was concerned. Combined with the fact that I didn't see a real need for it, as is common with many mommyhood items I now wonder if I may have left it a bit late. D is now nearly 8 years old, and not very computer exposed at all.. she only spends time on one when at her cousins' place.. so she knows some basics but not much more...

So operation summer holidays is to get her comfortable enough to be able to find something online on her own, but I don't think I can resist the temptation to keep peeking over her shoulder just yet !! Other things I am figuring out:

1. I'm planning to help her create a mail id, and maybe we could exchange a few emails too, within the family. What I wonder about is how old before she and her friends start exchanging emails, and I have to stop butting in?!

2. I have seen children around the age of 12 entering social media, which is an appropriate age I think, but I wonder if they are ok with befriending their parents :P. Just setting expectations for the future here, cos I think bright kids might have multiple ids!

3. I want her to start her own blog (but of course :)) which I think is a great way to explore creative writing skills, not to mention I am looking forward to reading it all. The doubt is whether it's safe to make it public right away, or is it better to keep it a private one for now?

4. I have quite a few educational CDs (the TimeLife kind of stuff too) that I have not been very effective in trying out - I think this is a good time to explore those all over again too.

5. How much time on a computer is considered enough for kids? I am thinking of half an hour portions, until the time when she actually needs to spend time for schoolwork.

And as usual, S wants to get involved in everything that D does, so I will have a task of finding appropriate stuff for him to try his hand at. The good part of it being that I don't have to worry on this issue on his behalf in another 3 years :).

How clever of me don't you think, to incorporate a questionnaire within a blog entry ;). Looking forward to hearing more from all of you on this!

14 comments:

  1. Email id already and social media ? Am sorry but do kids really need this ?( am not yet married or have a baby so please excuse my ignorance ) And if you do , till 15 yrs , you should have the full access ( including password)

    I guess , apart from basics , teaching her about google search + wiki is good. Also blogging is great. to write and share pictures she likes.

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    1. Nimue, though I would like to stay away from it all, it's just not realistic in today's world :(. In any case, I am tending more towards making her computer savvy rather than introducing her to email and social media. Found that I can't create an email id with her actual age, so I'm staying away from it for now.

      Google search is a great idea! thanks :)

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  2. Am of the eccentrically old-fashioned opinion that kids will be online the rest of their lives. And computer literacy will come naturally to them. Mine get an hour or so of play (offline) on the comp thrice a week. They do have email ids (more of a booking the name thingie). And if D writes - get her a diary, and let her move to her own blog later?

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    1. Diary !! Now why didn't that strike me #facepalm. Agree with you Jandy, that's definitely the way to start. And 3 times a week also sounds about right, let me see which way it works better for us..

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  3. Well, I got my daughter a gmail ID last year and Google deleted it this year because of her age. She had a blogspot blog as well which was not made public and was only accessible to family. That is gone too along with the email ID. Her friends got new gmail IDs which their parents created by giving wrong age details. I had to have a chat with the daughter that may be it is time to slow down online. She will get her email ID and blog ID when she turns 14 now (which is in another 3 years).

    Now, all she needs to do is type out mails that she wants sent on her behalf (through my gmail ID) as documents on the laptop. I log in to my ID and let her mail them out. I think it works fine.

    As for the blog, she has a diary and I feel that's more than enough for now. I don't think our kids will be techno-unsavvy in any way just because they use gadgets late (read at an appropriate age). She is a whole lot more creative without the distractions of email and social media. I think it will help her a whole lot in life.

    On the bright side, she has something to look forward to when she turns 14! :)

    My two paise worth ramblings ;)

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  4. Total Duh moment happened, I never realized Google needs a min age of 14 !! Tried creating an id before I read your comment, and it didn't allow me too. Yes, I'm also not happy with giving her age wrong to do it, though I was tempted to in order to save her name as mail id :(.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I am definitely going the diary way too, at least until she learns to type ;).. then maybe a blog under my id or something for a while before she has her own.

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  5. Kids r smart nowadays n there is wealth of info on the net without bothering abt blog or emails. I have a blog for kids where i do encourage kids to participate n share their views. Let her go to net for learning something..it could be simple recipe or any handicraft or even news..prohibiting children fron using comp is not a good idea...although interacting with strangers on net is quite risky n parents should control the sites that children visit..it is imp for their safety...incase u be interested in my blog for kids do visit me at http://book-pushpa.blogspot.com :))

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    1. Thanks for sharing Pushpa, I will definitely be dropping in at that blog :)

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  6. I'd say just use the net for educational purposes - wiki and so on if D wants to do supplementary reading. For eg when Ads was in his dinosaur phase he went on the net a lot to trawl for stuff at the american natural history museum archives. Other make it off-limits except for a couple of times a week until they are much older. I agree with the diary idea. Maybe she'll want to write a book and that can be on a word doc? Thats what Ads did for a bit but he soon got bored because he is so slow at typing!!! :)
    In sum, don't be bothered about how 'behind' she is in this area relative to her peers. They'll catch up in no time and its not a big deal. Much better for them to learn to play and amuse themselves without electronic media.

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    1. Thanks Aparna, that helps :). Though D has not displayed the research type of enthusiasm yet, I'm sure it'll come along in its time.

      And yes, the nice looking diary/journal hunt is on, so ping me if you see a nice one somewhere :).

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  7. Agree with the 'no computer/ online ' phase for now, Aparna. They have enough distractions as it is :-) On the email id point, yoi can always create one in her name and keep mailing across key milestones, events, pictures to that account. when she is old enough to access it, she can reset just the password. so you get the name of your choice right away. My two paise :-)

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    1. Thanks Shyvee.. the email id thing is a bit of a tough one for me, I am such a do-by-the-book-er that giving a wrong year of birth doesn't sit right with me :(.

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  8. Here is something I found, which may be a good way to introduce both D and S to online browsing.

    http://ijaar.com/7-hand-picked-free-browsers-for-kids/

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    1. Thanks so much :). I am checking it out now.

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