Kids OnLine

I took a photo of my children recently, whilst walking home from a lovely family meal out. The children wanted to walk on the line. We joked about the ‘kids being online’. We found it hilariously funny, that this was my children’s idea of being ‘online’!

This got me thinking, when do children start to go ‘online‘? I believe my 3 yr olds are too young and have never been on the internet. They have had a few goes on iPad educational games, but they are not literally on the internet for that.

Kids using a laptop

My 5yr old son has been on the CBeebies site a few times, at Grandads. He loved it, but we don’t really seem to encourage it at home. His school has a blog, he is supposed to look at, but I must admit, we have not done that yet. Society seems to suggest he should be ‘online’ by now, but I am reluctant. I know once he is shown that whole internet world, he will love it and I find it worrying where that may lead.

I don’t want to deprive my children of a world of education and the many good things that the internet has to offer, but I also don’t want them to think that the internet and computers are everything. I feel he is young to be using the internet, yet modern society seems to be suggesting all children should be having an online experience to some degree.

Luckily, my son has not questioned or asked anything about the internet yet, so I have not approached it with him. When he does, I shall probably embrace it, but go down the road of ‘everything in moderation’ and ensure it is time limited, supervised and that he does not miss out on other basic childhood fun stuff in the process.

Everything is ‘online’, in our modern world. We all need to be able to use the internet, even elderly people are needing to learn. My mother in law can’t use the internet, but you can’t book a bus ticket (which lots of elderly people need to do) unless you are online, so we have to book it for her!

Clearly it is an essential skill for children to learn how to use the internet, but at what age should children start?

I would love to know what you think. Please leave me a comment and let me know your opinion.

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11 thoughts on “Kids OnLine”

  1. I agree completely. I’m reluctant to let my son use computers etc. I don’t think they are necessary. until he asks/shows an interest I’m not going to introduce him. He sometimes plays on the calculator on my phone calling it ‘playing numbers.’ i think it is a shame how reliant ppl r becoming on technology to entertain their kids. Its so anti social and instant 🙁

  2. That’s a good thought. I would like to delay my son’s introduction to the Internet as long as I can, though I fear it will get harder in the years to come.

  3. It’s a difficult one – my kids are definitely used to being outdoors a lot, but they’ve also been pretty regular users of the Internet since they started school. In fact, much of their homework involves them having Internet access (which is available to use at school if they don’t have it at home).

  4. Eek, my boys use the internet and they are 2 and 4. Really it’s mainly the 4 year old, though my 2 year old uses the ipad apps we have.

    They both watch movies on netflix as it has a setting just for kids so only shows kids content so they can watch anything on there!

    My 4 year old uses the reading eggs website and the cbeebies website and they use skype to chat to family members abroad.

    We bought an old broken ipad off ebay cheap, ian fixed it up and now the boys share it, it’s full of kids apps, videos and some adult game apps like flow free which I’ve found to really help my 4 year olds concentration span.

    We’ve always let them have unlimited internet/laptop/computer/ipad/tv time and they use them probably once or twice a day… the rest of the time they play together or are out in the garden making up games and stories, or doing art and craft stuff.

    Oh wow this is getting a long comment!

  5. My son only started going online when he turned 10. He didn’t really show an interest in it until the school began teaching them ‘cyber safety’! Now he goes on XBox live with other kids from school (on children’s safety settings) and has an email account but that’s it.

  6. I have two boys, one is 9 and the other is 4 and they both play various games online. Not on the computer though. They both play on Club Penguin on the iPad and I think that some kind of safe environment for them to experience the whole online community thing is important.

    Today’s children are growing up in a world where the internet is an essential part of life and although I restrict their time I do allow them access.

    My eldest is even learning about Google at school and I have to admit that that scares me a little bit.

  7. My children are 8, 5, 3 and 1. The older 3 play apps on my iPad but they don’t actually go online. They haven’t really shown an interest in doing so, so I am not in any rush to let them.

  8. My daughter is almost 4 and is allowed to play educational apps on my tablet and sometimes uses the cbeebies website, I don’t really consider this to be her being online as she just sees it as playing games, her time is very limited on it though.

  9. Oh, this is such an interesting one, and while I want to encourage my kids away from their screens as much as possible, I also think that they need to learn about the Internet.

    It is everywhere, and is now an important life skill – and safe use is crucial, which you have to teach them… My 7yo has to use the Internet for school, my 4yo plays games, but doesn’t go ‘online’ although he already understands what it is.

    Sorry, long comment!

  10. I think they grow up with it so much now it is hard to control what they use and when. My oldest 2 are 8 and 5 and don’t use the internet yet, apart from occasional use at school for research. I think we need to keep them young as long as we can!

  11. With such a big family being on the internet is happening at some point in the home. But our PCs are in the den and the kids are never without parental supervision. Even the teens are kept an eye on!

    We do have parental controls on their sub accounts too and they’re only allowed on the sites that we’ve allowed.

    So we have everything in place to keep them as safe as we can. Thankfully.

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