Control your young child's computer

By Jonathan Stromberg

Nowadays computers often play a big role in the lives of even very young children. Many parents are keen to have their young children using the home computer as soon as possible, considering that this will give them a head-start in their education. Children are using computers at a very early age, as young as preschool. When parents are considering how to control their young child's computer, they need to consider the following. Some of the pros of a young child using the computer are as follows:
  • If a child is allowed to use the computer at an early age, he or she is able to develop his or her computer skills faster.

  • There are many child-appropriate Web sites which are educational and of benefit to the development of a young child.

  • The computer gives your young child quick and effective access to a large amount of educational material.
Unfortunately, the cons of young children using the computer are many too. There is concern among parents and professionals about the potential harmful effects on a young child of computer use, and they consider it vital that parents should control their young child's computer. Some of the cons of a young child using the computer are as follows:
  • The Internet has many dangers. There are many wholly inappropriate Web sites for young children, which can pop-up even when your child is not searching for them.

  • Even a young child can suffer from physical ailments such as neck pain and back pain, due to spending too much time on the computer on unbeneficial activities.

  • Advertising - Parents of children as young as one year old are targeted, and parents scramble to obtain these products. Promoters use clever marketing drives to empty parents’ wallets for their children’s sake.

  • If your young child is using the computer for large periods of time doing activities that are of little benefit to his or her education, this is in effect a waste of precious childhood. The computer can be extraordinarily seductive to a child.
Parents of young children clearly need to control their young child's computer use in some way. Parents should:

1) Check with their teachers for suggested Web sites and for recommendations for good resources online.
2) Not let young children use interactive games, such as X-Box Live or Sony Playstation network. Try (for instance) instead.
3) Sit down with them as often as possible and find out what sites they like to visit online, and ask or answer questions about these sites.
4) Look for safe site lists that can be trusted. There is an approved safe sites list at WiredKids.
5) Consider the vast array of parental control technology that is available to help parents control their young child's computer.

To summarize the points made above, instead of simply promoting computer use, parents and educators should control their young child's computer and only let their young children use the computer/Internet very selectively.
People, groups and organizations from all walks of life are creating a cleaner and more selective virtual environment for kids. One of these organizations is SoftForYou, a filtering and monitoring software company, which offers programs that are designed to help parents control their young child's computer; by enabling their young child to use the computer and the Internet, whilst been shielded from its harmful and potentially dangerous effects. Their latest program is called 1stClicks. This program is extremely effective in enabling parents to control their young child's computer use.

Control your young child's computer. Parental control program This parental control technology is suitable exactly for young children, because it blocks all sites and programs that aren’t pre-approved, rather than just filtering out the “bad” sites.

1stClicks is a simple and very reliable program, which allows you to set exactly which programs and web sites you want your young child to have access to. Your child will only be able to enter sites that have been specially selected by you, and play only on the games that you have allowed. All other web sites and programs will not be accessible by your child. Normally these are accessible through your Windows desktop, but 1stClicks temporarily hides this desktop and replaces it with a new one from which your child will be able to use the computer.

Whilst this program has been designed to enable you to control your young child’s computer use, it can also be put in place in order to limit the access to the computer of employees.

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