The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].
Is it okay to allow children over the age of 10 to use the Internet unsupervised?
I let my 6-year-old use the Internet “without supervision,” whatever that means. We often browse together and talk about what we see (usually strange animals and comic book stuff), but sometimes when I am busy with something else in another room. I am not constantly looking over her shoulder, but I do look at the history and know that she is watching Teen Titans, and browsing images of Strawberry Shortcake. So far she has yet to come across anything shocking unless she is searching for “what do lions eat?” There is always the possibility that she clicks on a link that takes her to something not appropriate, but when that happens she cries “Daaaaddyyyy I don’t know how to get it back!”
She knows how to type just about that much into Google. If she doesn’t she will ask me to write it for her on a piece of paper.
She obviously has no Facebook account. She has no Twitter account (well, actually she does, because I reserved an account in her name a few years ago, but she does not know it exists)
I suspect that by the time she is 10 her search skill will have improved and she will be the better for it. I know her curiosity level, because we are quite open about asking and talking about anything. So if she starts asking about sex, I’ll pay closer attention so that she doesn’t accidentally get exposed to porn and sex chat rooms. But if she wants to look at sites about sex written for her age (whenever that comes) I will let her do it unsupervised. But I will be more vigilant.
Kevin Cameron is bicycle tourist in rural Japan. Read more from Quora below: