The Internet is the 20 century's most incredible invention. There is greater
access to information and knowledge, all for free and from the comfort of home.
However, with the Internet's great advantages comes the potential for abuse as
Children are exposed to many good and bad websites. The danger is always
there that children may surf websites that deal with pornography or illegal
activities such as piracy and hacking. Many children may not be monitored by
their parents at all. In fact, parents might not be aware that their children
are surfing such websites.
There have been stories about children being kidnapped for ransom or sale.
There have been also numerous stories about children being sexually abused or
exploited through people met via chat websites. Naive children are easily misled
into harmful situations.
The question then arises as to when children should be allowed to use the
Internet. When are they mature enough to read or watch the various streams of
information that come through the Internet? Should they have parental
I strongly believe that parents must be fully aware of what is going on in
the lives of their children. They need guidance and advice. Parents cannot give
up their role because they claim to be too busy or tired. They must take the
time and trouble to be there for their children.
Children mature at different ages. Only parents can know when their children
are ready to deal with the various elements of the Internet. If they can advise
the children and guide them through the early years, the children will be better
prepared to make their own decisions as they grow older. Children need
supervision and guidance through childhood and adolescence, especially in the
Children may resent parents' control strongly if parents interfere a lot when
they are older. It is true that parents have to let go more of their control as
the children grow older and hopefully wiser. It is unhealthy to keep them under
their wings all the time. That will not work at all. However, during their
growing years, it is good for parents to have a say in their children's