The Internet holds vast amounts of information that can help kids with school projects and allow them to play interactive games.
But it's important for parents to carefully monitor which sites their kids are visiting.
The Nemours Foundation offers these guidelines for parents:
- Learn how to use a computer and how to invoke parental controls, such as blocking certain websites.
- Keep the family computer in a shared area where you can watch your kids online.
- Maintain access to your child's email account, and surf the web together to teach your child safe and appropriate behavior.
- Keep favorite safe sites bookmarked.
- Check your phone and credit card bills regularly for any unusual activity.
- Make sure your child knows that chat rooms and other unsafe areas are off-limits.
- Report to law enforcement any inappropriate messages that your child receives online.
Health Tip: Help Your Child Create a Healthy Body Image
A healthy body image can help a child grow into a healthy, confident adult. And parents play a big role in fostering their child's self-esteem.
The womenshealth.gov website offers these suggestions for boosting your child's self-image:
- Discuss with your child the fact that weight gain, especially during puberty, can be a normal and healthy part of development.
- Don't speak negatively about weight, food, body shape and size.
- Encourage your child to make personal decisions about food, but offer a variety of healthy options.
- Praise and compliment your child for things he or she has accomplished.
- Limit your child's television time, and when it is on, watch together to encourage discussion about images in the media.
- Be active in your child's school, promoting policies that protect against discrimination, bullying and a healthy approach toward weight.
- Communicate openly with your child.