The day you and your child set out to buy their very first computer is a really important day! Once they are old enough to be trusted with their own PC or laptop, it’s time to set about getting them one. Computers are a great educational aid and they will learn so much with their very own device that’s all theirs!
Some parents question whether it’s right that children have their own computer, but let’s face it; if they don’t have their own they will only steal yours! As long as you make sure that they are using it in the right way, then there is absolutely no harm in it. Here’s how to get them set up:
Choose the Right Model
The first thing to do is to do a little research online and set a realistic budget. Your child will not need oodles of memory or the best computer on the market – a basic model will be fine. It will take some abuse so there’s no point spending too much on it. Choose a brand that you trust and a model that has been given great reviews on online forums. If you are buying a tablet then consider whether your child might benefit from an inbuilt camera and video facility. If you get one that doesn’t suit their needs it won’t be long before they are begging for a better one!
Do They Need Wi-Fi?
If you think your child is trustworthy enough to have access to the internet then you need to choose one that has inbuilt Wi-Fi so they can hook up to your home network. We don’t need to tell you about the risks of the internet, particularly for children. There are plenty of sites that they should never have access to, so it’s important that you set the parental controls to the highest possible level. This will ensure that they only see sites that are suitable for them. If you are in any doubt then you can download parental control programs with extra layers of security for peace of mind. Don’t take any chances – once a site has been seen it can’t be unseen.
Set the Rules
You and your child need to agree a fair set of rules that they must comply with. Agree how long every day they are allowed to spend on their computer. If you have more than one child then they must understand that the computer is for sharing, and if there are any arguments then it will be taken away. Install a keylogger so that you can keep track of their activity – it might feel like spying but it’s the only way to keep track of what they are up to. Also check their browsing history regularly to make sure they haven’t visited any sites that should be off-limits.
Used in the right way, computers are a great resource for kids. They can learn, communicate and play games, and in the meantime they can learn all about being computer literate. Don’t deny them this opportunity; just make sure that their usage is properly monitored to keep them safe.
Article Contributor: Jim Powell, is a software reviewer at Well Researched Reviews, a software reviewing firm. When he is not working, he is seen visiting friends and family.