Do I Trust My 10 Year Old Daughter with My Password to Access the Internet?

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Deciding the appropriate age for certain activities is part of being a parent.  As parents, we must place certain restrictions on our children and ease back on these as they age.  Internet Access has created an entirely new element parents must consider.

English: Graphic displaying various type of in...

English: Graphic displaying various type of internect connections for consumer and businesses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My ten year old daughter called me a few minutes ago to explain that she was working on a school project with a friend and that she needed to download some cartoons from the internet. She was blocked from doing so by the internet parental controls we had installed. She knows the password (she once saw me use it) and called to ask if it was ok for her to type the password in so that she could get the cartoons that she needed.

I sucked in my breath and paused… what to do?

I trust my daughter implicitly and know she would not use the internet inappropriately. However, one of the reasons we also installed the software was that it helps prevent inappropriate things from popping up on the screen from even through an appropriate search. On the other hand I thought, what will my daughter think- that I do not trust her? That I am preventing her from working on a school project? Will she be embarrassed in front of her friend?

These thoughts raced through my head, and I decided not to allow her to use the password (which password, by the way, I never changed, even though she saw it a few months ago).

I carefully explained to her that it was not that I did not trust her- in fact I completely trust her I said, but that I did not trust the internet. I told her that if she searches without an adult present, there is no way for me to confirm that what comes up from her search is ok for her to see.

I explained that I know she was using the internet appropriately, but that I needed to protect her from what might pop up as a result of her search. She sweetly said ok and that she understood. I hope she did, and I think I made the correct decision.

As always, here at Inspire Conversation, we’d like to hear from you regarding Internet access and parenting…

  • What do you think?
  • At what age is full Internet access appropriate and safe?
  • What are some ways we can determine whether our child is ready for full Internet access?
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