Recently, Trend Micro announced in a press release the results of a study in which “1,000 parents across the country with at least one child under the age of 15” were asked about how technology is redefining rules for parenting.
Major findings from the eParenting Report include, “76 percent of parents blame the Internet for making their children grow up too fast” and “55 percent of parents believe it’s impossible to keep kids from seeing inappropriate material on the Internet.”
We asked our summer intern, teenager, and recent high school graduate Ben Maxwell to read the press release and share his thoughts.
By Ben Maxwell
Many parents may think that their kids are growing up too fast and I believe that is partially true. As a kid of this group being targeted, it is safe to say that we are being raised in a time much different than our parents.
Beginning in kindergarten, students are learning the basics of the computer and how to maneuver around them. The world around us is becoming heavily technology reliant, and the education system wants to ensure we understand what’s taking place.
From generation to generation there have been certain things that make parents believe their children are “growing up too fast.” First it was television, then came watching the Vietnam War on TV, followed up by video games, and now the Internet.
This is just a reoccurring event that will happen for the rest of time, and we cannot change that or try to change it. Some things just happen and we have to live and become acclimated to what is occurring.
I don’t think kids are missing out on their youth.
I don’t think kids are missing out on their youth. Today’s generation of parents had a youth that was very different. You could go out on your own. Nowadays, you hang out with your friends at home. Everything is so different. Parents feel safer when their kids are at home. So what kids do when they go online is interact with their friends. It’s just a different way of interacting.
I don’t see how the Internet can make kids grow up too fast. Things are just being taught differently. I think what parents are really saying it that their children are as technologically advanced as they are and the reason is that at such an early age they are being taught that at school. My 3-year-old cousin knows how to use an iPad as well as a 50 year-old-man,
What does growing up too fast mean anyways? If parents mean that kids are being exposed to violence, pornography, drug and alcohol use more on the Internet, it’s probably true but not that important…It’s more peer pressure. From my experience, I have never been approached online and no one I know has ever said that someone online has emailed, texted, to do this or that. I’m sure the Internet may have made a small increase. I still think the biggest thing is face-to-face peer pressure.
There are ways to control what kids do online.
A kid can be exposed to bad stuff anywhere. It’s not just the Internet that’s doing this…A kid can walk into 7/11 and open up a Playboy. It just may be easier to get to this material on the Internet. If a parent really does have an issue, there are ways to control what kids do online. The parent should take action.
From a younger person’s point of view, my advice to parents is just relax. Kids are not growing up too fast. They are just becoming accustomed to the life they live in and the constant changes happening all around us. Yes, it’s a hard time for parents. But they can control it. I don’t think it’s any more difficult than any other generation.
For the parents who are concerned that their twelve-year-old is going to come across an inappropriate site on the Internet it is very simple: Don’t buy your twelve-year-old a laptop. They have the rest of their life to have a computer.
Now, if your twelve-year-old does have a laptop, you can make sure that he is staying safe with Trend Micro™ Titanium™ security software, which allows parents to limit what a kid does online.
Ben Maxwell is a summer intern at Trend Micro and enjoys helping us with our social media postings. This is his second blog for the Fearless Web.
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