Who's too young for Facebook?


 
 

By Sharon Miller Cindrich

Contributor
 
App attack in your house
App attack
Q Is it OK for my child to download apps to the family iPad?
A Apps are fun programs that can be useful (Grocery IQ is a grocery list with integrated coupons), educational (Stack the States makes geography fun) or just plain entertaining (Angry Birds is wildly popular game among all age groups). There are more than a half-million apps available in the Apple App Store, and while Apple does not allow pornographic content in their stores, figuring out which apps are right for your family can take a little research.
Here are several suggestions for managing your family's "app"ettite.
Make a download rule. If your child is under 10, you may want to restrict their access to downloading apps. You can do this by keeping your account password, required for downloading apps, away from kids. Otherwise, require that kids ask permission before downloading anything onto the family device-even if it is a free app.
Check the rating. Most apps offer an age rating. Keep in mind that most apps are rated by their own manufacturer, not an independent rating organization like those used for movies, TV or video games.
Review apps first. Read about apps from several sources before you take the plunge and don't make assumptions. "Plants vs. Zombies" is a popular cartoon game with low violence, not to be confused with "Farts vs. Zombies," also a cartoon game, but full of crude humor and large graphics containing profanity. Reviews and screenshots can be found on review sites at the App Store. Commonsensemedia.org offers app reviews and ratings from consumers on popular apps.
Beware of ads. Many apps, especially free ones, run advertisements at the top or bottom of the app screenshot. Some ads come in the form of sneaky marketing devices, promoting contests, surveys and asking for private information. Try the app out yourself and identify any ad pitfalls.
Watch for web links. While the app itself might not contain inappropriate material, it can direct consumers to a website that contains it. The Max Go app offers access to Cinemax streaming programming, including "Max After Dark," allowing access to the channel's more racy content.
Use parental controls. The iPad, along with the iPod and iPod Touch, all have good parental control tools to help parents manage content. You also can download an Internet filter that can block websites and filter web access based on your personalization. Try the K-9 Web Protection Browser for your iPad, which is free on iTunes.

Is it OK for my child to download apps to the family iPad?

Answer: Apps are fun programs that can be useful (Grocery IQ is a grocery list with integrated coupons), educational (Stack the States makes geography fun) or just plain entertaining (Angry Birds is wildly popular game among all age groups). There are more than a half-million apps available in the Apple App Store, and while Apple does not allow pornographic content in their stores, figuring out which apps are right for your family can take a little research.

Here are several suggestions for managing your family's "app"ettite.

  • Make a download rule. If your child is under 10, you may want to restrict their access to downloading apps. You can do this by keeping your account password, required for downloading apps, away from kids. Otherwise, require that kids ask permission before downloading anything onto the family device-even if it is a free app.
  • Check the rating. Most apps offer an age rating. Keep in mind that most apps are rated by their own manufacturer, not an independent rating organization like those used for movies, TV or video games.
  • Review apps first. Read about apps from several sources before you take the plunge and don't make assumptions. "Plants vs. Zombies" is a popular cartoon game with low violence, not to be confused with "Farts vs. Zombies," also a cartoon game, but full of crude humor and large graphics containing profanity. Reviews and screenshots can be found on review sites at the App Store. Commonsensemedia.org offers app reviews and ratings from consumers on popular apps.
  • Beware of ads. Many apps, especially free ones, run advertisements at the top or bottom of the app screenshot. Some ads come in the form of sneaky marketing devices, promoting contests, surveys and asking for private information. Try the app out yourself and identify any ad pitfalls.
  • Watch for web links. While the app itself might not contain inappropriate material, it can direct consumers to a website that contains it. The Max Go app offers access to Cinemax streaming programming, including "Max After Dark," allowing access to the channel's more racy content.
  • Use parental controls. The iPad, along with the iPod and iPod Touch, all have good parental control tools to help parents manage content. You also can download an Internet filter that can block websites and filter web access based on your personalization. Try the K-9 Web Protection Browser for your iPad, which is free on iTunes.

 

Q   Is it too early for my 5-year-old daughter
to connect with friends
online?
A      The use of technology is a common part of childhood today-in fact, 70 percent of children under 5 know how to use a mouse, while only 11 percent of this age group can tie their own shoes.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend screen time for children under 2, children can benefit from tech skills at every age and build a foundation for social networking skills long before they dive into the world of Facebook.
Face time with toddlers
Children as young as 3 and 4 can learn important basic rules about asking permission and setting time limits when connecting with family online. A Skype session with grandparents can also begin to define the most important rule for children when it comes to connecting with others online-only connect with people you know well, have a relationship with and trust. Parents can set up family sites at Famster.com and Myfamily.com and create a secure environment where children can visit with family across the country.
Kindergarten games
By 5 and 6, kids are beginning to play games online and might be connecting with friends from school or camp. While parents need to help them balance their social play online with offline play dates, time connecting with friends online can provide good practice for communication skills and social etiquette. At ClubPenguin.com, children can earn privileges for responsible online behavior. Scuttlepad.com gives kids a very basic introduction to online communication with parent-approved friends.
Elementary connections
Learning to make decisions about who to include in your social network is valuable experience. Children can try Whatswhat.me, a social network for kids as young as 7 who can connect with others a year older or younger, or Togetherville.com, designed for kids under 10, to make parent-approved connections in an online neighborhood.
Tween training
By the end of elementary school, social connections are very important to kids. They are exploring their own personal style and connecting online can help expand the opportunities for creative growth and social connections. This age group can try Everloop.com and Imbee.com, both monitored social networks specifically designed for kids 8-14.

Q: Is it too early for my 5-year-old daughter to connect with friends online?

A: The use of technology is a common part of childhood today-in fact, 70 percent of children under 5 know how to use a mouse, while only 11 percent of this age group can tie their own shoes.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend screen time for children under 2, children can benefit from tech skills at every age and build a foundation for social networking skills long before they dive into the world of Facebook.

Face time with toddlers

Children as young as 3 and 4 can learn important basic rules about asking permission and setting time limits when connecting with family online. A Skype session with grandparents can also begin to define the most important rule for children when it comes to connecting with others online-only connect with people you know well, have a relationship with and trust. Parents can set up family sites at Famster.com and Myfamily.com and create a secure environment where children can visit with family across the country.

Kindergarten games

By 5 and 6, kids are beginning to play games online and might be connecting with friends from school or camp. While parents need to help them balance their social play online with offline play dates, time connecting with friends online can provide good practice for communication skills and social etiquette. At ClubPenguin.com, children can earn privileges for responsible online behavior. Scuttlepad.com gives kids a very basic introduction to online communication with parent-approved friends.

Elementary connections

Learning to make decisions about who to include in your social network is valuable experience. Children can try Whatswhat.me, a social network for kids as young as 7 who can connect with others a year older or younger, or Togetherville.com, designed for kids under 10, to make parent-approved connections in an online neighborhood.

Tween training

By the end of elementary school, social connections are very important to kids. They are exploring their own personal style and connecting online can help expand the opportunities for creative growth and social connections. This age group can try Everloop.com and Imbee.com, both monitored social networks specifically designed for kids 8-14.

App attack in your house
App attack
Q Is it OK for my child to download apps to the family iPad?
A Apps are fun programs that can be useful (Grocery IQ is a grocery list with integrated coupons), educational (Stack the States makes geography fun) or just plain entertaining (Angry Birds is wildly popular game among all age groups). There are more than a half-million apps available in the Apple App Store, and while Apple does not allow pornographic content in their stores, figuring out which apps are right for your family can take a little research.
Here are several suggestions for managing your family's "app"ettite.
Make a download rule. If your child is under 10, you may want to restrict their access to downloading apps. You can do this by keeping your account password, required for downloading apps, away from kids. Otherwise, require that kids ask permission before downloading anything onto the family device-even if it is a free app.
Check the rating. Most apps offer an age rating. Keep in mind that most apps are rated by their own manufacturer, not an independent rating organization like those used for movies, TV or video games.
Review apps first. Read about apps from several sources before you take the plunge and don't make assumptions. "Plants vs. Zombies" is a popular cartoon game with low violence, not to be confused with "Farts vs. Zombies," also a cartoon game, but full of crude humor and large graphics containing profanity. Reviews and screenshots can be found on review sites at the App Store. Commonsensemedia.org offers app reviews and ratings from consumers on popular apps.
Beware of ads. Many apps, especially free ones, run advertisements at the top or bottom of the app screenshot. Some ads come in the form of sneaky marketing devices, promoting contests, surveys and asking for private information. Try the app out yourself and identify any ad pitfalls.
Watch for web links. While the app itself might not contain inappropriate material, it can direct consumers to a website that contains it. The Max Go app offers access to Cinemax streaming programming, including "Max After Dark," allowing access to the channel's more racy content.
Use parental controls. The iPad, along with the iPod and iPod Touch, all have good parental control tools to help parents manage content. You also can download an Internet filter that can block websites and filter web access based on your personalization. Try the K-9 Web Protection Browser for your iPad, which is free on iTunes.

Is it OK for my child to download apps to the family iPad?

Answer: Apps are fun programs that can be useful (Grocery IQ is a grocery list with integrated coupons), educational (Stack the States makes geography fun) or just plain entertaining (Angry Birds is wildly popular game among all age groups). There are more than a half-million apps available in the Apple App Store, and while Apple does not allow pornographic content in their stores, figuring out which apps are right for your family can take a little research.

Here are several suggestions for managing your family's "app"ettite.

  • Make a download rule. If your child is under 10, you may want to restrict their access to downloading apps. You can do this by keeping your account password, required for downloading apps, away from kids. Otherwise, require that kids ask permission before downloading anything onto the family device-even if it is a free app.
  • Check the rating. Most apps offer an age rating. Keep in mind that most apps are rated by their own manufacturer, not an independent rating organization like those used for movies, TV or video games.
  • Review apps first. Read about apps from several sources before you take the plunge and don't make assumptions. "Plants vs. Zombies" is a popular cartoon game with low violence, not to be confused with "Farts vs. Zombies," also a cartoon game, but full of crude humor and large graphics containing profanity. Reviews and screenshots can be found on review sites at the App Store. Commonsensemedia.org offers app reviews and ratings from consumers on popular apps.
  • Beware of ads. Many apps, especially free ones, run advertisements at the top or bottom of the app screenshot. Some ads come in the form of sneaky marketing devices, promoting contests, surveys and asking for private information. Try the app out yourself and identify any ad pitfalls.
  • Watch for web links. While the app itself might not contain inappropriate material, it can direct consumers to a website that contains it. The Max Go app offers access to Cinemax streaming programming, including "Max After Dark," allowing access to the channel's more racy content.
  • Use parental controls. The iPad, along with the iPod and iPod Touch, all have good parental control tools to help parents manage content. You also can download an Internet filter that can block websites and filter web access based on your personalization. Try the K-9 Web Protection Browser for your iPad, which is free on iTunes.

 

 
 







 
 
 
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