Get the net out of kids’ rooms

Herald Sun July 19, 2010

Parents should ban internet connections from children’s bedrooms, experts say, after research shows students are neglecting their studies to spend time on social networking sites. A Telstra survey reveals about a quarter of children spend seven hours a week or more on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Half of the parents surveyed believe their children’s education is suffering.

Cyber-safety expert Dr Martyn Wild said parents should place computers in family areas such as lounge rooms to keep schoolchildren focused on their studies. “You wouldn’t let your kids stay out socialising with their friends until all hours on a school night, but that is exactly what they are doing online, often right under their parents’ noses,” Dr Wild said. “The answer is not turning off internet access. Rather it’s about implementing simple behavioural changes in your children and setting realistic expectations about their use of the internet.” The research, by Newspoll, showed social networking sites were particularly popular with teenagers aged 14-17, with 84 per cent logging on.