Instant messaging for pre-teens?
June 15, 2005 7:37 AM Subscribe
I have an 11 year-old brother who is interested in using Yahoo Instant Messenger (or I suppose any other IM program for that matter), but my parents are a little hesitant to let him do so. And understandably so I think. Do any of you let your pre-teens use any IM programs? Is there some sort of method you have worked out for them using it? A monitoring program perhaps? Extended explanation inside.
My little bro has his own computer in his room. He doesn't have an entire free reign over the system. He doesn't have any kind of filtering program because my parents have done the responsible and have taught him the rights and wrongs and things to expect from "the internet." And honestly I hope I've convinced them to NOT use a filtering program. But if one needs to be installed, then so be it. (I'm sure one will have to be installed at some point as he gets older).
Anyway, my parents are also always around whenever he is on the computer. Maybe not in the same room, but in the same house.
Having said that, that does not mean that he doesn't get viruses and spyware on his computer. His friends email him and tell him to download such and such a game or go to this link (that has a billion popups), and he does so without thinking twice! He's a kid after all! But I think more recently its turned into "ask before you do something like that" situation. And even that isn't 100% failsafe, but it works as best it can.
So now, hopefully understanding my scenario, would you allow this child to sign onto an Instant Messaging client? My parents are not worried about him causing trouble, only trouble coming TO him. I've tried explaining that it isn't any more dangerous for him to be on IM than it is for him to be on the internet period. I've explained about chat rooms, etc. I think they are just looking for some more reassurance that it is an "okay" idea. So I thought I would ask you fine folks.
Ideas? Comments? I'll gladly provide more insight into the situation if you would like. Thanks!