Monday, August 3, 2009

Are you a Tech Mom?

If your kids asked you to download an app or sync up their wi-fi from their DS to their online account, could you?  If they told you they only need one more token for their wish factory or a rude stranger walked into their town, would you know what they were talking about?  Studies show, your kid is far more advanced in the tech world than you are and will ever be.  

In 2009, 3 out of 5 kids, are living in a virtual world.  Kids no longer need imaginary friends...they just log-in to a website and can create a character to spend time with. Your child is paying off mortgages, saving up for the newest space age TV for their space-themed room, and growing their own produce right in their own backyard.
Luckily I am a tech geek and I go out of my way to find technology and introduce it to my child, nieces and nephews first.  I always read about the software, website, or application and try it out for myself.   Then I set rules:

1. the Nintendo DS is only allowed to be played with in the car and for no longer than an hour in a day.  We started this at age 5 and it never has been a problem.  
2. Internet surfing is not allowed without a parent or parental controls set up on the computer. Read about tips for Internet Safety.
3. YouTube is never allowed without an adult present.
4. Any online game has a limit of one hour as well and can only be played after homework is complete, chores are performed and parent has been asked.
*Lastly, when a punishment needs to be implemented, the most effective one for us is - no DS or computer privileges for a week.  Just the threat of this usually stops the bad behavior but when it doesn't be ready to take action.

Consistency is the key to developing respect for gaming and not letting it become an addiction. It is the parents responsibility to set up the rules and what is expected from their kids with regards to the internet, handhelds or phones.  

The goal of kids will be to bring awareness to you parents about what your child likes about each game.  Below is a list of my personal favorite websites, games, or apps, I would trust anyone in my family to play.  A child's review will be linked to each site so you can see how the kids feel about it. 

Club Penguin
Mario Kart
New Moon Girl Media
Habbo Hotel
Disney's ToonTown
Littlest Pet Shop
Facebook Games

If you have any sites, games, or apps you would like to have reviewed by our panel of kids comment below and we will be happy to learn more about it for you.  


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Thanks for sharing!