Should we quiz other parents about their internet policy before play dates?
1 expert and 1 parent have answered
Yes. I think all mums and dads should make other parents aware of what their policies are regarding internet access and, in particular, the playing of age appropriate computer games.
As the mum of a 10-year-old son, I have been concerned when he has come home from pals' houses having had access to material I would not allow at home, such as games with 15 or 18 certificates.
It's not that other parents are giving the kids carte blanche to play the games – it's just that they are seemingly unaware of it. The problem mainly crops up when my son goes to play in homes where there are older siblings, and where the younger children – my son and his friends – want to be part of what the teenage brothers and sisters are doing.
I appreciate it is impossible for parents' to police every moment of their kids' play time, particularly when there is a group of children of different ages playing together, but I do think it is something of which we should be mindful.
Although I don't have older children, I do make a point of asking parents what their kids are allowed to watch or play, and I let them know exactly what their children will have access to in my home – that the games console and computer can only be played with in the sitting room, and that we only allow games which are suitable for the lowest age range of the group.
It might sound an over zealous approach but it's one I would like to see all parents adopting – along with familiarising themselves with the content to which their kids have access. One mum told me she had no idea that computer games even HAD age ratings, asking me: 'but they are all just for kids, aren't they?'
Fortunately her's is not a home my son goes to play at...
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I think that is a great idea! I remember as a young child, we were never monitored at a certain friends house. We didn't do anything naughty, but can see that could have allowed for opportunity to explore as desired with no involvement or repercussions.
I think it's great to talk to your kids and let them know that the same rules that apply at home, apply anywhere they go as well.