Welcome to the Information Superhighway
That's the main message of this Guide. It's designed to welcome you, and give you a simple step-by-step introduction to parenting in a world of computers and new forms of media. This Guide will provide some tools and rules for you to use with your pre-high school and high school children at home, at school, and in the community.
It seems overnight there's a whole new world for kidsand for you. From computers to software to the Internetthere are so many new things, yet little guidance for parents trying to figure it all out. (Boldface terms are defined in the Glossary, which is also accessible by clicking on the Glossary button on the left navigation menu). That's why we decided to write this Guide. We hope to:
This Guide is for parents who have begun to see that computers and online services will be or already are a part of children's lives at school, at community centers, at home, or at the libraryand who are looking for some guidelines and advice. We have written it with the computer novice in mind, and have provided simple definitions and ideas for how to get involved. But we hope that parents who have already become online travelers will find useful tips as well. We recognize that it is not possible to meet the needs of every parent through one Guide. But hopefully this Guide provides a starting point for all parents to get involved. For more specialized information, please refer to the resources on page 25.
Working with the National PTA and the National Urban League, The Children's Partnership talked to dozens of parents. We found these most frequently asked questions, which this Guide sets out to answer:
While we try to give parents a brief survey of current technology, we have emphasized parenting strategies in a world where children and young people often know more than their parents. Although we don't focus on CD-ROMs, video games, or computer software, we do refer to them, and many of the parenting tips for being online also apply to these media.
The Guide can be used in two ways:
The history of media, and television especially, has taught us some important lessons when it comes to children. First, media has a very powerful influence on young people. Second, without strong public attention to media issues, children's best interests are not adequately served. These lessons are especially important today, as a new information society is being created. In addition to helping parents do the best for their own children, we hope that this Guide helps parents connect with institutions like the National PTA and the National Urban League as well as their local schools and community institutions to ensure that this new generation of media is good for all kids.
© 1998 The Children's Partnership. All Rights Reserved.