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.
The Parent Perspective
It seems overnight there's a whole new
world for kids—and for you. From computers to software
to the Internet—there
are so many new things, yet little guidance for parents trying
to figure it all out. (Boldface
terms are defined in the Glossary). That's
why we decided to write this Guide. We hope to:
- Introduce parents to a new and changing
- Help parents use common sense parenting
along with simple, practical tips about the new technology;
- Boost parents' confidence and
jump-start their involvement to make sure that new media
will truly benefit children.
Who Is This Guide For?
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 library—and
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.
What Does This Guide Cover?
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:
This Guide focuses on computers and services that allow young
people to go beyond their own computer at school or at home
and link into a wider world. We focus on the "online"
world—at this time mostly represented by the Internet
and the World Wide Web—though
other aspects of the superhighway are sometimes discussed.
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
How to Use This Guide
The Guide can be used in two ways:
- You can read it straight through and
find a basic road map to the superhighway, along with road
signs to other helpful information (see the Resources
- You can jump to the area that seems
most useful to you. At the bottom of each file are links
to every section of the Guide.
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.
Wendy Lazarus and Laurie Lipper DIRECTORS
© 1998 The Children's Partnership.
All Rights Reserved.
Click here to view Footnotes.