As parents, we always strive to protect our children as best as possible; including, but not limited to their protection from the craziness of the internet. Nowadays our technology is part of our everyday lives and the majority of us have access to at least one medium of technology that allows for our connection to the internet. Our children are now growing up in our more technologically advanced world and can easily maneuver a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop or computer from a very early age, whether it is to use a kid friendly app or to watch or read something on the internet.
With my now almost 4 year old, I often find myself constantly checking in on her while she is using her tablet to watch kid-friendly YouTube channels, because it is very easy to end up on a different channel that is absolutely not kid-friendly. I recently came across this post which talked about a new kid-friendly search engine called Kiddle which filters searches to only show kid-friendly results. Even though my daughter is still not reading or searching for anything on the internet, when I heard about this new kid-friendly search engine I thought, “wow, a fabulous idea” for when she does start using the internet for her own searching
Although, I think this is a great idea for kids between the ages of 7-14 who are constantly on the computer, who read and write and can maneuver their way around the internet, this might only work if parents can really restrict access to other search engines and still monitor their kid’s searching habits. I don’t really believe there is any true way to restrict our kids from searching the internet, however, this idea is fantastic, as I strongly believe kids need to be kids first and foremost and our internet certainly exposes kids to all sorts of negative things at an earlier age than necessary. I figured that once she starts using the internet to search I can take away access to the other search engines and download Kiddle for her to use. And even though there’s only so much I can control and keep away from her, I think any little bit helps to keep her mind as innocent as possible for as long as possible. After a certain age I don’t think there is much you can do as far as restriction on their searching, but I think that if this search engine can really develop this idea and do more than what it claims it can do now, it can give some parents some peace of mind, at least for a little while. However, at the end of the day, our parenting skills is what is most important and what takes precedence over any negative exposures to our children. If we are always doing our best as parents and teaching them as best as possible, right and wrong, good and bad and just being a good human being overall, they will be able to make good decisions in their lives regardless of what they see.
But if you would like to know more about this new search engine you can check it out here or check out this other article which goes into more details about the pros and cons of it. It definitely gives you a better breakdown of what to expect. If you are a parent of a child who is beginning to use the internet on their own, maybe you can check out this new search engine and see how it works for you and your kid(s). I would love to hear about your experience.