So what is the overall impact of the Internet on child development? The answer seems to be a mixed response of positive and negative, at least for the time being. There is clearly much opportunity for potential positive impact on the cognitive and social development of children. However, with the harmful elements and risks lurking in the shadows of the Internet, the risk of negative impact on child development due to Internet exposure is very real, if not potentially dangerous in extreme cases.
Perhaps the solution lies in parents’ supervision and guidance of their children’s Internet usage. The exploration opportunities can open many doors to positive child development, so long as Mom or Dad (or at least an adult caretaker) is available to monitor the exploration and answer questions about or explain any harmful material encountered. This interaction is especially important for very young children (ages 0-12). Equally important is ensuring that a healthy balance between Internet usage and physical interactions and activities is maintained, lest a physical or psychological disorder occur due to overuse of the Internet. To sum this paragraph up: parental involvement in a child’s life has been, and will continue to be, the most profound influence on a child and his/her development. Even with the amazing technology available to children today as a result of the Internet, remember: it still takes someone to teach them how to use that technology.
We hope that you have found our web site useful and interesting. A bibliography and additional resources on the topic of child development and the Internet are available for your perusal by clicking the ‘Resources’ link on the sidebar menu. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments – your feedback is appreciated very much!