Welcome to the Information
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
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
- Introduce parents to a new and changing media;
- Help parents use commonsense parenting along with
simple, practical tips about the new technology; and
- 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 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.
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
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" worldat this time mostly
represented by the Internet and the World Wide Webthough
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 these media.
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
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.