Do you have email addresses for your kids?
I do. My kids will be 7 and 3 this year and they both have email accounts. Many people think that it’s unsafe and too early for this age, but I don’t. In fact, I think that getting your kids an email address that is unique and professional is a great idea. Here’s why I think you should create an email account for your kids…
1. They will have their own personal and professional email address ready
There are millions of people online, with multiple email accounts. As teens flourish into adults, it is important for people to have a professional digital footprint for college applications, summer jobs and other things to be taken seriously. This way, you can reserve your child’s name or a variation of the sort for future use. I chose Gmail, my husband and I are the only ones with the password to each of their accounts. My 7 year old is required to ask us to log on and we monitor his use.
2. You can use their email account as a time capsule
I send my kids little love notes, photos and such. When they are old enough to take over their email accounts, they’ll have a whole bunch of fun messages to go through over the early years of their lives.
3. They can communicate with friends and family
My husband is from Northern California, so we have plenty of family members up that way. We also have friends nationwide, so it’s great that my kids can send messages to their cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles who they rarely get to see. Sorta like having pen pals in the digital age!
4. They will learn about technology and internet safety with parental guidance
The rise of technology is going to continue, we’re in a digital age people! Our kids will inevitably use the internet, email, social media and other online activities, so why not teach them the right way to do it? An email address monitored by a parent can introduce children to the internet in a positive, controlled way.
5. At an appropriate age, they will learn responsibility
Once your kids are ready to maintain their own email accounts, they will have to be responsible with how they use them. Online etiquette is the same as in person etiquette, so if they have been taught along the way, they should be able to handle it. Parents should assess their children to determine the right time to give their kids access to their email accounts.
It is important to keep your kids safe online, so here are a few rules for parents…
- Supervise your kids while online at all times. When they would like to use their email, they should go directly to you. Sign on for them and monitor their activity, and be sure to sign out when finished.
- DO NOT give your child the password to their email accounts until they are old enough to understand the ins and outs of the internet and how to be safe online. They should be fully aware of the potential dangers of giving out their email address to people, signing up for social networking accounts, giving out personal info online, potential predators, clicking ads and spam links, etc.
- Make sure your kids know right from wrong. Online etiquette is pretty much the same as it is offline, the ability to know right from wrong must be taught by parents and understood by their children. Only YOU will know when your child is ready.
- You can use free services, including Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, or opt to use one that is specifically for kids: Zilladog.com or Kid-Surf.com.
Do you think kids should have email accounts?