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Q. This isn't really a drug question but maybe you can help. We are getting a computer before school starts for our 11-year old son. He wants it in his room. I'm afraid he'll spend all his time in his room and never socialize with the family. I want it in the family room. What do you think? 

A. The computer is a great idea and will help your son with his homework and familiarize him with the Internet and its wide range of information. But….you are right to want it in a common area for several reasons. 

First, you don't want him to spend all his time holed up by himself. Perhaps more important, you don't want him surfing the Internet without some supervision. There's great stuff on the Internet and there's garbage. You'll need to establish rules about how much time and when he can use the computer (when you're around); you'll need to establish expectations about types of sites that are not acceptable (pornography, violence, pro-drug). Then get someone to show you how to check the sites visited so you can do that from time to time.

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy