When my children were young, we did not restrict their Internet access. We talked about the dangers openly, asked them what they knew about the dangers from their readings, and asked them what rules they followed. We agreed on the rules.
- Do not give out your name or address
- Do not agree to meet anyone
When they were in elementary school, the computers were in a public area of the house.
That was just about it.
I am not saying that was wise, it is just our style. Having a frank talk about the dangers allowed them to set their own limits. I knew they were going to visit porn sites and other sites, but I was much happier that they did it without having to try and hide it.
When my son was a Freshman in high school, he told me if I ever wanted to go to a porn site, he had account and password hacks.
When I set up computers for parents now, I am often instructed to put on the parental controls. I of course do it, and I always think back about how it was when my children were small.
I do not have any regrets. I still think we were right. But it is definitely worse now on the Internet, so I do wonder if I would put on parental controls now. Probably not.