Guiding our children on the use of internet
Many of our children are just stuck at home and are more dependent on the internet. The Internet has become an important part of our children’s life. But the use of the internet is a sensitive issue. Therefore we need to guide our children about the proper and harmless application of the internet. The instructions of Shaykh Ismail Kamdar’s printed in Fitra Journal can be useful in this regard.
Many of us are of the view that homeschooling will protect our children from bad company, but what about the harmful stuff that our child can access on the internet?
Being a Muslim parent, it is very difficult for us to deal with the topic of internet usage. Although, the Internet is full of educational YouTube websites, documentaries, amazing learning websites, Islamic websites, and also a source of communication with friends and family.
But at the same time internet contains cyberbullying, pornographic websites. Also, the extremist websites that persuade Muslim youth towards violence and there are other harmful contents that parents should be worried about. All these damaging sites do exist but we must be very conscious in guiding our children on the internet.
How to deal with this problem?
Knowing about the worse side of the internet many parents are showing great concern. Are we a parent that allows our children to use the internet? At what age do we permit our kids to use the internet? How can we confine their access to inappropriate websites? What are we supposed to do if we caught our child using immoral websites?
I hope you get clear answers to all these questions in this article.
The Islamic Ruling on use of the Internet
As a Muslim, we need to understand the Islamic ruling the usage of the internet. Internet is just like a tool, it can be used in positive as well as in a negative way. It depends on us, if we are using the internet for Halal purposes like spreading knowledge of Islam then it will be counted in ibaadah. Similarly, if we use the internet for Haram purposes then we commit a sin at that moment.
To prevent people from using the internet is against the principles of Fiqa which says “The religion is practical.” And that “The original rule of a thing is permissibility”. So it is concluded that the use of the internet is prohibited only when it is used for Haram purposes otherwise it is permissible.
Here are some steps that will guide your children to use the internet responsibly:
Teach your child to be responsible
As Muslim parents, it is our responsibility to make our children responsible. If you want your child to be responsible, instead of spoiling, hand-over them responsibilities from a young age.
A responsible child is very careful both in-person and online and he will always try to use the internet in the best possible way. Openly discuss the danger of the internet with your children
Parents need to be very close to their children so that they can guide them about the danger of anything in the best way possible. No doubt, the conversation needs to be kept age suitable. But we need to guide our children that how they can avoid harmful things that exist on the internet.
If we inform our children about the harm of the internet they will not fall into any online trap than those who are unaware.
Have clear rules, expectations, policies, and punishment
Parents need to have clear rules with clear communication for their children according to their age. Like the following rules,
- Reduced internet time
- Limited data consumption
- Check on their devices
- Monitoring their activities
Some suggested punishment can include
- Confiscation of device
- Suspension of internet facility
- Confining the internet to study only
Keep the internet devices away from the kids’ bedrooms
Separate devices and the internet for children under the age of twelve are not recommended. They can access the internet through their family computers. This will keep them away from harmful websites. As they grow with such monitoring they will attain the trust of parents being responsible.
Installation of software for blocking immoral websites
It is recommended that the parents should install blockers pornography, immoral ads, and website trackers when they are away. The children will keep in mind that they are being monitored through such blockers.
Teenagers can be trusted to some extent
You need to give some space to your growing children. It would help them not to turn rebellious and children will find them easy to handle. And the children should also know that they are being trusted and they need to fulfill their responsibility.
Handling mistakes and avoiding communication gap
After all, children are human and they are in their learning process. Don’t treat them with emotions rather handle them realistically if they disobey rules.
Our purpose should be to guide them towards the true path, and not to victimize them. Parents need to tell them the significance of Tawbah and istaghfaar so that they know how to return to Allah after mistakes. It is hoped that these recommended points will assist you in helping Halal usage of the internet and it will also help you in keeping a good relationship with your children
(Written by freelancer Sadaf Riaz)