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Tweens (kids ages 8 to12) begin exploring more on their own. They need to feel "independent," but not alone. It's important to be with them — or at least nearby — when they're online. Consider keeping the computer in an area where the child has access to you or another adult.

If children aren't already using the internet for their schoolwork, this is when they're likely to start. It's also when they can discover resources for hobbies and other interests.

Many tweens are adept at finding information online, but they still need adult guidance to help them understand which sources are trustworthy.

Think about limits.

As you consider what your tweens see and do on the internet, think about how much time they spend online. Consider setting limits on how often they can be online and how long those sessions should be.

Consider parental controls.

For younger tweens, parental controls — including filtering or monitoring tools — can be effective. However, many middle school kids have the technical know-how to get around them.

This article is part of a series: Talk to Your Kids
This series is available as a PDF: