Parents Are Never Going To Be Able To Monitor All Kids Online Activities

from the but-think-of-the-children! dept

Over the past few years, the "but think of the children!" crowd constantly talks up the importance of having parents monitor their kids' online activities, and often puts out studies like the following one, bemoaning the fact that not enough parents are monitoring their kids enough. Of course, the simple fact is that parents are never going to be able to fully monitor what their kids do online (at least without seriously pissing off their kids). If kids want to chat online, they're going to find a way to be able to do so. Perhaps rather than focusing so much on spying on everything that kids do, the focus should be more on educating them to the dangers that are out there, the laws that they should be aware of and the risks of not obeying them. We have this tendency in our society to overprotect kids, which often has the opposite effect: not preparing them properly to face the real world. Kids who understand the risks tend to make better choices online. As for those who are constantly spied on and overly protective? We'll again quote Richard Posner in one of his legal rulings:
"Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low ... It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware. To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it."
Parents should be aware of what their kids are doing online by talking to them about it, and helping to educate their kids on the risks they face, but that doesn't mean spying on their every move. That will only backfire.


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    Fushta, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Teach the Children Values

    If the parents would teach their children the values that make a responsible young person, then they wouldn't have to monitor every single activity they do...
    ...but that's too hard for some parents to accomplish, so their kids are screwed.

     

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      hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:41am

      Re: Teach the Children Values

      Most definitely. It is hard for many parents because teaching values also means living those values as an example. Don't want your kids to smoke? Then don't smoke. Don't want your kids to party and get drunk? Then don't do it yourself.

      I can say today that I have never once been drunk. Never. Why? Because I never once saw my parents drunk. When peers in high school and college thought alcohol was so fascinating, I just never had the urge to join them. Understand that never seeing my parents drunk does NOT mean I never saw alcohol. We had a well-stocked liquor cabinet. My dad regularly bought beer and wine. They drank it occasionally and allowed us kids to taste it. The message was, alcohol is fine, but use it responsibly. Then, they used it responsibly themselves. Not so hard. But it does require some sacrifice if your lifestyle is not one you desire for your children.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

        " . . . can say today that I have never once been drunk. Never. Why? Because I never once saw my parents drunk. "

        I agree with your overall message, children will emulate what they are shown, not what they are told. However I have to take issue with this statement. I have never seen either of my parents drunk and could count the number of times I have ever seen either of them drink alcohol at all on one hand. Yet I have been "drunk" hundreds of times. I spent most of my time at university drunk even to the point that it eventually caused me problems. I just wanted to point out while smoking and telling your kids not too will almost never work. Not smoking and telling your kids not too, while a much better strategy, is no guarantee of success either.

         

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          Lyrael, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

          I think you missed the rest of his message, he saw his parents drink *responsively*, not only that, but he was allowed to try alcohol as a child. In my experience, it's the kids who were sheltered from it completely when growing up that went overboard with it when they were old enough to get hold of it themselves.

          Personally, I'm with him on the never being drunk issue, for exactly the same reasons. My parents drank responsively and allowed me to taste it when I was young. Heck, my dad used to buy me alcohol when I was a teenager simply because he figured that if he didn't buy me safe alcohol I'd find ways of getting hold of cheap, nasty stuff that would be much worse for me - and judging by what my friends ended up drinking, he was right.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

            he saw his parents drink *responsively*
            My parents drank responsively

            Responsibly! Drinking responsively would be in reaction to something like using incorrect words. Glug...glug...wipes chin. Ahhh!

             

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          hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

          "I just wanted to point out while smoking and telling your kids not too will almost never work. Not smoking and telling your kids not too, while a much better strategy, is no guarantee of success either."

          I did not say it was a guarantee of success. I was responding to Fushta's very good point that many parents do a poor job of teaching actual values. Unfortunately, nothing is a guarantee of success. However, living the values that you want to teach your children is a very good place to start.

           

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      Isaac K (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:47am

      Re: Teach the Children Values

      which is exactly why some people shouldn't reproduce.
      [I'm talking to you, angry dude. jk]

      Anyone here think that parenting lessons should be a requirement in highschool or college curriculae?

       

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        angry dude*, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

        Alright punk, if I hadn't lost my balls in that horrible programming accident, I'd be offended by that, you idiot.

         

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          Isaac K (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

          thanks, angry dude. :)
          I knew I could count on you for some humor today.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

          You're getting better -- you used both punk and idiot this time. Soon we'll have two angry dudes on here.

           

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        hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

        "Anyone here think that parenting lessons should be a requirement in highschool or college curriculae?"

        Hell, no. Parenting lessons in high school are generally gleaned from whatever psychology was popular ten years ago. Parenting lessons come from good parenting itself. It is sad that some never see this, but having our government, lobby groups, and activist teachers decide what to teach as "good parenting" is definitely NOT the answer.

        The problem now is that we have a culture that does not believe in personal responsibility and a media that does everything they can to cut down authority. There was a time (before I was born) that authority was respected. It is possible to disagree, but still respect. i.e. (I disagree with some of Mike's posts, but I respect him as a pioneer in new economics and IP reform.) That is generally gone from the mainstream, and has been replaced with Fox-News-style extremism and scare tactics. When children see the faults of every role model, even the president, displayed and sensationalized, how do we expect them to respect their parents?

         

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          Isaac K (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Teach the Children Values

          Thanks for the response.
          what about communication lessons then? ways of dealing with stress and getting around personal filters to external inputs (to reach not what you HEARD, but what they actually SAID) and using that as a basis to form proper communication.

          I think that, if properly communicated, these issues of educating children can be dealt with and problems prevented with a high level of efficacy.

           

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    hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    The 80s wants their parental psychology back

    Yes, just talk to your kids, treat them like adults. Don't punish them or set ground rules. That might hurt their poor little egos...

    Mike, seriously, that kind of parental psychology went out in the '80s. The thing about kids is that they're *kids*. If simply talking to them and expecting them to deal with it really worked, they would be, by definition, adults. The job of a parent is tech their children HOW to be adults. Part of that is setting rules, and enforcing them. I don't care if monitoring my kids' internet usage pisses them off. My kids will be allowed internet access, and be allowed to make their own choices. But if my son makes the choice to visit a hardcore porn site when he's twelve, guess what? There will be consequences. That is the role of a parent.

    I think you are assuming also that all monitoring parents are scared of everything on the internet. Not so. When they're old enough, my kids will be allowed to chat online. We will discuss the dangers and the ground rules. If they break the ground rules by giving out their address, etc, they lose the privilege. That is not leaving them unprepared for the real world. Rather, it is teaching them that there are consequences to their actions.

    And just so you don't misunderstand me...I am not saying don't talk to your kids. It is essential to talk to them about dangers, rules, reasons for rules, etc. But it is also essential to follow up by reinforcing that talk through monitoring behavior (including online behavior) and providing discipline when necessary.

     

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      Yosi, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:56am

      Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

      You're absolutely right.

      If I would have a magic button "turn port off" - I would definitely use it. And not because of "think of children", but because it makes online experience better. I'm not against port and/or violence stuff, but I'm against bringing it to school library. Everything have it's proper place.

       

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      Mike (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:01am

      Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

      Don't punish them or set ground rules. That might hurt their poor little egos...

      Um. Did I say don't punish them and don't set ground rules? No. That's fine. I said don't spy on them and try to protect them from every little thing.

      So, the rest of your comment is pretty meaningless.


      And just so you don't misunderstand me...I am not saying don't talk to your kids. It is essential to talk to them about dangers, rules, reasons for rules, etc. But it is also essential to follow up by reinforcing that talk through monitoring behavior (including online behavior) and providing discipline when necessary.


      Well, if the lesson you teach your kids is that you'll be spying on them at all times, don't be surprised when they figure out ways to do stuff behind your back.

      Again, I never said don't set ground rules, and never punish them, but don't think you need to spy on them constantly. That doesn't mean not checking up on them or finding out what they're doing, but don't make it so oppressive.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

        Spy? It is spying when an adult secretly obtains information about another adult. With children, it is called "supervision."

         

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          mobiGeek, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:34am

          Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

          No, "supervision" is to WATCH OVER not "microvision" which is to SPY.

          I don't think anyone is saying that children shouldn't be supervised. However, the lesson is that teaching children not to do dangerous things is better than holding them back from everything dangerous.

          The child who falls down, learns not to fall down. The children who are never given the opportunity to fall are the most likely to get seriously hurt.

           

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            hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

            Agreed. It is better to learn than be restricted from all danger. But, I feel that Mike often goes to far to that extreme, advocating treating children like adults, which they are clearly not. I have not posted about it in the past, but for some reason, his article today pushed a hot button.

            I may have misunderstood his stance and over-reacted. I still stand by my original post, except to the degree that it bashes the original article.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

              Well, the fact is that kids will one day BE adults, and there's no magic on their 18th birthday that makes that happen. It's true that kids don't have the experience and judgment that we do, but I think they could benefit greatly by being treated more like adults, rather than dumbing everything down for them and assuming they can't understand this or handle that. A gradual-but-honest introduction to personal responsibility and accountability would be a good thing.

               

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        hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

        If I misunderstood your stance, I apologize. However, I have seen a lot of your posts here that basically say the same thing. That seems to be, just talk to your kids about the dangers online and they should magically be able to deal with them.

        And, kids will ALWAYS try to do things behind their parents' backs. That's normal. However, that does not mean that I won't do what I can to supervise potentially dangerous activities.

         

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          mobiGeek, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:42am

          Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

          just talk to your kids about the dangers online and they should magically be able to deal with them

          That's not my take from the posts here at all. My take away has been that isolating children from all potential dangers only leaves them more vulnerable when they eventually do get beyond adult supervision, which as you point out is going to happen eventually.

          to supervise potentially dangerous activities

          So you do let children get exposed to potentially dangerous activities. That is a Good Thing. Only through supervised exposure can they learn to deal with such situations safely and responsibly. My neighbour insists that his son should NEVER come near a lawn mower. I am quite comfortable working with younger children: pushing the mower with me, letting them pull the rip cord, etc... By the time they are big enough to handle the machine by themselves, they'll have had exposure and experience to respect the machine.

           

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          Deb (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

          Kids are never able to magically deal with anything. I was a kid. I know this.

          The issue as I see it is finding a balance between supervising your child and allowing them the space to become free thinking, responsible young adults.

          I know very few parents that can find a balance. The kids are either covered in bubble wrap before they leave the house or left to their own devices. Neither extreme is healthy and the kids learn nothing.

          Children should be supervised when online. But as the child grows older, the supervision should become less, and the parents should maintain a dialogue about safety, security and the way to handle unwanted attention, cyber bullying and other concerns.

          Of course, that's way too much responsibility for most parents, who would prefer the web be sterilized so their precious little snowflake will neither see or hear anything bad or evil.

           

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            hegemon13, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

            Absolutely. I guess the need for balance is what I wanted to point out, and I felt (perhaps wrongly) that Mike was promoting the "leave them to their own devices" approach with just a little discussion to send them on their way.

             

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        Shawn, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 12:06am

        Re: Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

        mike. are you a parent? Talking to and setting ground rules for your kids is great advice. But your kids will figure out ways to do things behind your back no matter what you do as a parent. If that scared me out of paying attention to what my kids did on the internet then we would have really had problems.

        I have a friend who i warned for years about their kids online activity. His daughter at 15 ran away with a older man she met on the internet, was taken, raped, abused and almost killed. You want to talk about a damaged and a screwed up kid? Even she admits today that she wished her parents knew what she was doing on the internet. Id rather have my kid pissed off at me for watching what they do on the internet then have them dead.

        My kids always knew they were being monitored by some sophisticated monitoring packages installed in the background. Even so, they turned out to be great, respectful young adults, more importantly they are alive.

        Id love to hear the qualifications that make you an expert on this subject. Frankly, id love to know if you have kids, what ages and if you have first hand experience with this. Your advice is probably completely meaningless to any parent who has already, actually been down this road. But, im sure every 25 year old who is opinionated about evil parents who "watch their kids every moves" will be in your corner. Ill take my parenting style over this ignorant advice your giving any day.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:02am

      Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

      So, what problem do you have with what was said above, exactly? Mike's not saying "don't monitor your kids, talk to them". He's saying that far too much emphasis is placed on the monitoring and "protection", and not enabling kids to deal with their own situation. Sure, they're just kids. But, a kid who's been warned of potential dangers and how to deal with them is going to be much safer than a kid who's just spied on by their parents 24/7.

      Also, your suggestions will backfire if you think discipline will work better than education. I know this because I remember being a kid. If your 12 year old son accesses hardcore porn, then gets punished for it then he's going to do one of two things. First, he's going to work out how you're monitoring his online activity and find ways to evade that monitoring. If he doesn't do that, he's going to go somewhere else where he can see it (e.g. the house of a friend with more permissive parents). I know this because as a horror fan growing up in the 80s, I found many ways to access material my father didn't want me to see, and punishment only fed my desire to see forbidden material. The last thing that's going to happen is that the kid becomes less likely to try and access the banned material.

       

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      MadJo (profile), Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:22am

      Re: The 80s wants their parental psychology back

      Nowhere in this piece do I read the advice of "don't punish your kids".
      Just that kids should be taught, how to work with the web responsibly. And teaching kids is part of parenthood.
      And yes, that means punishing bad behaviour and rewarding good behaviour.

       

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    Kevin, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:47am

    Hmmm

    I do a pretty good job at monitoring my roommates online activity...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    I have said it before . . .

    The scared mommy brigade is making a huge misstake when they try to abdicate responsiblity for thier childs basic safety and wellbeing to the rest of society. Pandering politicians aside, the rest of us simply dont care as much about your kid as you do (and no amount of legislation is going to make us). Personally I am not willing to alter my life in any way, I cant even think of a small insignificant way I would be willing to alter my life to make someone elses child "safer".

    I have no real issue with the scared mommies who cover thier children in bubble wrap before they let them out the door. I pity the children and the incredible amount of fear they are imbuned with (I also worry a bit for the future when these "scardy kids" become real members of society - fear based manipulation will be even more effective, but hey I am not gonna get between a child and thier loving parent no matter how much I disagree with the messages being instilled. When I do go crazy though is when those same "scared mommies" want to cover the world in bubble wrap to protect thier kids . . . then thier fucking with my (and everyone elses) view.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Maybe Hegemon13 would benefit from getting drunk once...?

     

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    Overcast, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    I monitor them to a degree.

    They know I have an account to get into their PC's - I actually base a few system services off this account - if they change the password, the system won't start.

    I have 'Omniquad Desktop Surveillance' and they know this and have seen the screen shots I have of them. It basically can capture the screen to disk every so often, does key logging, and all that jazz. My daughter touted an 'edge' with some online activity that was a bit too far. Sure - it was just four letter words, but still... That's too far for me. We told her point blank we didn't want her chatting with two or three different people, after reviewing some chat logs and such I confronted her about it.

    My son's worst annoyance online is Torrent - I'm not a fan of downloading illegal stuff, he kept trying to get away with it, so I blocked the ports - easy, and it doesn't eat up my bandwidth now. You really only need a few ports open, the rest now are blocked inbound and outbound.

    And yes, I've explained to them the dangers of online activity, the ethics with downloading stuff you didn't pay for - but kids being kids, they still will push it sometimes.

    If you think just talking to them works - well, I hope in the cases where parents 'just talk to them', it does.

    However; be careful of that "I've talked to my kids and they are perfect" attitude,; I almost had that at one time too - they are subject to more influences than mom or dad, that's for sure. My parents never, ever smoked pot - I smoked pounds when I was younger :)

     

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    Twinrova, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:00am

    Education can only do so much.

    I think many of you need to remember a child will do whatever they feel they can get away with, educated or not.

    Parents are up against peer pressure, advertising, and many other influences placed upon their children, so education is the best tool they have to "protect" them.

    This, of course, fails when the child takes action regardless of the consequences. In most stories we hear, it's always "after the fact", even while parents make statements "I've taught them the best I could."

    Now we live in a society where it seems both parent and child are too stupid to take care of themselves. Politicians rush to pass laws which are not only unconstitutional, but useless because many don't care to follow them.

    I strongly believe if more action is taken against the children for their actions, these types of stories will begin to propagate and help enforce the education.

    However, this is never the case and we end up with more blogs about how we need to "protect the children".

    Schools across the country changed many policies after the Columbine incident and yet we still read stories of kids planning to kill (or have done so) despite the rules being in place.

    In terms of internet usage, parents are at a disadvantage regardless if it's locking children off the computer or spying.

    Because a child will do whatever they want and the rest of the world deals with the events after the fact.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:40am

    Monitering Doesn't Mean Restricting

    Yes, just talk to your kids, treat them like adults. Don't punish them or set ground rules. That might hurt their poor little egos... Mike, seriously, that kind of parental psychology went out in the '80s.

    I wish that kind of parenting had gone out the window. But it most definitely has not. Instead, it's now holding hands with the 'If I don't want to consistently discipline them, then they must need medication.' school of parenting thought.

    Also, I think the 'Do as I do.' method only works if you're doing the typical 'My opinion is the right answer.' bit that most parents do. Unfortuately, parents make mistakes and kids can be pretty unforgiving. When I was a child, when I asked my mother a question, she didn't tell me what she thought. She taught me how to look at the information and draw my own conclusion.

    Now that I'm an adult, I know how rare and valuable that kind of upbringing was and I'm glad to do the same with my children, the oldest of whom firmly believes in Jesus, Santa, communism, and reincarnation with the idea that everyone can and should share, everyone should get a second chance, and of course Santa is real, mama, he's fun.'

    I believe that you can moniter your kids on-line, without making them all pissy and secretive about thier activities. What that means is that I'm going to stand back and watch them skin their knee, but if they're running into uncoming traffic, I'm there to grab them. Chat with whom you want, if they get nasty then you've learned a lesson. And hell no, you're not going to meet anyone that you met on-line* as long as I'm in charge.

    All that's left after that is to cross your fingers and pray to whatever diety you choose.

    *I do know two couples who met on-line and are now happily married. So I'm not knocking meeting people on the Internet is general. Just my kids doing it before they are adults

     

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    Benjie, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    trusting kids

    I thought the goal of a parent is to get your child(ren) to be self-dependant and ready for the real world once they leave home.

    I also know what ANY relationship requires trust. As your child grows older, you give them more responsibility and trust until the point they leave the house and are fully responsible.

    If at any point this doesn't happen, you're failing as a parent or your child has some learning disability and is incapable of functioning correctly.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Pornography As Side Note

    It seems like one of the things that parents are so afraid of on-line is pornography. Let me tell you... When my sons are at that age, my husband and I plan to buy them each a subscription to Playboy. Why, you ask?

    Because we don't feel that there is anything inherently dirty about being naked, nor is there anything inherently dirty about wanting to look at naked people. Playboy offers a good look at healthy women being sexy, as opposed to the degrading donkey-show bullshit that easily accesible on-line. And if a teenage boy has to choose between looking at naked women in the privacy of his room or clandestinely looking at naked women (or men, I guess) in the family office with the risk of being caught and punished, I think he's going to choose his room.

    I hope so, anyway.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:18am

      Re: Pornography As Side Note

      I'd argue the exact extent to which Playboy's portrayal of women is 'healthy,' but on the rest of your points I generally agree.

       

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        Rose M. Welch, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

        Re: Re: Pornography As Side Note

        Rofl. You're probably correct as it's been some time since I've seen one.

        So let me correct myself. :)

        When my sons are at that age, my husband and I plan to buy them each a subscription to a magazine with healthy naked women being sexy.

        My husband is going to love finding a good one, lol.

         

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      heybawhooba, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Pornography As Side Note

      Buy your son Playboy hmm.. .I pity that poor boy's wife. She will forever be competing against images burned in that kids head of perfect airbrushed women. he will certainly get tired of her, and be disappointed when she starts sagging, or whatever other imperfections will appear.

      The impact of pornography on the male mind and attitude towards sole-partner relationships (whether it be hard core or soft core) is quite well documented.

      Oh wait.. I forgot, I guess fidelity went out in the 80's too.

       

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    Shawn, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Nothing new

    uh maybe its just me, but when I was a kid we didn't have any internet, and our parent STILL weren't able to monitor everything we did.In fact I would say we got up to far more dangerous activities back then, because our butts weren't planted in front of the computer/console for hours. If your kids can't be trusted to use some good judgement on their own, you haven't raised them right. Period. Don't blame the world for your failings.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:50am

    kids aren't adults... or are they?

    many theories state* that by the time a child hits 12-13 years old they have all the capability for abstract thought that adults have. there is nothing but experience that hinders them from acting like an adult in every respect of their life.

    far too many parents don't let them develop that experience and instead continue to treat them like babies for a long time after. this actually stunts their mental growth, keeping them from learning how to act like an adult. this is, in part, why college's are notorious for misbehavior, young adults have finally broken away from their parents and don't have a basis on how to take care of themselves or play responsibly, in these situations the best case scenario is that they end up having a crash course in what is proper and straighten out by the time they are out of college. in other cases, they never really learn.



    * http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/07/jean-piagets-four-stage-theory-how.php

     

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    the federal government, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    all of your children are doomed.

    first i make you feel forced to inject your babies with mercury-containing vaccines, then we make sure that you feel milk from your breasts is not quite enough nourishment, so you'll rely on formula. next up is a fluoridated water supply (like the concentration camps had) that will keep them from ever being completely healthy. once they're old enough, we'll get them on psychotropic medications that haven't been tested for long-term effects -- we're testing them on you and your children. we'll make cell phones cute for them to hold up to their little heads and have the local news go back and forth every week on the cancer subject. scientists say cell phones cause cancer. scientists say cell phones do not cause cancer. pray to jesus that you'll be forgiven for whatever, or else you'll be punished forever by his daddy. now, let's make sure that you don't see any of the strange realities of the world, like scat photos online and bestiality vids, or those wacky 9-11 was an inside job websites. wake up slaves.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 11:08am

      Re: all of your children are doomed.

      Certainly not your point, but... scat? Are you trying to argue that scat has positive value and we're missing out because we're keeping it from our kids?

       

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      exitstageleft, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 1:22pm

      Re: all of your children are doomed.

      uh, wow. it's like you said that all within a single breath.?.? hehe. Relax Thoreau.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    I love when people that don't have kids try to give advise on how to raise kids.

    Yeah, let them learn their lesson, then when your kid ends up abducted, hey, they are learning a great lesson, right?

     

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      Rose M. Welch, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:09pm

      Re:

      You can't actually be abducted over the Internet yet.

      First, you have to ignore everything that everyone tells you and agree to meet someone.

      Then, you to have to find a way to sneak past your parents to meet them.

      Then you get abducted.

      But not because you were on the Internet. You got abducted because you were in the real world.

      You would only do that if you were not properly taught real-world safety skills and if your parents failed to moniter your real-world travel, which is much more important than any Internet equivalent, scat and donkies included.

       

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    Ryan, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    I was one

    Having grown up in the ninties and in high school now, i know exactly what its like to have my parents monitor me. Yet, i was able to look at porn IN MY LIVINGROOM when my family of 3 siblings and both parents were all home. There is no way to monitor your kids, we find a way around it.

    I think the worst thing to do is to say "no computer, no myspace, no facebook, no this, no that". there are so many kids i know that have parents like this, and the kids just do it at a friends house. This sets a standard of disobedience. it eventually evolves into DONT YOU EVER SMOKE POT and then the kid does. My parents never told me outright not to, but i didnt because im smart, they educated me right.

    i think what mike is trying to say is that BECAUSE of the fact that 100% monitoring of children is unfair and impossible, teaching them properly is a better method. When you tell your kid not to have a myspace, you are stealing from them many lessons, from learning that a "free offer" isnt really free, or how to code basic HTML, or how to communicate with people, or be original and being yourself. i learned all of these things from the web, and this wouldnt be possible if my parents hadnt let me have a myspace

    i had a safe myspace anyways, cause they had taught me not to give out personal info online, so i didnt, thats the point.

    instead of telling your kids not to smoke pot, tell them that you had a friend who smoked and now they are useless.

    my mom had a story about her crackhead friend, who my mom had to un-invite from her wedding because of her usage, thats a good story, and it adds to the reasons that i dont do crack.

     

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    GPS Tracking, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    Don't shield kids; just monitor them

    I would agree with Richard Posner to some degree. If you deprive kids from all negative exposure, it can cause rebelion. People want what they can't have.

    This is where monitoring gadgets help parents know where to draw the line without being too overbearing. Don't take away the computer; just monitor and restrict sites as necessary. Don't take away their vehicle; just use gps vehicle tracking devices to monitor and place restrictions as necessary.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 3:21pm

    Well, if by fidelity you mean loyalty, it's still here. But some couples are quite happy being open or polygamous or whatever they call it nowadays. That's got about zip to do with loyalty.

    As for the perfect, airbrushed women, they're everywhere. They're in stores on walls, on billboards, all over the Internet, the television, movies, in music... You name it. There really isn't anything that I can do about that. But I can try to keep them from looking at pornography that degrades women, in hopes that he won't learn to associate degrading a woman with having sex with a woman.

    Also, like most men, my husband looked at pornography and, as a computer tech, still sees alot of it and he's perfectly happy with my body, which sure as hell does not look like it did when I was younger and we didn't have three children. :)

    There will always be men and woman that demand the Hollywood version of perfection, and they will pay for it or be solely disappointed in life and it won't be because of Playboy. Is pornography the perfect solution? No, but as far as parental doozies go, it's a good one.

     

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      hegemon13, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      The problem with this is that you are voluntarily starting your child down a slippery slope at a young age. Pornography can be addicting, and frequently causes the same symptoms as addictive substances. Looking at "soft" stuff is not going prevent him from seeing hard stuff. Rather, the soft stuff is more likely to act as a catalyst to create curiosity about the nastier stuff.

      No, you won't prevent your sons from looking at naked women. All teenage boys will find a way to do it. But, when nakedness itself is a hunt, it is, in itself, exciting. When it comes every month in a paid, parent-approved package, much of that excitement is lost, and he is likely to look to the the stuff you don't want him to see to find it. As for my son, I expect he will watch R-rated movies and look at Playboy behind my back. WHEN, not if, I catch him, we will have the important discussion of why pornography is harmful to women, to society, and most importantly for him, to his future relationships. And, I will take it away. Do I expect a teenage boy not to continue to try to get it? No, of course not. That does not mean I will endorse it.

       

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        Rose M. Welch, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Ahh... You see? Therein lies the difference. I don't feel that pornography inherently harmful to women, society, or people that are mature enough to handle it. And maturity doesn't magically come with a birthday cake.

        And I won't touch the non-chemical addition section of your comment, because then we'd be here all day long, lol.

         

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    Rob, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    I do random check on my kids

    I have a 14 year old, yes she has been made aware of the evils of the internet, and yes we do talk about it. I even showed her how to use one of my 'nix servers at home to port forward stuff from her school so she can go where she wants on the internet no matter where she is.

    But of course, she doesn't get free reign. She plays WoW, I watch over her shoulders once in awhile (and play with the same people), and I do random checks of what is coming in and going out of our house (all the more easier to watch when she tunnels through my servers at home from school or where ever).

    She knows I do checks, and she doesn't mind. She was told at an early age that there are bad people out there, someone can easily come to our house and hurt/kill us if you give out private info, or even take you away from us.

    So is it bad to check up on your kids now and then? I feel it is completely okay, even if they don't know about it. Better to be know what is going on then having your kid be a statistic.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 5:34am

      Re: I do random check on my kids

      I feel it is completely okay, even if they don't know about it.

      Better that they know, though. Why should you have to be dishonest or decietful with your own children?

       

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    Meeka, Sep 14th, 2008 @ 5:21am

    Does it really help us??

    hi...

    i was wondering does all this overprotecting atually go through to their children i mean as far as they're concerned (the children) the parents are punishing them but if parents actually take a moment and try to undersatnd a busy sutdents life then thye should get the fac that sometimes children need to talk ot thier frieds with out seeing them nd actually not face to face.

     

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    Tanya, Apr 5th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    spying at kids online

    I do agree that spying will get kids on the opposite site and they will find other and not so good ways to do what they don't their parents to know. Please check the www.kerverus.com I don't think it's nice to give for free to the parents this software

     

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      Kerverus, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 8:28am

      Re: spying at kids online

      Spying is not attending your kids activity. Imagine that you are resonsible for your kids illegal activity at home via internet internationaly , downloading movies and music , victimised and abused from posr sites and persons ect. Our kids health and security IS NOT an object for trade thats why KERVERUS is free and open to anyone .
      Thats the magic think of internet cyber democracy !!!

       

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