Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Are You As Tech-Savvy as Your Child?

There was a recent comment made on my post called It's Never Been Easier To Spy On Your Children, wherein a parent asked if there were any websites or forums that might help her to parent and protect her tech-savvy teen without taking away his administration privileges.

Admittedly, I am not an expert on this subject. I know a little bit about internet filtering, and have recently learned about accountability software, which, although it is intended for self-use by adults, may be an interesting approach to teaching older children about disciplining themselves to visit appropriate online content.

I don't know enough to address the subtleties of this particular issue, since it may (or may not!) include brand new restrictions on a child who is used to none, or have something to do with a child who is hiding things from his parents, so here is the point wherein I pass along another blog.
Teens Today with Vanessa Van Petten has a great post/advice column that addresses reviews of specific parental control software. It includes links.

I do not know of any specific forums that address this issue, although I think they would be interesting. Readers, if you know of any, please comment!

I believe that any parent's best bet is to get educated. Learn just a little bit more than your child, and try to keep the balance that way for a long, long time.


Mark Sicignano said...

Hi Suzy, thanks for your recent comments on my blog and I am glad to learn of your blog as well.

There is internet filtering software, and the personal responsiblity software you that you also mentioned.

I'm part of a team that's created a product called ComputerTime, which gives parents a flexible and easy-to-use way of simply managing the families time on the computer.

I think filtering software is helpful, but not effective enough from what I've seen. I like the concept with CovenantEyes which you linked. It takes more of a behavioral modification approach were the users will self-limit where they go on the Internet.

ComputerTime works well as far as limiting time and restoring peace by making it clear to people that use the computer how much time they have when they log on... and gives warnings as their time is running out. We think it encourages responsibility. If you have homework to do on the computer, you better get it done before you play, because you'll run out of minutes otherwise! Parents report that it's virtually eliminated all of the negotiation for more time and fighting over when it's time to get off the computer. Anyway, I wanted to point out that other type of parental control software that you didn't mention. :-)

Miss Suzy said...

Neat. Thank you for passing this along. This seems to be a hot topic and I hope to do more posts on this in the next two weeks! Let's talk....

Miss Suzy said...

Oh. I think I need this software, by the way. I have a little "eBay issue" that I don't like to talk about.

GregH said...

To control my kids on-line activity, I use a simple computer timer called Ez Internet Timer. I’d rather give my kids a total time limit (daily duration) and let the kids have the freedom to choose when to use it. I can easily add/remove time on any particular day with just a couple clicks.