Thanks to a few comments on some recent posts, I am becoming increasingly intrigued by the different types of parental control software that is out there.
One kind is straight filtering software, that I discussed by proxy via my last post called Are You as Tech-Savvy As Your Child?
Another is called accountability software, which sends a record of every website you visit to an accountability partner, which I also mentioned and linked to in my last post. This is a great behavior modification tool if you are trying to conquer a pornography problem, but doesn't have as strong an application for children as filtering software or computer time management software.
This is interesting, because it is a software version of my whole Life Time Management Method, which includes a kitchen timer with a loud "ding!" This software claims to prevent Internet access when you are not home, solve IM addiction, resolve computer sharing angst among siblings, eliminate bedtime arguments, and avoid childhood obesity, and frankly, I believe it. As a people,we don't self-limit very well, and discipline isn't genetically passed, it is learned, so this makes sense. I think it is a great idea and would be interested in trying it out.
And FYI, in case you do not have any kind of budget for purchasing software, here is a free way I found to set up a safe email for your child. This claims to ensure that your child will never receive a Viagra add. I'm all for that.
I would say that computer time management software and an an internet filter, as well as teaching and demonstrating safe and unobsessive computer use would, together, be an excellent recipe for healthy family internet use, but of course, nothing beats high-quality/high-quantity parenting.
Log those hours with your children!