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View Full Version : Needed: Parents of pre-teens, tweens and teens



eliza1903
05-03-2007, 08:16 AM
Hey, everybody!

I'm coming out of the woodwork to ask parents of adolescents and pre-adolescents a couple of questions pertaining an upcoming cover story in Pittsburgh Parent magazine --

The article will be about "cyber snooping", and all feedback will be appreciated! Parents and educators have created technology-savvy kids

QUESTIONS (answer as many as apply to you)

1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops?
2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet?
3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software?
4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how?

If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful. Thanks, all!

-Eliza

Anya Smith
05-03-2007, 09:05 AM
1, I'm not monitoring my 18 year old, but she's pretty responsible for her age.

I did ask Ariana once not to use her real name and the city where we live on livejournal. She did change her account.

I'm Sophy, live in S. FL and just have one teenager.

Calla Lily
05-03-2007, 04:31 PM
1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops?

Yes. My niece (HS, several years ago) got into an abusive relationship. Her parents monitored everything, confronted her, took steps to keep the abuser away. The niece ran away (to a friend's house) for a few days; friend and friend's parents talked to her; she came home. Now she's fine. Shudder to think what would've happened if her parents hadn't snooped.

We believe it's our job to protect them from the sick perverts out there. If that entails some loss of privacy while they're minors in our house, them's the breaks. There are too many horrible things they can get sucked into, so we believe it's more than a fair trade.

2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet?

Keep PC in an open area. Monitor where they're surfing. We forbid all chat rooms except their AIM buddy lists. No MySpace.

3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software?

My DH has the PC set up so that we can back-end check where they've surfed and what they've done. We haven't used it yet--they haven't exhibited any of the warning signs. We watch for those.

4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how?

See above. I also pop into the office (where the PC is) with just a quick knock. The only time my oldest has cleared the screen is when he's IMing his latest heartthrob. <g> He's too busy to blog (2 bands, soccer, coaching kids' soccer). My youngest is still into Nickelodeon games etc.

If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful. Thanks, all!

Alice
Buffalo, NY
2 boys, 15 and 11

johnnysannie
05-03-2007, 05:45 PM
I'm the parent of two 'tweens and one kid so here goes...

QUESTIONS (answer as many as apply to you)


1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops? Yes, unfortunately I think that we do - there is just too much available with the click of the mouse that my kids (eleven year old twins) should not be exposed to yet if ever
2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet? Much the same way as we protect them from the ugly side of life, by being involved in what they're doing, by keeping open communication, by monitoring what they're into both on and off the Web
3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software?No
4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how? As of yet, I don't let the girls use IM or have a blog or my space. I set up their e-mail accounts and on occasion, I used the password to snoop, to be sure that they're not communicating with anyone that they shoulodn't be. After they use the computer, I also often check the history to see what sites they have visited.

If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful. Thanks, all!

Lee Ann, Neosho, MO, three kids, ages 11 (twins) and a 6 yera old.

Marlys
05-03-2007, 06:00 PM
QUESTIONS (answer as many as apply to you)

1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops? They need to keep an eye on what their kids are up to, if that's what you mean. Lots of predators out there.

2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet? My kid uses a computer in the living room so we can see what's on the screen. We also talk about some of the dangers, and how to deflect predators.

3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software? No.

4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how? So far, my kid is allowed to read discussion boards, but not participate. Anything that requires registration has to be approved by us (such as game sites). As the years pass, we'll up the level of responsibility as we feel appropriate.

If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful.
Marlys, Indianapolis, IN, 1 kid, age 11.

Jongfan
05-03-2007, 06:08 PM
QUESTIONS (answer as many as apply to you)

1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops? Yes
2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet? Monitor their use, know what sites they visit, explain the dangers of giving out personal information. Set limits.

3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software? NO

4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how?
Yes, daily, I check the history of sites visited. I have access to her IM, Email and Myspace. She knows I check. When I check for junk on her email, I never read her personal mail from her friends. I try to respect her privacy as much as possible. She is only allowed to accept known friends on her myspace. I have told her if I see her chatting with unknowns, her myspace will be shutdown.


If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful. Thanks, all!

-Eliza[/quote]

Paula, Boston , Ma one child age 14

eliza1903
05-04-2007, 12:19 AM
Great, everyone -- I really appreciate your input -- keep the responses coming!

-Eliza

jmpdk3
05-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Hi. Just thought I'd add my two cents.

1. Do parents need to be cyber snoops?
Yes and no. Depends on how the kids were raised and their individual personalities. I've always been straight with my 3 girls. Never sugar coated anything. They understand there are preditors/rapist/murders out there and they know what can happen to them if they aren't careful or just happen to be in the wrong place/wrong time. But still, I check on them from time to time by asking tough questions and snooping when they leave their My Space or IM pages open. I want my girls to have their space and freedom w/o dorkie mom constantly looking over their shoulder but not at the risk of allowing harm to come to them. Sometimes I'll question things they wrote or looked up on the net via the history, which aren't bad things, but I do it just so they know I care and that the eyes in the back of my head are working. Sometimes it surprises them and the shock in their eyes...those are fun times.

2. How do we protect kids from the ugly side of the Internet?
Honestly, I don't know if a parent should protect their kids from EVERYTHING. Kids need to be informed. Information makes you stronger and wiser. If kids know some of the truth of what's out there, age appropriate of couse, they'll have a better idea what they are up against and have a more realistic view instead of believing that everyone is good and trusting. But to answer your question, I set my internet safety feature to 'not allow' on language, sexual content, and violence when my girls were younger (on our computer, a password is needed to change it) but I stopped doing that when they became teenagers. Besides sex, I believe my girls are exposed to equally more 'bad' at school and on tv. If you monitor one source, you should be monitoring all.

3. Have you ever hired a Web spy, or purchased monitoring software?
No way. But I can totally understand why some parents would need or want to do that. Not only is it scary out there but some kids are the untrustworthy type and some are just guillable no matter what a parent does. I was seriously gullible as a kid. I feel it's the parents' job to know what type of kid(s) they have and act accordingly. No kid is alike. What works for one, may not for another.

4. Do you keep an eye on your children's Internet use (especially their personal accounts, such as email, IMs, blogs and MySpace)? If so, how?
Like I said above, when they leave certain pages open, which is just often enough to know what they are up to, I sneek a peek. I mostly talk to them about what's going on in my life and their lives so they don't feel like they have to hide completely from me. I'm not obtuse about what they do or write on their My pages, IM, etc. I do realize they have secrets, as all kids do, but since I know my girls, I know they aren't bad secrets. When their secrets come out, as most eventually do, I talk openly with my girls about it, no matter what the subject. Because of that, they talk to me about a lot of different, sometimes very private, issues. So I guess my method, whatever it is, is working. (knock on wood)

If you could leave your first name, city, state, number of kids and their ages in your reply, it'll be helpful.
Jane; St. Louis, MO; 3 girls; 18, 15, 13 (but really close to 14).