The internet and our kids

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is about my sweet little daughter again (well, usually she, but she has Learning Disability (LD) issues and self-esteem problems because of this, as in, "Mom, I'm DUMB."
    Anyways, is there a way to track the internet? I mean, I KNOW there is, but what? A little girl, friend of P. (the mean girl), stole Nicole's user name and password and started posting on other people's sites and pretending she was her. Yes, she changed her password and I warned her never to give it out again, and, yes, she is limited as to how much time she can use the internet, but I'd like to make sure she's being smart about where she goes. The computer is in the living room so I can pass by and look at what she does. I really worry about the Internet. It's almost impossible to ban Nicole kid from ever using it since all her friends use it. If she goes to their houses, they use it together. And I don't want to make her the odd one who can't ever use it, but it worries me. I hear that kids are starting to use the internet as a bullying weapon, such as started websites about kids they don't like and being very stomach knots when I think about it. Nicole wouldn't do that (at least not at this point in her life), but somebody could do it to her or one of her friends. How can you fight the internet???
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I sometimes feel like the internet is the devil. I know it's certainly had its moments of destruction around our house.

    Aside from removing it, the only other thing you can do is limit time spent on line, install passwords, and monitor what they are doing on there. Some parents install spy programs so they can see where their kids go on line and it's helpful.

    At one point, I changed all of the passwords on our computer and my kids couldn't get on ANYTHING until I provided the password without them seeing. That afforded me the security of knowing that when I wasn't around, they weren't on it. And, I was also able to disconnect them when I felt they'd been on enough. At another point, we lost the internet for 6 months due to some stupid moves which resulted in difficult child being kidnapped and sexually assaulted. The police had our computer during the investigation so that was that.

    You're right to be concerned and if you feel overprotective or that you're being unfair, oh well. Your kid's safety and the safety of your family should always come first - who cares what others think? Just my opinion based on personal horrific experiences. Best of luck.
  3. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    My easy child wanted a myspace account. I let him have one but I have his password and look at it every week. I also check out his friends. I can sort of trust easy child, but would never do this with difficult child. It's also blocked when I am not home.

    We have Macs at home so I can really limit my kids' internet. Instead of blocking unwanted sites, they can only go to sites I pre-approve. So they have to ask me and I put in my password so they can go to the sites. They are frustrated with it because they have to wait until I get home to approve a site, but I am liking it.

    Like you, I know all the other kids have access to the Internet so I am letting mine, but also letting them know there are rules that go along with it.

    When easy child was younger I used to really limit the movies he could watch. He'd come back from friends houses and tell me what movies he watched and I was shocked. I started letting him watch PG and some R movies at home and tried to let him know my opinions on the questionable morals or violence in the movies. To me, the Internet is much the same. They will see it so I'd rather them be exposed to some if it when I am around so I can hopefully guide them towards responsible use.
  4. lynnp

    lynnp New Member

    There was a decent article in the March 2007 issue of Good Housekeeping that listed the different computer-monitoring software. Has anyone used any of these? (eblaster, easy child Tattletale)
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I don't think we are in an age where you can keep your kids from the internet. Same thing with video games, R rated movies and anything else.

    But, I do think we can teach our children how to be safe, and be very aware of what they are doing on the net.

    MWM, you know my son, B, has a MySpace account. I have his log in stuff, all his password info, and know every person in his friends list. I, like you, keep the thing in the living room, and he's only allowed on it once a day, for 20 minutes, and that's IT.

    You know, if you look in my friends, there's a girl there, Marisa. She is B's 16 year old cousin. Check out her profile and her photos. It's really scary. And you know, her mom, never checks her stuff. No clue what she's doing online. THAT is the danger.

    Watch, watch, watch, and ask a ton of questions. Always.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    My kids are not allowed on the internet. Not at home (where the computer is in my bedroom) nor at school. If they didn't need the Special Education services of the public school, they'd be at a more conservative religious school where they don't have internet access for the kids.

    It is very rare that my children are allowed at someone's house, so I don't have that large worry about them getting on the internet elsewhere.

    As long as you can keep your children in your sight, you can eliminate internet access. Now as my oldest approaches high school, I know that she will need more freedom and may find her way onto the internet but I will prevent that as long as possible.
  7. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    There is an internet safety guide for parents and a separate one for teens. Its filled with great tips and also has suggestions for safety software and links to other websites.

    Definitely be vigilant with kids and the internet. Through my work, I have had the opportunity to attend many informative (and detailed) seminars with US DIstrict Attorneys and Det James McClaughlin of the Keene, NH PD (who is an expert at catching predators online). THeir true life stories and the advice they offer are scary but true. Det. McClaughlin told us that in the last 6 months he has coordinated the arrest of 40 offenders using MySPace and Hi5. He said that due to the internet, offenders have access to children that they would have never had access before. He shared with us the comments an offender made when Det McClaughlin asked him to comment on Myspace and sites like that (the offender was in custody and had been using MySPace). He said that he never had to lie about his age (25) to the children he met. He made sure that he went out of his way to make them feel safe and in the beginning only talked about and did what they felt comfortable doing (this is called grooming). He said the beggest deterrent was an active parent. He said the chances of being caught were too much. He said that there was plenty of kids without active parents out there for him. He suggest the parent to ask a lot of questions of their kids. KNow their Myspace accounts and check often. He said check the computer internet history often as well. He also made a good point (yes, even offenders can offer good advice!) Don't be afraid to ask them about their calls and interent use. It may cause an argument, but it may save them from being taken advantage of.

    Sorry this was so long!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'm pretty strict about checking her account (MySpace). It's on "private" and I have to know all the kids on it. My daughter is a social butterfly. It would be really mean of me not to let her visit her friends due to her personality so she DOES have access to the internet away from home. Guess it's time for another talk about internet safety (I feel like I'm giving her a lecture every>
  9. Janna

    Janna New Member

    That's your job is to give her a lecture every week. Don't feel bad or guilty about that. I stay alllllllllllllll over B's rear end, all the time. I made it perfectly clear to him that YES, I care who he talks to, when. Where he's at. Who he's hanging with. What he's doing, when, where and how often. He can't just go visit friends until I talk to parents. No riding in vehicles with kids I don't know. And NO having friends on MySpace I don't know.

    How are they supposed to know we love them if you don't harp on them?

    Don't beat yourself on this one. You keep on her. She's social. You don't need some nutcase stalking or spying on her online because you weren't badgering her.
  10. WNC Gal

    WNC Gal New Member

    We used our router to block access to MySpace and also to enforce a rating limit to PG (not quite sure if it actually works or not). My kids love Rhapsody music service, and I was thrilled to see that I could password protect the explicit songs so they can still enjoy all of the clean versions (although I admit the kids MUST know what is being skipped over or dubbed over).

    Then, when our daughter began having serious issues and a lot of them seemed to stem from her interactions with dysfunctional friends, we decided to monitor her internet activity with a keystroke logger from SpectorSoft. It may seem invasive, but if a child is not disclosing potentially life threatening issues (suicide) - it seems more important to know what is going on with her - if we had only checked her computer on the morning she tried to overdose, we might have known she was sending out "farewell" notes to her friends. Luckily she survived the attempt! We also discovered that she was tending to "research" various symptoms that she was trying on for size. For example, she was a healthy and athletic child, but began researching "how to" sites on anorexia and started to emulate the behaviors.....