Parental Controls – who’s teaching them

I came across Blogging4Class’s post on the Congressional Hearing.  I see all their points and they make a valid case.

However, I must stress that one point is much easier said than done.

Blogging4Class says:

Parents need to monitor their kids Internet activity, end of story. Too much trouble — too bad, you have to do what you have to do. You wouldn’t let your kid run around at night in a section of town known for drugs and pedophiles, why in heavens name would you let them run around on the internet by themselves? It’s the same thing. People have to realize that the virtual world does cross into reality right through their living rooms…. One of the other blogs mentioned that some parents are clueless when it comes to the computer let alone to know enough to install blockers and filters, I find that very disturbing that kids are more computer literate than their parents. 

Here is what I have to say about that:

  1. I am 35
  2. I am a mother
  3. I have a 14 year old son and an 11 year old daughter.
  4. I am technological (can figure out how to connect and set up the VCR, DVD, cable box, video recorder, etc) – my husband on the other hand is not.
  5. I am protective (overprotective if you ask my children)
  6. I graduated High School in 1988 – with only having one computer class – BASIC. (and it was a joke – oh and half a year!)
  7. Attended UB for 3.5 years and took 2 computer programming classes – and let me stress this – they were NOT like the computer classes you take or computers as you know it.
  8. I got pregnant with my son during my senior fall semester at UB and decided to go home for his birth – missing my final semester.
  9. This is the first class I took since taking my leave! Nearly 14 years – because I decided it would be best to be a stay at home mother to my children.  I decided I wanted to be there for them. I wanted to go back to college when my daughter started school full time but medical reasons detained that plan until now.
  10. My families first computer was 4 years ago – I am typing on said computer! :-O!
  11. My son at the age of 9 taught ME.  I quickly grasped the concept and started learning on my own.
  12. NO ONE TOLD ME WHEN I PURCHASED MY COMPUTER ABOUT ANY FILTERING SOFTWARE – I REPEAT NO ONE So how am I supposed to know one existed or how to go about installing one. How was I supposed to know this trash was out there for all to see.  Not until my computer “acted up” and I didn’t speak to my husband for 3 weeks when all these wonderful pop-ups attacked my screen did I realize that this happens and it was a virus or whatever.  (He admitted to looking up lingerie for a Christmas gift for me and he found other interesting sites too and ever since then we had our little problem with the computer.)

It wasn’t until taking my computer in and having it serviced did I find out about how to protect myself from this intrusion.  My computer is in a local area – no privacy for the user. As a parent, I do what I can to protect my children. I am not saying ignorance is acceptable, but something has to be taught to make my generation aware of what is happening.  YES CHILDREN KNOW MORE THAN THEIR PARENTS – WE ARE NOT PROUD NOR HAPPY ABOUT THAT. But your generation is at a much better position, because you are growing up with the internet, you know what is out there.  In the beginning, we just innocently thought “wow what a great tool the kids can use for their homework!”  We saw it as a step above the word processor which was a step above the typewriter! You, on the other hand know more and are at an advantage to better protect your children when the time comes for you to start your family.  I say that is wonderful.  But in the meantime we have all these children in between that need to be protected and all the parents that need to be educated as well.

I hope I explained in a decent way the frustration we feel as parents these days.  Yes, there are some that couldn’t care less, but there is a vast majority of us that want to know how to protect our kids but just don’t know where to get the answers.  Parents want the burden to protect their children – they will do whatever it takes, but they need the tools and if tax dollars are needed to give them the tools, I think it is money well spent. (especially for those that are not technologically savvy. I happen to be lucky and learned how to protect my children from on-line predators and such, not all parents are like that, but that is not due to neglectful parenting.)

PS – Just because I know what I am doing and what is out there, it does not give my children 100% protection, which is the scary part: things beyond my control harming my children.

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6 Responses to “Parental Controls – who’s teaching them”

  1. Way 2 Much » I forgot to mention another important point! Says:

    […] In a previous post, I responded to Blogging4Class's post on the Congressional Hearings. I tried to describe the frustrations a parent in today's society is feeling.  I am not sure if I was successful. […]

  2. blogging4class Says:

    Way….relax. i didn’t mean to criticize. i’m such a slacker and a villain…bad me just getting back to this.

    it just scares me when parents feel that little box in the corner is harmless and don’t apply the same vigiliance as they would if their child was outside in unfamiliar territory.

    the best way to learn is by doing and having your kids show you, that works too b/c it’s second nature to them. just get on and start looking for stuff and playing, as long as there’s nothing on your computer that is irreplaceable and you’ve got the important stuff saved outside and you have the software to reinstall, who cares if you have to wipe it and start over. just get in there and play around, don’t let it intimidate you!

    have you taken mgs 351? that is a good course, it takes you through the hardware, software, history of internet and gives you lots of reputable web sites, they also teach you excel and access and i think designing & publishing web pages, can’t remember.

    how much longer do you have to go? were you able to keep all your previous credits? that’s awesome that you’re finishing, good role model for the kids.

    by way, i’m 40, with two boys, 20 and 13…ya’ young whippersnapper 🙂

    good luck to you!

  3. Liz Blake Says:

    Hi, I read alot about ways to protect kids from the Internet, but is there anything out there to protect your computer from your kids? We have one computer and I’m afraid to leave my kids on it alone.

    Thanks,
    Liz

  4. way2much Says:

    Liz,
    I am not sure what you are asking. But I do have a problem with my children going to gaming sites and downloading things onto my computer.
    They have gotten better but, sometimes they may hit a site that attaches some sort of spyware or adware.
    My son used to go on the computer and like Blogging said had fun with it. He was 2! And my mother-in-law would try to get out of him how he changed something. He eventually would go back to the computer and repeat his actions. He taught us alot!

    You didn’t mention the age of your children either – that may help tailor an answer to better suit your question.

  5. Liz Blake Says:

    Hi Way2much,

    I found something that does exactly what I was hoping for… maybe you might be interested too.

    It’s called Peanut Butter PC and boots up into a child-safe environment that the kids can’t leave.

    You can find it at http://www.PeanutButterSoftware.com

    Pretty cool what you can find on the Internet.

  6. Spyware Remover Says:

    The peanut butter software is interesting. Didn’t know it existed. We use http://www.emailspy.com for our 12 and 14 year olds. It seems to work and we let them know it was installed.


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