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The myth of parental controls

David Blaza
1/8/2011 00:53 AM EST

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Brian Fuller2
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re: The myth of parental controls
Brian Fuller2   1/8/2011 1:26:36 AM
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David, I think the larger issue is not the Internet as much as it is "screen time." This is a generation that routinely has three screens going at once and has an tough time transitioning in the moment to human interaction (i.e. "clean up your freaking room!") I manage it manually (sometimes) by pulling the Comcast line. But that works only briefly until the kids jump on to a neighbor's un-protected wifi.

cdhmanning
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cdhmanning   1/10/2011 2:24:46 AM
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Trying to control access from outside is a waste of time. As Scott Adams has said, no technology stands a chance against the hormone fueled inquisitiveness of a 13 year old. Rather you stand a far better chance of protecting the kid from the inside. Explain to them that internet is fansasy land and they should not believe all that they see there. Explain the benefits of education so that they actually want to do their homework for their own benefit, not just as a drag.

ok
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ok   1/10/2011 10:58:10 AM
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make the children talk more with other pepole.I think the game is the critical point .I like the software game ,but I still like the desk game.

Duane Benson
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re: The myth of parental controls
Duane Benson   1/10/2011 4:52:31 PM
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The Internet can be a dangerous place, but so can a host of other things. Very few things that we interact with on a regular basis can not be misused in some way or form and put to negative use. In my opinion, parents need to treat the Internet like any other thing that requires responsibility - a car, for example. If you start the education young and do a reasonably thorough job of that training, than your kids will be much less likely to get into trouble. No one can guarantee safety on the Internet, in a car or anywhere else. But with proper education, you can greatly increase the chance of safety.

selinz
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re: The myth of parental controls
selinz   1/10/2011 7:20:42 PM
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Fortunately, all of my current neighbors have secured their wifi. I use a keyword block on my router that easily blocks lots of stuff. For example xxx will block any internet request with those three letters in a row. my favorite keyword is torrent! (I also have specific sites specified). That has squished most of my kids bandwidth hogging activity. Logging tells me what they're spending their time on. I can also access my router anywhere on the internet so I can remove or modify a keyword from my Android phone browser. The bigger challenge is all of my kids have full browser capable phones. Although I can turn off access on Sprint, the ability to monitor specific things is beyond my patience level. However, I can turn things off and on and this threat (and their uncertainty about how much I know what they are doing) I believe causes some compliance. On the up side, the "family finder" app allows me to know where they are at (and find their phone if they lose it).

old account Frank Eory
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re: The myth of parental controls
old account Frank Eory   1/10/2011 9:07:38 PM
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Not only are parental controls ineffective, but the mere act of attempting to impose those controls might encourage the very behavior that parents are trying to prevent. The forbidden fruit is made all the more appealing by the fact that it is forbidden. This is especially true of teenagers!

Brian Fuller2
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re: The myth of parental controls
Brian Fuller2   1/11/2011 12:55:51 AM
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If your houses are anything like mine, you often see an appalling site: Every one in the room sitting tapping away on their devices as they sit next to each other. These devices are technologically mind-blowing, but what they're doing to our social interaction in real life is starting to play out in disturbing ways. There are no ready answers.

codemgr
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re: The myth of parental controls
codemgr   1/11/2011 2:00:58 PM
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all of these parental controls and other methods of content control only work for those innocently surfing the web. its very simple to create like a linux boot cd and open the system outside of all of these programs.

Brian Fuller2
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re: The myth of parental controls
Brian Fuller2   1/11/2011 5:06:55 PM
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Interesting tangential piece in today's Wall Street Journal regarding "unplugging." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073801833991620.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_lifestyle

dblaza1
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re: The myth of parental controls
dblaza1   1/11/2011 7:01:27 PM
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Some great responses so thank you and codemgr is absolutely correct in that my kid defeated the controls by interupting the boot sequence and made herself an admin to unlock the system (thanks Apple!). Surely there must be a way to lock down a system?

krisi
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re: The myth of parental controls
krisi   1/11/2011 9:09:50 PM
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I think all attempts to solve a social issue (lack of communication between family members etc) through technology are bound to fail...if you limit access to technology inside your house there are always ways to break out that limitation either thru technology as many of you pointed out or thru deception (mom, I need to go to library to study etc)...engage with your kids! Brian: appreciate the link to WSJ article...Kris

Brian Fuller2
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re: The myth of parental controls
Brian Fuller2   1/12/2011 6:33:04 PM
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So David's post and the WSJ article have brought this issue to a head in our family. And the short-term answer is simply a tech lock-down at 9 or 10 p.m. every night. This may mean literally relinquishing laptops to yours truly every evening. We know we get along famously when we're unplugged (camping etc.) but crossing the Rubicon to that promised land (a tangled metaphor, I admit) is easier said that done. Appreciate any insights, folks!

treyfer
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re: The myth of parental controls
treyfer   1/14/2011 9:57:19 PM
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Brian, We think a lot alike, and I appreciate the WSJ link. Over Christmas, I purchased a charging valet for the entry hallway, and we're leaving devices there to charge when we come in, and overnight. But we also bought my oldest an iPod Touch, so the jury's still out - maybe the curfew becomes later, maybe before dinnertime, until the morning. The thought of a teenager taking "FaceTime" to their bedroom opens Pandora's Box (not the music service) to untold temptations. Also, as someone else has said, children learn behavior from their parents...yes, that means me. - Trey

krisi
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re: The myth of parental controls
krisi   1/12/2011 7:41:09 PM
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Brian, good luck, let us know later how the 9 or 10pm non-technology break works out for your family...in my place we have a rule of no technology at meal times and strive for dinner together everyday (obviously that doesn't work all the time)...Kris

rnass
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re: The myth of parental controls
rnass   1/12/2011 11:27:39 PM
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Raise 'em right and trust them. They're going to be looking at stuff you don't want them to see at their friends houses anyway.

agk
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re: The myth of parental controls
agk   1/13/2011 2:06:31 AM
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Children mostly copy their parents in their childhood. So parents need to expose all their good activities to their children by explaining their advantages. Parents spend more time with their children and mould them with good ideas. At some time when the parents feel that their children are into the right understanding slowly introduce by talking the wrong things and their results. This will give them a strong fence.With that with the children parents can be confident to give the freedom to their beautifull kids

Sheetal.Pandey
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re: The myth of parental controls
Sheetal.Pandey   1/13/2011 4:32:49 AM
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so true, you cannot leave everything on technology to take care of the child. parents have to educate their child whats good and whats bad. While internet can be so informative, it can be extremely destructive for child. I am now thinking ways to hide my laptop away. Internet is so addictive.

embedded_guy123
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re: The myth of parental controls
embedded_guy123   1/13/2011 2:10:27 PM
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One simple thing to do is to confine computer use to a "public" area in your house - like the kitchen or living room. Allowing your child to use a computer in total privacy for hours on end is not a good idea. If junior knows mom can see what he is surfing while cooking dinner, he will be less tempted to look at garbage.

Aaron.Netsell
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re: The myth of parental controls
Aaron.Netsell   1/14/2011 10:12:07 PM
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Duhhh...don't give your admin password to your kids. Parental controls plus (and most importantly) common sense parenting have worked fine for us; Limit computer time, maintain exclusive admin rights keep computers in public spaces, and talk to kids about all the crap out there. Show them there is life off-line! Play guitar...

Stephen.Sywak
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re: The myth of parental controls
Stephen.Sywak   1/14/2011 11:17:18 PM
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WHen my son was 14, I had installed NetNanny on our main (household) desktop computer. When he complained that he was getting a "funny screen" when trying to access certain sites, I told him, "That's because you're not supposed to access those sites!" He soon figured out that something (probably DAD) was actively keeping him off those sites. A little while later, he told me "Dad, you might as well take that program off, I found a way to get around it!" And he showed me! I sat down next to him, he fired up IE, and when the warning page came up there was a flurry of keystrokes and...VOILA! He was in! I asked him to show me what I did. He said, "Dad, it's enough that I actually showed you THAT I can do it--I'm NOT showing you HOW!" I did not renew that software.

Brian Fuller2
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re: The myth of parental controls
Brian Fuller2   1/15/2011 12:03:08 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement, folks! This weekend will be easy: Heading to the mountains, off the grid completely, no electricity, no wireless, but a few chainsaws. Trey, I'm interested in hearing your feedback on your charging valet. Those look highly useful!

Joshua.Jones
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re: The myth of parental controls
Joshua.Jones   1/16/2011 1:41:06 AM
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Come on people! The Internet (on which I spend far too much time) is just an enormous garbage dump containing a few items of dubious utility buried in a mass of the boring, inaccurate, lethal, and insane. But it's not in itself physically damaging. Many of the ways in which I and my contemporaries amused ourselves a teenagers (and even younger) in a world without even TV, were potentially life threatening, for ourselves and others, and often illegal. Be very glad that your children are amusing themselves mostly where you have some possibility of control and guidance. If you communicate with them a lot and teach them responsibility at an early age (which means allowing them to make mistakes and learn the right lessons from them without fear of excessive punishment) they will manage their own lives better than you can hope to.

David Ashton
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re: The myth of parental controls
David Ashton   1/17/2011 10:42:43 PM
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There IS a lot of garbage on the internet and I'm glad in many ways that it was not around when I was growing up. But it is good as well in so many ways. Things like being able to get datasheets for just about any device on demand, or find out something about just about anything via google or wikipedia are great. It's like most things in society I guess. Everyone has rights, but no one seems to have any responsibilities any more. Society ought to demand a far higher standard of conduct from its members, for the good of all, and apart from a few basic rights, the rest ought to be earned by fulfilling your responsibilities. When I was a kid (14), life was safe enough that a friend and I could set off on our bicycles to the other end of the country for a week. No mobile phones, no internet, just a call to our folks from a payphone every few days. And that was in Africa... We had such a good time. I don't have kids, but if I did I'd be sad that there were so many perils in the world, real and virtual, compared to when I was young. I really think we have lost something here with all the freedom that we have gained.

krisi
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re: The myth of parental controls
krisi   1/17/2011 10:47:39 PM
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David, I agree, as a society we have lost something tangible by moving to this technology driven virtual world...but we also gained...this would be an interesting topic for a debate among all of us who like it or not create means of that change to go forward even more ;-)...Kris

M_S
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M_S   1/25/2011 2:46:39 PM
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Brian Fuller, you should see your kids sitting on the same sofa texting each other!! We found out later that they didn't want us to hear what they were saying!

ksanger
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ksanger   2/11/2011 8:58:51 PM
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Our solution was much simpler. All computers were in public places, like the family room, or the dinning room. No controls were used. We explained that all information published to the web was public. Numerous times. When we found out about Facebook, we explained that they have no idea who was running it, nor who had access to their posts etc. Its a difficult concept for a child and many adults. I'm certain that my children probably explored sites I would not have approved of. However they did it while at home, and hopefully do not need to do so now as young adults. We had many rules, on not copying music, burning CDs, nor copying games etc. Remember Kaza? Our expectations were pretty high and my kids didn't disapoint me. I figure if they had we would have found out as we would have been infected more often. Kids learn by making mistakes. Hopefully it doesn't kill them or scar them for life. They will learn that there is information out there that they have no need to see. Better to learn at home with Mom and Dad's help.

Sheetal.Pandey
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re: The myth of parental controls
Sheetal.Pandey   2/11/2011 9:53:03 PM
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This is one topic that needs lot of concern and thoughts. When I show some nursery rhymes to my baby on you tube suddenly there is a video that's not meant for her. There is nothing like parental supervision but how long can we supervise them once they are old enough to google they just wont listen to us. There should be some way to protect kids from surfing on internet other than just id and password. The kind os things there are on internet I feel soon governments whould step in and block.

ReneCardenas
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re: The myth of parental controls
ReneCardenas   3/4/2011 3:58:54 PM
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With 3 teenagers in our household, mobile smart phones, wireless router, and other gizmos to keep a multi-tasker generation busy, & away from academic work. It takes family core values to lead by example, instruct how to properly use technology and not allow their time slip away in trivial and non-productive tasks ( facebook updates, tweets, never ending emails... ). We live by the rules: * Work before pleasure (homework and chores first, before plugging online). * Sleep time is a biological necessity that is can not skip (self discipline to at least 6-hour rule). * Do not post anything online that will embarrass your parents, family or self. Kids need to understand the concept of almost-eternal life- span of electronic media (email,pics and video). * Finally, preventing a brush with internet sewage is a near impossible task, as mentioned by previous examples. So instead, I urge our youth to pace themselves, explain in your own terms why those are your not core values and help them avoid the filth. Although I trust our youth, I still do random sweeps to but verify they are in the right path.

Andrew B
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Andrew B   6/3/2011 8:19:47 PM
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Kids usually learn from their parents' behaviour [br] As simple as that.

Salio
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Salio   6/30/2011 3:40:37 AM
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.

Salio
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Salio   6/30/2011 3:48:13 AM
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I agree that yes the kids can bypass the boot sequence by knowing some tricks. However, there are other controls that you can put in place that will help the parents know what the heck their kids are up to. There are many programs out there that parents can buy which will run in the backgroud that will log whatever or whoever is on the computer. This will help one understand what the kids are trying to look at or looking for. Also, by putting the family computer in the main family room helps you keep an eye on what your kid is up to.

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