Ubuntu-One Cloud Storage, Sync files between your comuters Back-up & Share files. Sign Up!
As a teenager, although (mercifully) close to exiting that phase, I disagree.
The internet is a fantastic way of maturing in an environment that doesn't blame or leave permament problems. Restricting access to a computer just creates an urge to 'find out' what exists in the shadier areas of the internet that you wouldn't visit under the watchful eye of a parent. If you've got access to it, you won't feel compelled in the same way.
Things I would suggest instead.
1. Instruct them in the risks of real names and locations. Ideally, impress upon them the importance of going under an alias until they are old enough to make decisions about which parts of themselves they show online.
2. Make them aware of the laws regarding the internet. Discussion of the sentences involved (and how disappointed in them you'd be?) is the best way of discouraging dubiously legal activities.
3. Restricting time spent on a computer is a sure-fire way to make them annoyed about their lack of freedom, having just discovered a world on the internet. However, encouraging them to do something constructive at least part of the time is a good thing as it leads to more positive things for them to do on a computer.
Also, bear in mind how IT is growing. Do you really wish to have them naive about the internet in today's world? In tomorrow's world it might be the difference between a job and the employment office (not saying it will be, but it's looking more and more likely).
Just a couple of thoughts that you might like to consider before imposing a restrictive regime.
+1 for instruction.
To me, block lists have never been appropriate. First thing, they are never accurate. There are always sites that should be on it that aren't and sites that aren't on it that should be. Second thing, after a point your kid will either figure out one of the many ways around them, or they'll go to someone else's house and use THAT internet.
My suggestion of a transparent proxy or a monitor port was not to limit anything at all, it was so you can see what your kid is getting into so you can talk to them about it. It's also about as high tech as most people will want to get for a home installation.
Once your kid gets over about 14 years or so, telling them what they have to do or limiting their access no longer works. They'll just be that much more determined to do it their way.
IMO the best way to rein in your kids' behavior is to find out what they're doing and then show them the real-life risks inherent in that behavior.
Actually though it might be a good place to mention a trick one of the IT guys I know did.
He was the network admin at work with 100+ people in the office, so he had hardware and a real firewall, and most importantly a real DHCP server and a real DNS server.
So what he did is change facebook.com to point to an internal office page, and linked the IP address to the specific box, and from there to the username. The page showed 4 pieces of information:
- How many times today you tried facebook.
- How many times this week you tried facebook.
- How many times this month you tried facebook.
What's funny is that the totals kept climbing. When I saw it, it had been several months since he put it in, and his 'admin page' showed some users who evidently kept trying it dozens of times a day, all month, evidently thinking that if they kept trying it might break through somehow. One guy had over 800 hits that month.
I have no idea if the personnel managers knew about the page, although to me it seems unlikely that someone from management wouldn't be on the list. Misha said he hadn't heard a peep out of management, but that he had been told to block facebook.
I prefer internet education, and limiting access, before monitoring them. Monitoring your children makes them objects, and is reactive in many ways. I prefer a proactive attitude. the internet is part of our life, like television. but the challenge is to educate and care. Young children playing games with no time limit is imho a shame. Education is a "discours" between parents and children.
- time limits
Last edited by Soul-Sing; October 1st, 2012 at 06:29 PM.
I seriously do not want to start butting heads here, but I strongly but respectfully disagree about limiting access.
If you're talking about a young child then maybe your position has some merit. If a 6-year-old hits a porn site then it's an accident, and probably the result of him/her finding the history from some other family member.
My approach is about as proactive as it gets. Limiting access through your network only teaches the kid that they can't do whatever they're trying from home, they have to find someplace else. Someplace you can't control. They will. Preventing access can only work if you control every access point they can possibly reach, and be 100% certain of the controls being complete and legitimate. This is right up there with using television or a video game as a babysitter in my opinion. You can't be a parent by proxy and expect good results. Especially if the proxy is a device.
Do you want to know who your children spend their time with? Do you insist on knowing their friends? Do you ask them where they're going before they leave, and what they'll be doing, and who they'll be doing it with? Do you ask your kids about drugs? A passive monitor is exactly the same thing. Let them know you're doing it and that you care.
Frankly I've been using a passive monitor for years, even though I'm the only one who should have been using my it for most of those years. If nothing else, it helps me figure out if my network security is adequate. I've been unpleasantly surprised.
I'm in no way saying you should keep the existence of monitoring a secret, or that you should stalk them on facebook. I'm saying you should get an idea what your kids are doing, which you have both a right and a responsibility(both legal and moral) to do. I'm saying you should monitor what your network is used for, which is your right and your legal responsibility. I'm saying you should watch what your kids do so you have some hope of influencing their decisions in a constructive way.
I've seen a lot of conservative, ultra-moral friends raise their kids with the iron fist you mention, denying kids the privilege of choosing their activities altogether because they might make the wrong decisions or be exposed to some immoral predator. They're told the answers to life's Big Mysteries based on their parents' experience, believing they know what they need by the time they become adults. Most of those kids that I personally knew wound up going crazy when they went to college or moved out into the Big Bad World. Drugs, STDs, unwed pregnancy and the whole bit. They had all sorts of theoretical advice but no experience making small mistakes when the parents were watching.
I'm not talking about overall statistics here, I'm thinking of a few families I personally know. Parents can't anticipate everything their kids are exposed to, they can only see where their kids are going and help guide their decisions so that future decisions are not destructive. Especially once they become teenagers.
.I've seen a lot of conservative, ultra-moral friends raise their kids with the iron fist you mention, denying kids the privilege of choosing their activities altogether because they might make the wrong decisions or be exposed to some immoral predator
really? iron fist? denying kids the privilege of choosing their activities?
the outcome with my adult children?
- they are critical/assertive users of the world wide web
- they are using Linux
- they limit their internet time. because their busy with other things.
- their non conformists avant la lettre
don't put me and them in the corner of conservatism, please.
Dude, I'm sorry for calling you a conservative!
Seriously, I wasn't thinking you were, but the several families I referred to definitely were conservative.
And I'm also not saying unrestricted access, kids should get outside and find some real-world activity to take the majority of their time.
What I'm saying should be unrestricted is the places they go on the net, at least after they're teenagers. You should be able to see what interests them. You should know what to talk about when that uncomfortable talk session comes up.
FWIW I remember several of those uncomfortable talks as a kid, made more uncomfortable because my parents weren't even on the same planet I was on. The one about drugs was particularly painful because I had already been exposed to that by my peers and already made the decision that I didn't want anything to do with them, and my dad went on and on about it as though I were hiding something.
I really don't see the problem with leaving the Internet as is and just keeping the computer in the open.
A 14 year old does not need to be alone in his room looking at naughty sites, your brain is a computer and you need to watch how you program it.
If he has something better to do with the Internet maybe he will have a better time staying off those sites.
Ubuntu-One Cloud Storage, Sync files between your comuters Back-up & Share files. Sign Up!