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Kids, Computers and Privacy: What do you think?

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 54 Replies
2 moms liked this

In this digital age of parenting, the days of the little locked book under the mattress have by way of the scrunchie and Wham!. My kiddo doesn't use the computer yet, so the latest Mad Life video is a tough one for me, as it brings up the anxiety I already feel about all of the hurdles and issues I'll be facing in a short few years. 

I hear about kids on computers, and I think of the Dateline NBC "To Catch a Predator" series. I see teens on Facebook, and I think of my nieces and nephews posting pictures and statuses that make me wonder what their parents' are thinking as they spot them. I read stories about online bullying, and I ponder how I will handle it if my child is ever bullied via a text message. I know these are my parental worries...not necessarily what my kiddo will do or think of or have to face. But, to be brutally honest, it freaks me out.

Relationship ninja Ian brings up a good point: we need to give our kids space, yet be aware that are developing at one speed emotionally and at another speed cognitively. As I‘m a firm believer of GI Joe's mantra "Knowing is half the battle," I've read a lot of great hints about walking that tricky tightrope of computer privacy and kids. Yes, all of them were found (where else?) on the computer, natch.

-- Have the computer in a central, common space, especially when your kids are first learning about the internet and becoming comfortable with it. You can monitor their use by just being in the same room.

-- Have ground rules and go over them often. You know her passwords and reserve the right for "surprise checks" on the computer to see what she's been doing, but you don't read the texts on her phone or listen in on conversations.

-- Just like you have a smoke detector in your house and talk about fire satey, install safety software so your kids can't access certain sites and remind her to never give out personal information and other critical safety elements of computer use.

-- Keep that line of communication going. Talking about her life, knowing who her friends are, who she is texting and on Facebook with is essential in building trust and strengthening your relationship...so you don't have to "snoop."

By the way, there is a new, raw and interesting documentary that touches on elements of this whole online world subject we are discussing. It's called Sexy Baby, and it's about how our kids are navigating this cyber world, the images they see on it, and how our kids struggle defining their own online image on it as well. 

How do you handle privacy and your kids and the computer? Do you have rules about it? Share your experiences with us! 

©iStockphoto.com/ DNY59 

by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lillucky8
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 8:13 AM
My kids dont use the conputer yet
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gmadiane
by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM

my kids are grown so they were older when they started using the computer and you did not hear about all the crazy predator things back then but I still monitored what they did

inmybizz
by Bronze Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I have an 8 yr old. We monitor her time on the computer and what she is able to access. She does her homework assignments and then she off..I still prefer her to be outside or doing other creative things than be hypnotized by the computer.

lalasmama2007
by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

My dd is 5, so she is monitored when she's on the computer.

natesmom1228
by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM

My son is rarely on the computer. I always know where is in and what sites he goes to. He normally will ask me before he gets on it anyways.

Sisteract
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Computer was always in the family room- which was the in the center of our house. We did not have problems with the computer.

4kidz916
by Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM
1 mom liked this

I do have rules about what they can and can't do.  I also keep a close eye on what they're doing and we talk about the dangers of chatting with strangers and posting inappropriate photos. 

GwenMB
by Bronze Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

My boys aren't using the computer yet.  My 5.5 yo doesn't even ask, not sure how normal that is.  He doesn't like computer time at school, though.  He does like to play solitare on the computer with Daddy, though. lol

Whenever they do start using the computer, we will have the guidelines listed above.  At first, I'd probably tell him where he can go on the internet (likely sticking to sites like pbskids).

jessicasmom1
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I have a rule that I know all password protected sites .. and tell DD there are strangers to be aware of who you are talking to on social sites if you don't physically know this person nor should you be relying to talk with them.

TheBabyFactory4
by Silver Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM
My kids have a computer but their profiles have controls on them. I have all passwords to any accounts they may have. And I can see anything they are doing
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