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Old 01-05-2012, 09:17 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,968,624 times
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We live in a digital world now, and I think kids have to be taught how to live in it. Like any other situation, they need appropriate boundaries, but I do see computer literacy as being an absolutely necessary skill in this day and age. There are more and more school districts who give their students laptops and iPads to work on, and require students to do research online. Computers can also be a source of entertainment and leisure, but just like anything else. parents have to be there to monitor what and how much.

The problems start to surface when you have parents who allow free, unrestricted access, or who don't step up and unplug the computer when a problem arises. Parents should have all passwords and logins, knowledge and access to every site that their kid visits, and enough common sense to know when to step in.

A while ago, I read this article Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire | Culture News | Rolling Stone. This is a prime example of the dumbest, most permissive parents I ever heard of. The article is kind of long, but to sum it up, this 13 year old girl was given permission to create a MySpace account, post suggestive pictures and videos (WITH the parents knowledge and consent) and even when she was relentlessly stalked, threatened, harassed, even sexually assaulted (by an 18 year old she met online who her stupid parents allowed to stay at their home) her mother and father NEVER insisted she remove her profile or get offline. What was their response? They bought her an iPhone! I was amazed at the weak permissiveness and downright stupidity of these people. Their child is getting death threats, and they did nothing to take her out of harms way. Then if she had finally killed herself, unable to handle the harassment, the parents would have been blaming everyone but themselves.

Bottom line, the internet is no different than anything else. You don't let your kids leave the house and go wherever they please with whomever, not know where they are, or hang out in dangerous situations. You monitor all that in real life, you monitor it on the internet, and you step up and say NO MORE when a situation warrants that.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,796,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Eyes View Post
I do - with friends and my own family. And they are really people who you would swear would know better. Kids could not be on facebook harassing each other if anyone was actually supervising them. Parents just think their kids know better - THEY DON'T.
I should have been more specific, I was really referring to the elementary school crowd as referenced by the OP. Once they get a bit older, monitoring online does become much tougher.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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You can't even work at McDonald's these days without using a computer. Computers are an important facet in education today. Our kids' school has online access for pretty much everything now. Most of their homework is done and/or submitted online, textbooks are online, class notes, worksheets, etc. are all online. Our kids would not be able to do their homework if we didn't have a computer (well they could hang out at the many computer labs at the school and do their work).

As for Facebook and cell phones, all of the activities they are in communicate through Facebook or Texting-practice changes and other information is all done through Facebook or texting. If you don't have these, you will be left out because you are out of the loop. My kids are now in high school but even in Middle school this was the case.

If you don't want your kids to have access to technology, fine, great, but MOST kids do and MOST kids have ZERO issues with this. Of course, like anything else, you hear of the rare case of someone having problems and all of the sudden that means EVERYONE does. We have 3 teenagers that have had Facebook and/or cell phone access for 5+ years and NO ISSUES at all. The only kids I have heard of that have issues are snotty in real life too and cause the same issues on Facebook as they do in school, on sports teams, etc. It's no different.

Why are parents so reluctant to accept change should be the REAL question here.

Oh, and I added it up once--I timed my DD on several texts messages read and sent and took how many text messages she sends each month on average (right on your cell phone bill). She spends about 15 minutes/day texting. I KNOW I spent a LOT more time than that on the telephone as a teenager. She averages over 10,000 texts/month so she is a high volume texter but most of the text messages she sends take about 4 seconds.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:39 AM
 
15,299 posts, read 16,849,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaNomus View Post

The problems start to surface when you have parents who allow free, unrestricted access, or who don't step up and unplug the computer when a problem arises. Parents should have all passwords and logins, knowledge and access to every site that their kid visits, and enough common sense to know when to step in.
While I agree with this sentiment, good luck with it. Once children are older and have a real sense of computers, they often can hide things even if you have a keylogger. Kids are a lot more savvy about computers than their parents.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:51 AM
 
1,759 posts, read 1,697,443 times
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I think many of you are missing the point.

I didn't say anything was horrible about the Internet, I didn't say my kids will not have a knowledge of technology.
As for Facebook and cellphones being used for meetups and such, that can surely be accomplished by other means. It was for many many years before the Internet, no?

There is an excellent book called Boys Adrift, by Dr. Leonard Sax, specifically for parents of boys
but very interesting for any parent, teacher, etc.
Among many other points, it mentions the skills kids are losing by too much computer time and not enough hands-on time.
(Yes, I know that there are people who know how to use technology in moderation!)
When children unplug, their brains and bodies and so on operate so much differently,
and these things are being lost, often unnecessarily and often too early.

One of the examples in the book mentions how surgeons are increasingly trained via computer
and how it is so harmful when they finally get down to [necessary] hands-on work.

It also talks about boys having a need for physical contact, such as the rough-and-tumble of a football game. So many physical games are replaced by "activities" on a screen. It's detrimental to development, attention span, and so on.

It really is a wonderful book and speaks to many of the points I bring up here.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:59 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,393,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alltheusernamesaretaken View Post
I think many of you are missing the point.

I didn't say anything was horrible about the Internet, I didn't say my kids will not have a knowledge of technology.
As for Facebook and cellphones being used for meetups and such, that can surely be accomplished by other means. It was for many many years before the Internet, no?

There is an excellent book called Boys Adrift, by Dr. Leonard Sax, specifically for parents of boys
but very interesting for any parent, teacher, etc.
Among many other points, it mentions the skills kids are losing by too much computer time and not enough hands-on time.
(Yes, I know that there are people who know how to use technology in moderation!)
When children unplug, their brains and bodies and so on operate so much differently,
and these things are being lost, often unnecessarily and often too early.

One of the examples in the book mentions how surgeons are increasingly trained via computer
and how it is so harmful when they finally get down to [necessary] hands-on work.

It also talks about boys having a need for physical contact, such as the rough-and-tumble of a football game. So many physical games are replaced by "activities" on a screen. It's detrimental to development, attention span, and so on.

It really is a wonderful book and speaks to many of the points I bring up here.
I think you are the one missing the point, just because YOU didn't use the internet to connect with people doesn't mean that your way is the right way. It IS how kids connect these days whether it's to schedule an event or get help with homework. It doesn't prevent kids from being outside and playing either. Like I said, most kids are NOT on the internet or texting for hours and hours and hours at a time. Our kids usually use Facebook as a wind down time before bed, after a busy day of school, various sports/band practices, etc. I just don't see that the internet has replaced physical activity for most kids. Sure, kids prone to not being involved with physical activities are on the net for hours, that has replaced watching TV however, not playing football. Also, I will say that parent's unfounded fear of something happening to their child (molested, abducted, etc.) is MUCH more of a reason for kids not to play outside than the internet.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Back in MADISON Wi thank God!
1,047 posts, read 3,239,170 times
Reputation: 1382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alltheusernamesaretaken View Post
I think many of you are missing the point.

I didn't say anything was horrible about the Internet, I didn't say my kids will not have a knowledge of technology.
As for Facebook and cellphones being used for meetups and such, that can surely be accomplished by other means. It was for many many years before the Internet, no?

There is an excellent book called Boys Adrift, by Dr. Leonard Sax, specifically for parents of boys
but very interesting for any parent, teacher, etc.
Among many other points, it mentions the skills kids are losing by too much computer time and not enough hands-on time.
(Yes, I know that there are people who know how to use technology in moderation!)
When children unplug, their brains and bodies and so on operate so much differently,
and these things are being lost, often unnecessarily and often too early.

One of the examples in the book mentions how surgeons are increasingly trained via computer
and how it is so harmful when they finally get down to [necessary] hands-on work.

It also talks about boys having a need for physical contact, such as the rough-and-tumble of a football game. So many physical games are replaced by "activities" on a screen. It's detrimental to development, attention span, and so on.

It really is a wonderful book and speaks to many of the points I bring up here.
As someone else asked, I'm curious how old your children are?
Also, as just about everyone mentioned, supervision is key, in addition to time restraints. I doubt that any of us just allow our kids to be on the computer or xbox 24/7. There is a time and place for some relaxation and enjoyment. I enjoy doing that, why wouldn't my kids? It comes AFTER school work, sports practice,[ which for the older kids can be 5 days a week, in addition to weekend games or meets]. Once all reading requirements, chores, schoolwork, practices are done, can't a kid have some computer enjoyment?
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:42 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,968,624 times
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
While I agree with this sentiment, good luck with it. Once children are older and have a real sense of computers, they often can hide things even if you have a keylogger. Kids are a lot more savvy about computers than their parents.
I agree, which is why I think it's important for parents to stay one step ahead. We may not be naturally inclined with computers as our kids are, but what's to stop us from learning?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,900,442 times
Reputation: 1896
Our children do not have their own email accts ( they are young though, 9 & 6). They do however use the computer to play games, there are some great educational sites that their teachers have recommended to them as well as other video games.
We have an iPad and there are also some great Apps for the kids, some are geared toward education and others just for fun....

I think refusing things that are "in" such as the DS systems, wii games, computers,etc.. For your kids is just ridiculous and again as in another thread started yesterday, parents are just trying to prove a point or something, that they aren't going to give in to the latest "trends". This being slightly different in the fact that this is technology and our kids will continue to use it and will NEED these skills to go out in the world.

All in moderation and as the parent, we have the capability to control the amount of time spent using the computer or video games,etc...
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:25 AM
 
1,759 posts, read 1,697,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
It IS how kids connect these days whether it's to schedule an event or get help with homework.

My kids use the phone if they have to ask their friends about an event/homework.
Again, kids managed to do this just fine before there was texting and so on.

It doesn't prevent kids from being outside and playing either. Like I said, most kids are NOT on the internet or texting for hours and hours and hours at a time.

The fact that you posted this here goes back to another post I made somewhere (?) on this forum, that those of us who post here tend not to be Those Parents.

Also, I will say that parent's unfounded fear of something happening to their child (molested, abducted, etc.) is MUCH more of a reason for kids not to play outside than the internet.

Unfounded fear being the key word! While I feel I had more freedom than my kids may have, we don't keep them cooped up out of fear (not saying you or any other posters here do) but you're right, plenty of parents do.
Because the question was asked, my kids are older-elementary age.
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