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Household Technology Rules for Kids? 136

An anonymous reader asks: "My wife and I are in the process of adopting kids- We're hoping to adopt older boys (8 and up) from within the US. We've gone through the state mandated courses, but those courses don't really cover how to limit the kids with respect to technology (the Internet, TV content filtering, cell phones, MP3 players, etc). The latest strong potential son is a 14 year old child that is computer aware. I do not want to completely shelter the child, but I do want to establish boundaries- for example, I'm not going to install filtering software on his computer, but the computer will be in a public place in the house." How would you control a child's exposure to new technologies, especially when a few of those technologies are bundled with inherent dangers in addition to their great advantages (like the Internet)?
"I want to give him the freedom to learn and be creative, but also try to avoid the nastiness on the net (like the RIAA). I want him to have the freedom not just to play on the computer, but to truly use it. From everything I've been told about the kids in the foster system, they do best with a structured environment- something predictable and stable, so I think a set of rules for him to start with would be good. I'm asking for some ideas for appropriate rules/boundaries for kids, including things to watch for, and appropriate punishments (something akin to 'you broke the server, so you'll have to rebuild it, with dad's help')."
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Household Technology Rules for Kids?

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  • by jascat ( 602034 ) on Friday September 15, 2006 @08:09PM (#16117963)
    I was exposed to porn off and on from about 6 on up. I had to overcome issues with women and the degrading light that some of those images portrayed combined with my naive mind. Being raised by a single parent father without much of a female influence may have had some to do with this, but I did have issues in my view of women when it came to sex later on in my late teens and early twenties. I think there has been plenty of developmental psychological studies that will back me up on that as well, although, I'm sure those are all up for debate.
  • by Robot Randy ( 982296 ) on Friday September 15, 2006 @08:09PM (#16117966)
    Actually, I have no problem with putting a PC in the kids room.

    I password protected the startup so they couldn't get past BIOS, put a security screw in the case so they couldn't get the side open, and pull the ethernet cable from the switch as I only get that PC on the web when I download patches and updates.

    I let them surf on the "common" computer.
  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Friday September 15, 2006 @08:30PM (#16118039) Homepage Journal
    he calls it "bad guys"

    (he'll ask, "can I bad guys")

    I know I'll burn in bad parent hell, but he can type iddqd and idkfa by rote, and has a jolly good time.
    he launches it, randomly selects a level, and starts it from the windows wrapper..

    his favorite really is the chainsaw, he laughs and laughs..

    I don't intend to set limits, but his only computer where he plays is two feet to the right of my main computer & rig

    I watch what he does, and he watches what I do- and he hates to play deathmatch mode with me.... he dies a lot...

    he can finish the first three levels all on his own..

    the little bugger is three... so- my tolerance is probabbly too high, and not at all helpful...

  • My approach (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Friday September 15, 2006 @10:08PM (#16118446) Homepage Journal
    My girlfriend has a 13 year old daughter. We debated endlessly about whether or not to allow her to have internet access in her bedroom. In the end what we decided to do was to let her with the admonition that as the network admin, I have the ability and the right to watch and dissect any traffic going across my network. We showed her that I can do it at my leisure. We also told her that we'd respect her privacy unless she gave us a reason not to.

    What this comes down to is randomly sniffing traffic to see what websites she's visiting and who she's IMing with. As long as nothing appears to be out of sorts, we don't look any deeper into it. Using WireShark, and originally Ethereal, I can see who she's talking to without taking the extra step of seeing what's being said. Kids from school? No problem. Some unfamiliar name? We ask her about it and if we're satisfied with her answer the issue ends there. If we think something is up, we'll read the traffic.

    I realize that for some parents it's impossible but we are geeks, there's no reason to let your children's mastery of technology surpass yours.


"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"