Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
The Internet Education

Rules for Teenage Internet Access? 2067

Kent Brewster writes "Despite dire warnings, we've gone ahead and put computers with Internet access into our adolescent (11, 12, and 15-year-old) childrens' rooms. We've got a nebulous set of rules, which include several like these: Keep the door open when you're on the computer. Don't quickly exit from everything when we walk past. Don't ever lie to us about what you're doing. Unfortunately we've had instances where all of these rules - especially that last one - have been broken, so now we are looking at getting more specific. We'd be very interested in hearing from both sides of the fence: parents with Net-connected progeny, and those who are chafing under their rule. Parents, once you're past making the huge mistake of actually letting the kids have computers in their rooms, what's a reasonable set of guidlines? Non-parents, what are the rules that chap your hide the worst? Do they actually make a difference in your behavior, or do you just sneak past them anyway? Finally, and this is sort of a meta-question from an exasperated dad, does everybody lie about what they're doing on the Internet?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rules for Teenage Internet Access?

Comments Filter:
  • Internet access (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Treacle Treatment ( 681828 ) on Saturday November 15, 2003 @11:19PM (#7484307)
    As yourself this. Would you feel uncomfortable letting your children walk around anywhere they wanted to go unattended any time of the day or night? Turning down that dark alley is just one click away on the internet. Personally I have Norton at least *try* and keep some of the crap out.
  • Re:lying (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shazow ( 263582 ) <> on Saturday November 15, 2003 @11:27PM (#7484374) Homepage
    No, what are you talking about?! I'm not reading slashdot, I'm doing my homework, I swear!!

    - shazow
  • Re:Trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2003 @11:41PM (#7484493)
    I am thirteen years old and have been allowed to have my own computer since I was eleven. My parents figured that I was a fairly clever kid who would have figured out a way of doing the wrong thing if i so pleased. I do not look at innapropriate websites--namely pornography, as a christian it goes against everything I believe in. Additionally, my parents are more likely to figure out what I am doing when I am on a computer, at their house. I agree that, in the end, it is simply a matter of trust. Plus, having a laptop hooked up with wifi rocks!
  • Re:Punishment (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2003 @11:46PM (#7484533)
    "The one time my dad tried something on me (yanked the Cat 5e out of the keystone), I decided to have some fun and SSH'ed into his box from school, null routing his SMTP server. Not being to send email for 6 hours was a big enough deal that he has never disconnected me again."

    You had a wimp of a dad.....mess with me in an attempt to evade rules *I* get to set, and you'd lose all computer access - PC, Nintendo/PS/Xbox, cellphone, all of it. What? You need the Internet to finish a school project? Gee, I guess you'll need to hoof it to the library and use it there....

  • by BrianH ( 13460 ) on Saturday November 15, 2003 @11:52PM (#7484590)
    Or do what I do and just TELL them that you're logging their traffic. Knowing that anything they say online can be used against them by dad does wonders to keep them honest.

    And don't give me lip about not trusting my kids...I trust my kids with my life. It's the million other perverts who would lure them to the local Motel 6 that I don't trust. Children, even teenagers, need guidance and need their parents to keep an eye on them and prevent them from getting into potentially dangerous situations. In my case, I do that by occassionally snooping on their communications. Considering that I've already caught my nine year old daughter posing as a 13 year old, AND caught a local high school kid propositioning her, you'll have a heck of a time convincing me that monitoring is a BAD thing.
  • by LegendNH ( 65593 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:11AM (#7484736)
    When I was about 13 years old, my dad got internet access for us because I was about to enter high school and he felt it was very important for us to learn how to use the internet and how to use it to our advantage. *At this time I wanted to be a doctor*

    Well little did I know (he is a project manager/systems analyst / programmer) there was a way in which you could see what others were doing via Internet Explorer's history and temporary internet files. Well he caught me once and warned me, and then he caught me twice and restricted my internet access. I didn't know it was restricted until I went looking for pictures of *ahem* where it gave me a message that this site was blocked.

    I was very upset at this and I called my dad and told him that I couldn't do research for school because it blocked every site. Well time went on and nothing changed so I decided to learn about Windows 95, how I could bypass these filters and how I could take control of the computer. A few months went on and I learned how to backup data across multiple floppy disks, how to reinstall Windows 95 using DOS commands, several floppy disks, and the Windows CD and most importantly how to load SCSI drivers since we had an awesome 4x cdrom. So one day after school I ran home and flushed the system (I learned about fdisk doing searches). I fdisked, formatted, reinstalled windows, get everything up to look like it was before the clean install and when I installed AOL was home free.

    By this time I was so interested in computers that I locked myself in my room and read everything I could about hacking and cracking, I came across the warez scene and saw it as the most vital part of my computing experience. Next came IRC which took some time to learn all the commands but after that it was smooth sailing from then on it.
    Fast forward to 2003

    I am now a junior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, majoring in IT and doing a concentration in network security. For some time now I have been the go-to-guy for everyone's computer needs.

    Moral of the story you ask? Don't piss these kids off because one day you may need their help and their services.

    and yes, I still lock myself in my room and go on the computer ;)

    a little off topic, but I wanted to share it with everyone
  • by Dorothy 86 ( 677356 ) * on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:14AM (#7484758) Homepage
    What you have is a lot like the way it is in my house. As a 17 year old, I basically have the cable line to my self, aside from the random E-mail check by my parents. There are no filtering or spy software that are run on any of the machines in the house. If I see something disturbing (i.e. goatse, or tubgirl etc) which, I have seen from /. trolls. I find it amazing how some parents set up stupid restrictions, only to have their kids circumvent them later. It only breeds mistrust, and a sense of entrapment. Granted, my parents don't want me to look at porn and the like, but hey, im a 17 year old male. It happens... I'm sure they know I do it, they arent stupid by all means! But, if i want to fess up, then they know I will. It is all a matter of respect. If we (as teenages) can't learn to respect those in a position of authority over us, then how are we to cope when the PHB's of tomorrow tell us we can't do something? Net-monitoring is a serious breach in respect for your children. Recpect that no parent can afford to loose.
  • As the old saying goes: Spare the Rod, Spoil the child.

    The old and much misinterpreted saying.

    The rod spoken of is a shepards' crook ("thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me"), not a stick for beating children. Guidance, not violence, is what is being prescribed.

  • by jonathanduty ( 541508 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:33AM (#7484888) Homepage
    Street smarts has nothing to do with it. My wife is a social worker who deals with children sex abuse crimes. Internet chat rooms can be a very easy way for an offender to find a victim without the victim even knowing what is happening. And just thinking your kids are too smart to fall for that is stupid. These people are preditors and very good otherwise they would be in jail by now.

    I know it sounds like I'm over reacting but you should hear about the monsters my wife has to deal with.

    My advice, loose the computer in the rooms thing. Put all of the computers out in the open and only let your kids chat online when you are home. Otherwise, you never know who that name is on the otherside of the program asking them if they would like to get together sometime or where they live.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:34AM (#7484897)
    By foisting this expectation onto your kid that he has to be a saint, you are forcing him to lie to you. Nobody is a saint.

    Yes I AM saying that only kids who are either fools or saints will be able to resist pornography when it is freely available. I'm confident your kid us neither of these.

    If a kid has access to the net, they positively have access to the entire range of adult subjects. You've already provided access to these things, so you can't effectively take it away. He'll find access somewhere else. So then. If your kid is old enough to know how to use the net, you might as well start treating him like an adult.

    If you haven't already prepared him morally to handle mature subjects like sex, porn, drugs, hacking, politics, torture, genocide, bestiality and explosives, well I'd say you have already missed your chance as a parent. He's been taking charge of his own education now, so all you can do is provide support.

    (Clue: Authoritarianism is NOT going to work much for you anymore. It's far too late for that.)

    Instead, YOU should be asking HIM what is going on with the internet these days, and what kind of unbelievable stuff he's encountered lately. Treat him consistently with adult respect, give him some time and he'll catch on and start responding as an adult.

    Give him the same privacy you'd expect as an adult. Help him discover the internet, the world and himself. Get to know your kid's online persona. What is he like online? If you can share some cool things online together, maybe he'll be less likely to get into trouble.
  • Kids Online (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:35AM (#7484903)
    I think that below the age of 13 kids should be monitored. The suggestion of having the computer in the familly room is a good one. Kids just aren't ready to deal with the nasty side of the internet before then.

    When they hit 13 they start to get curious about sex. Before you let them have unfettered access to the internet I suggest you let them read a few good books on the subject. Kids are mostly courious. If you don't give them good sources of information they will be forced to find their own. You do NOT want that to happen.

    I also suggest you teach them about online security, and privacy. Spam, viruses, worms, perverts, etc
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:35AM (#7484908)
    I'm 17. Here's what I would do. I mean, I used to have a porn problem, and it ended up making me just feel guilty all the time. I wished that I had never started.
    That said, here were some things, from my point of view, that would have prevented me.
    Keep the door open, and face the computer to the door. Thats good. Don't put a lock on the door, make sure they keep it open. Initiate corrections for door closure.
    Network your house and install a VNC server [] on their computers. Tell them you can see their screen, and demonstrate it for them. If you want to get better, get one that they use at schools that are harder to remove. LANSchool comes to mind.
    Install driftnet [] on a computer you own, set it up so it saves and records all images passing through the network. You can set the limit of downloaded images to be pretty small, but its the fear factor we're after. Explain to them you see, and record all graphics that get transfered over the net.
    If you have a firewall, log dns requests, explain that to them too.
    With the exception of the VNC server, this setup lets them have total administrative control of their computer. They can install windows, linux, or use a mac, and you still know what domain names or pictures they access, which is enough. If they know you can, then they won't do things they're not supposed too.

    Thats my $0.02
  • Re:Trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by etymxris ( 121288 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:40AM (#7484943)
    Of course, if being honor students, gifted muscicians, eagle scouts, and a 4 of the damn nicest people I've ever had the joy of knowing is "messed up" I'm also damn glad I don't take this view.
    Actually, that is kind of messed up. I've never met a kid who aimed to be such a "perfect" child without being pushed or shamed by the parents.

    When you teach a child to ride a bike, you eventually have to let go of the handlebars and let them go it alone. And they may crash, many times even. But that is life. Similarly, if you keep an omnipresent eye over everything your child does until they leave the house, how prepared do you think they will be to go it alone? Not at all.

    The people I've met with overprotective parents inevitably went "wild" when they finally got to college. Those that didn't were somewhat "off", and had trouble interacting with the regular populace (and by "regular", I don't mean "party-goer").

    As for me, my parents were practically negligent of my upbringing. I wouldn't suggest others treat their kids the same way, but I've turned out OK. When facing the challenges laid before me by life, such as whether to use drugs, whether to party rather than study, etc, I always knew I was on my own two feet. No one was there to catch me if I fell.

    I never considered, "If I do this, what will my parents think?" They didn't really care one way or the other. Instead, I always thought, "What impact will this have on MY future?" Someone who's set about controlling another's life, whether with good intentions or bad, inevitably stands in an adversarial position to that person.

    That person becomes your "enemy", whether it is spoken or not. Things become wanted and sought after not because of their intrinsic worth, but because in a struggle for freedom the child invariably "rebels" and strives to escape the shackles of the controlling environment. The child doesn't want drugs, or promiscious behavior, but really wants freedom.

    Of course, this doesn't accurately portray every kid. There are plenty that pursue life's vices simply because they are bored or don't care, and get away with it because the parents are negligent. But you should keep in mind that your attempts to control your children are very likely to backfire later in life.

    Kids want privacy, and freedom over their selves. Take those away, and they will hate you, whether they admit it or not.
  • by KewlPC ( 245768 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:42AM (#7484956) Homepage Journal

    Nothing will stop a 16 year old from viewing porn like having to face dad for an open and frank discussion that starts out as "so son, notice you've been looking at a lot of sex pages..Do you think all women are like that?? I noticed you were spending most of your time on pages where the women were doing X. Why is that ?? "

    And nothing will give a 16 year old a complex about sex like that, either. Trying to discourage any sort of behavior through needless embarassment will do just that: needlessly embarass him. If you really are enough of an uptight, sexually repressed parent that you absolutely forbid that a teenage boy be interested in sex or women, well, good luck with that. Either your son will turn out gay, be afraid of sex and women, or become a sexual freak (weird/disgusting fetishes and whatnot).
  • Does it make a difference in my behavior? Verily it does, but not in the way you would expect.

    The idea behind regulations that increase the ease with which you can see what your kids are doing, is to prevent them from doing something stupid behind your back. But that doesn't work, and here's why: People hate being distrusted. They hate the feeling that somebody thinks they must be watched. They'll rebel against it. For one thing, they probably think that they're smarter than you think they are. Whether they are or not depends of course on the individual person in question.

    In any case, creating regulations of transparency is bound to make people secretive and do things they probably wouldn't do if they were allowed to.

    Here's a better way to achieve the openness and safety that you want: teach your kids how to be smart. Start as early as you can. Start today. What you *don't* want to do, parents of teenagers, is suddenly start a throat-shoving campaine of whatever new thing you've decided to teach them. But try to give them an idea of what is safe and what isn't.

    You can trust your kids. They know, and you can help them to know, where sleeze is. Sleeze is easy to identify; Drive your six year old through the local porno district. You child doesn't need to be told it's a bad place to be.

    What you do with transparency regulations is declare that your household is not going to be an open place where everybody can trust one another.

    A better solution to your problem is to encourage your kids to tell you what's going on, to be open, to be your friend, rather than treating them like monkeys that have to be watched. Now, the best way to encourage somebody isn't the way that I had experience with with my parents, that is, yelling and ranting about it. The best way is to treat your kids like you want to be treated. Be their friends. Be open with them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. In doing this, you'll truly create a mutually open relationship with them.

    I know you're very worried about the harm that could come to your kids, with a silent telephone to nign anyone. But please remember, these sorts of things are blown WAY out of proportion by the media. When I read stories about kids getting into deep shit on the net, one thing always seems to be evident: *They were asking for it*. Teach you kids not to ask for it. You'll have far better luck than just preventing them from asking.

  • Re:Trust them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheAntiCrust ( 620345 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @01:35AM (#7485274)
    Tell that to my fifteen year old pregnant friend.
  • Re:Trust them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidylin ( 581724 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @01:53AM (#7485366)
    This one is going to be a tough one...

    I am 21. It was not so long ago that I was a teenage high school kid myself. I was a honor student (50% of the time), a boy scout, and an ROTC cadet.

    I did not try drinking.

    But I did try alcohol, after asking my parents what they thought of it.

    I did not have sex.

    I believed that sex was a sacred thing to share between soulmates. I thought that I had found the one girl, once or twice, but I know she's out there and I want to meet her without regret.

    I never thought about trying drugs.

    I spent much of my high school life advocating a drug-free life.

    I was not always a good kid. There are those who say that restrictive, controlling parents cause this teenaged, rebellious behavior, but I'm going to tell you that they're wrong. My parents were the most restrictive, controlling parents that you could imagine. I spent half of my high school life grounded under jackboot for insufficient school performance. I was always to be home before 9, nor was I allowed to go out in the evenings for any unapproved events. Even my friends were subject to their judgement.

    I spent most of high school fighting with my parents, just as any other rebellious teenager. We fought over just about any thing you could think of, so long as it had to do with my parent's control over me.


    I never hated my parents. I never did horrible unspeakable things, or developed detestable morals. There are a few reasons for these things.

    I was brought up by parents who made sure I had a few things.

    Awaren ess

    and above all, A Hard Head.

    These are the things you should worry about your children developing, NOT poor Internet habits.

    For those of you unsatisfied with that whole shplop, I'll tell you about my parents and the computer.

    When I was five, my father decided that computers were the wave of the future, and that I was going to grow up with them. My first PC was a Commodore 64, and it was a beaut. 4 Color monitor, and the programs that I could get for it were limited to only a few, all of which were in good taste. It's hard to show violence and sex in text-mode.

    Secondly, there was the IBM PS/2. I don't know how my parents scraped and pinched for it at the time, but it was there. The most exciting thing was that typing game where you blew up the falling letters. It was here I was being introduced to such vile immoral programs such as wordperfect.

    Next, came the 386. Programs were widespread, and I was copying my friends games onto floppy and bringing them home to play with all the time. My parents were beginning to take notice. They would come down to the basement every once in a while, and tell me to go do something not on the computer for a while. I still read at this point in time, I was only 10. You know, Catch 22, a Tale of Two Cities, The Color Purple, and other light classics. My parents always encouraged reading.

    The advent of the real hard drive, Windows 9x, and CDROMS brought the next revolution in computing. The internet. It was a must-have. Loading up AOL 3.0 and figuring out how to use a "modem" was quite an adventure. I soon found that I could hack my way into just about anything. Parentals became incredibly suspicious about my activities on the Internet. They started watching. We had trust, but they were constantly asking about what I was doing. They watched the Nightline programs about the shady Underground of Internet Chatrooms and other lecherous places that were available to all those kids who wanted to participate. At the time, I was trying to learn C++, the only resources available to me being on the Internet. I was learning to program databases on telnet and object-oriented programming and user interfaces. My parents put a quick end to this. They put a clamp down on what I could do, where I could go, an
  • Parental rules (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsukasa137 ( 707581 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @01:59AM (#7485401)
    I'm a 14-year-old Linux geek. I don't look at porn. My friends all say that I'm odd and strange and I'll end up horribly messed up for life.
    It's not that I'm odd, it's just that I've walked in on my (50-year-old) dad looking at porn one-too-many times.

    So here's a somewhat interesting point of view on internet restrictions: should parents have rules, too?
  • by Cat9117600 ( 627358 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @02:10AM (#7485460) Homepage
    I'm right now 16, almost 17, and I have a broadband-connected computer in my room. My dad is a DBA, and my mother barely knows how to use AOL. Both want me to stay away from "bad" internet sites. However, I set up the network, I built the computer, and they know that if I truly want to do something like that, I have the ability. But they trust me, and know that I can make my own decisions. The times when I've done something they think I shouldn't (and been caught) they punished me. But with the punishment, they also told me why what I did was wrong, and talked to me about why I would do something like that, and why I made that decision. However, they kept with the punishment even after they knew I was sorry, until the punishment they'd set was served. From all of this, not only do I pretty much agree with them on most of these things, but I follow it, because I know why I should. So educate your kids on what to do and trust them to do it, because you only cripple them when you shield them too much.
  • As a parent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) <`ogre' `at' `'> on Sunday November 16, 2003 @02:21AM (#7485514) Homepage Journal
    I'm a parent of a 13 year old girl. Our daughter's computer is NOT in her bedroom. There is zero chance it will ever be in her bedroom. I've also taken extra steps regarding email. I run our own mail server so I have complete control. I gave my daughter her own "vanity" domain and she can have any number of personalized email addresses that she wishes. I've also told her she can offer her friends email addresses, though no one has gone for that. All email going into and out of her domain is archived. I do NOT read the emails, however, it's just a safety precaution. I hope I never have a need to poke through her personal messages. BTW, I've never looked in her diary, either.

    I've implemented reasonably good filtering of email (both her domain and my own) via SpamAssassin, so spam is extremely rare - porn spam has been non-existent. My daughter does not have the ability to change the SpamAssassin settings. All email attachments are scanned for virus by the mail server (clamav). Some file attachment types are refused completely (exe, scr, and other dangerous types).

    I will NEVER EVER use any type of content blocking software such as NetNanny. They don't work, they are politically motivated, and they are complete shit.
  • Re:Trust them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xeriar ( 456730 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @02:51AM (#7485689) Homepage
    7. Make your data look innocuous. Chatting with some friends on IM? Why not chat in Arabic (if you're on an unecrypted connection, be aware that this method reduces the possibility for parental-snooping, but increases the likelyhood of unconstitutional racial profiling. You've been warned). If you don't have the time or inclination to learn a foreign language, at least learn ROT-13. ROT-13 is so simple that, after a few weeks of practice, the overhead for conversing in it online gets to be pretty low. Keep in mind that it's by no means secure, but it prevents parents from catching naughty words with their peripheral vision. If your friends aren't as "safety-conscious" as you, you can probably write a quick script to do ROT-13 on the fly to incoming messages. Learning to do RSA in your head would be truly impressive (I can do it with small keys with pen and paper, but nothing's stopping you short of the computational limit of the human brain)

    Actually, an easier way to do this is set your 15" monitor to 1600x1200 resolution. You need pretty good reading vision and few parents will be able to see what you are reading.
  • Re:Trust them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lolits ( 691186 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @03:21AM (#7485802)
    You are absolutely correct. I told my daughters about the risks they faced on the net. I told them they should not do anything on the net that they would be ashamed to see published, because the persons at the other end could do so, and I told them I could spy on them but didn't believe in it. One daughter, an rpg fanatic when in her early teens, organized the female players on the mud she favored to have a predatory male player ousted. I think she learned to monitor herself
  • Re:Trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mordanthanus ( 300840 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @03:36AM (#7485867) Homepage
    I think you give people too much credit. I have four daughters and I set up a computer for them with internet access a couple of years ago. (they were between 15 and 10 at the time) We set down a couple of rules... the biggest being "Do NOT give out any personal info over the web." I told them they could tell their first name, but if someone insists on the last, make something up. But no other info at all...

    That being said, three days later, they were all over the chat rooms and the IMs. I decided to test them. We were away from the house and I created a fake AOL instant messenger screen name. I impersonated Justin Timberlake as I knew they were all fond of that crap back then. I initiated a conversation with them and within 5 minutes... 5 MINUTES, I had all their names, address, ages, and phone number. Since they didn't listen, I decided to teach them why I make the rules I make. Some may think it was a bad thing to do, but it worked for me. I "let them in" on the fact that I wasn't Justin Timberlake. I started talking about the clothes they were wearing, as I remembered what clothes they had on from earlier. I made them think that I was some kind of stalker and was watching them. They were scared shitless. They called within seconds and said that someone was outside watching them. I asked how they knew this and they tried to cover it all up. They finally told the truth and I explained what happened. They were mad at first, but a few days later, the oldest told me that they understand why I did it and the purpose for the rule. They don't give out personal info anymore.

    People learn by making mistakes because there is a consequence to the mistake that they don't like. But do you want that consequence to be being raped or even killed because they told the wrong person who and where they were?? Paranoid or not, I believe that a safe child is a happy child. And no matter what you think, there are some really sick people out there.
  • Re:Trust them (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2003 @05:14AM (#7486142)
    I had more or less the exact oposite upbrininging. They tolerated whatever game i was playing, and didn't mind me watching porn. Dad did so himself, nothing obsessive, every now and then, like most other healthy adults.

    If I was looking at some pics, and he dropped by the, he would sometimes sit and watch with me, comment on the pics, we'd laugh at some of em, and admire some of the women. Sometimes I'd look at what he was looking at. He'd tell me that porn wasn't anything like rl, and other useful stuff about human nature or sexuality in general. This might sound a bit weird, but i doubt that there's anything more healthy than having your parents tell you that porn isn't much like real life, and that it's ok to watch.

    I know I'm not the only one who had an upbringing like this. For me porn was something one looked at if one was a bit bored, I knew it wasn't anything like RL, it's entertainment. I guess such a frank attitude is probably gonna scare the shit out of a few of the /. posters, but I think I turned out pretty nice. I got into college, I'm working on a CS bachelor degree. I vote, I've had part time jobs, and I currently got a job etc. Never had any problems with the police.

    I could do mostly what i wanted, and that worked out just fine for me, and I grew up to be a guy that enjoys porn for what it is. And as for all that other stuff the poster mentioned, I tended to have "the right kind" of friends. I got to make the decisions myself, but I knew i could talk to my parents about just about anything.

    I know that ACing is a bit cowardly, but I'm not sure if my dad would like me to post this, as people _might_ get the wrong impression. If you got any questions, just stop by #likpuling on EFnet, or post a reply.
  • Blaming the ISP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by setmajer ( 212722 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @06:44AM (#7486377) Homepage
    Having said that, if I thought we had a problem with inappropriate websites, for example, I'd put in a transparent proxy, check the logs from time to time, and block connections to really questionable sites. The younger kids would get "404 Not Found" and I'd blame the ISP... Same with filesharing, etc.

    It isn't my place to say so, but you may wish to rethink that particular explanation. I certainly understand the reasons behind blocking certain sites, but sooner or later one of the kids is liable to figure out what's going on. What will you tell them if they confront you?

    My mother lied on several occasions to 'protect me' in similar fashion. When I discovered what was going on it resulted in loss of esteem and trust, feelings of resentment and betrayal and even self-doubt and guilt (if my own mother--the woman who drilled into me that honesty was the highest virtue--feels the need to lie to me what sort of person must I be?). Sadly, I was realizing these things as she was dying of cancer and never was able to discuss the matter with her. I was 20 at the time; that I didn't discover her 'white lies' sooner--as my sister did--shows the sort of implicit trust I felt my mother and I shared while growing up. Even at age 33 it still bothers me.

    I'm not a parent, so I am in no position to judge your explanation. All I will say is that I scarcely recally the 'you are not allowed to do X and I'm doing Y to prevent you from doing it' stuff my mother did (my sister could probably come up with a list, tho ;-). The instances where she lied about what she was doing, however, are as fresh in my memory as the day I discovered the lies.

  • by black mariah ( 654971 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @08:23AM (#7486560)

    There are two types of strippers. There's the "My dad beat me and made me feel like a cheap whore so that's the only way I know how to live." strippers. Then there's the "My daddy gave me everything I wanted just for batting my eyelashes and now I've found that just by whipping out my tits I can get any man to give me whatever I want because I'm a spoiled bitch" strippers.

    I'd say that the split is about 60/40 in favor of the former currently.

    Yes, I am talking out of my ass.

  • Re:lying (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dipipanone ( 570849 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @08:25AM (#7486566)
    Just to expand slightly...

    I was a little uncomfortable when I found one of my teenage daughters browsing, but only because it made *me* uncomfortable. I pretty well knew that she'd probably just recommend it to the geek boys in her class at school and never look at it again, which is precisely what happened.

    I know that she spends a lot of time reading (and writing) erotic fanfic, but I'm damned if I'm going to look at any of it myself. I know that fifteen year old kids think a lot about that stuff, and I'm very happy that she likes to give creative expression to her thoughts.

    Am I worried that she'll hook up over the net with someone who would be bad for her? Not for a moment. She's a smart, sensible kid with a strong sense of what's right and what's wrong. She's just had her first serious boyfriend and dumped him because he wanted to go further than she did, and according to her, there just wasn't any 'spark'.

    Censoring her reading material would serve no purpose other than to artificially narrow her world and dull her natural curiosity.
  • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @11:51AM (#7487306) Journal
    Pornography is evil now?

    No its just boring - where is the erotica?
  • Garden of Eden (Score:3, Interesting)

    by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @12:47PM (#7487620)

    I must be a brick short of a full load. This thread has turned into a sceed fiesta. Where is the scientific evidence that sighting a naked women turns a young boy into a mass murderer, or a pimp, or a dealer? Is there is some basic social knowledge that is mysteriously lacking from my genetic repetoire? Where does this knowledge come from, and why don't I have it?

    Maybe this goes right back to genesis. From the time we first discover sex, we feel guilty about it. Then we all rush around as adults to protect our children from becoming the horrible depraved adults our generation has become, and our parents generation, and all the begatters to the beginning of time.

    No wait, they have done research on masturbation, the majority of adult males have an urge to clean the pipes the day before being reunited with their lust interest. According to research, it improves semen quality to call up a fresh set of reserves. Who would have ever guessed that sexual reflexes and instincts were associated with reproductive fitness?

    I don't children in this society need to be told much about the birds and the bees. Perhaps it would be better to update our schools with a dopamine education class. Here is dopamine: human folly boiled down to molecular dimensions. Vonnegut wrote a novel about a Martian army with transmitters embedded in their minds to control them (Sirens of Titan). That seems like an unnecessary redundancy. We are already under the control of a hostile molecular force. Perhaps there is a better way to educate children that scrubbing internet connections and pretending we have not yet discovered the molecular snake.

  • Re:Trust them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PD ( 9577 ) * <> on Sunday November 16, 2003 @04:27PM (#7488880) Homepage Journal
    OK, I'll tell her.

    I'll also tell her that it's easy to have sex and not get pregnant. I did it for 15 years, and now that I'm 34, I will be having a daughter in about 2 weeks.

    When my daughter gets to be 15, she'll know how to use a condom. I am not stupid. 15 year olds will fuck anything that moves, and while I will do my damndest to see that she doesn't do it that early, I can't be everywhere, all the time.

    Your pregnant friend is most likely that way because of mis-education. Not her fault, really.
  • by Zone-MR ( 631588 ) <slashdot&zone-mr,net> on Monday November 17, 2003 @09:32AM (#7492476) Homepage
    I dissagree with your comments, that children should be taught not to talk to strangers online. I believe that the ability to converse with people they have never met, and most likely will never meet, is one of the most important things your child can be taught.

    Thanks to the Internet, your child can make acquaintances with people from a multitude of countries, beliefs, and religions. They can learn about cultures, differences between societies, and problems or struggles people experience in everyday life. And they can do this safely.

    There are still people who would rather deny their child communication with "online strangers" than educate their child about doing so responsibly. There are still parents who know so little about the Internet that they will accept the miconception that all "chat rooms" are undeground grooming places for paedophiles. Five minutes of guidance is enough to make your child understand that joining #12yroldz on AOL and repeatedly asking "wanna cyber?" is a bad idea.

    The key is making your child *understand* that people hidden behind a chat room can lie. Simple as that. They need to be taught to keep their online acquaintances seperate from the real world. Make them understand that they WILL meet people who will try to harm them. With a little education, the Internet becomes a "virtual sandbox". Your child will be exposed to people - both good and bad, in a controlled and safe enviroment. There is no better way to teach your child about human nature.

    I say this from personal experience. I am presently 18. During my 'childhood' I had always enjoyed the freedom of unrestricted online communication. I belive the results from this are only positive. I have learned so much, from so many...

    My lifetime passion has always been programming. While in the 'real world', very few of the people around me shared this interest, online I was able to find a haven. I was able to interact with hundreds of thousands of people who not only shared my interests, but were willing to share their knowledge. I learnt to share my knowlede in return. I could collaborate on projects with people I had never met. It didn't matter that I was 12, noone knew or cared. My age was irrelevant. It was an environment in which skin color, gender, age, and nationallity are all irrelevant. A place where knowledge, contribution, and respect are honoured.

    This has changed my approach in the real world. In a society where racism and religious discrimination are commonplace, children learn the negative attitudes from their peers. Having made contacts in practically every country, I didn't give in to the temptation to tag along. I actually knew the societies and people which others would criticise for no other reason than "because they're different".

    I don't believe that your child will have their mind warped by pornography or bad language on the internet. If you believe they won't be exposed to these two 'evils' at their schools, you have perhaps lost contact with reality. The difference is that in the online world, attacking people with profanities results in rejection from a community, rather than cheap support from immature peers. The "u wanna fuck?" messages are frowned upon - "I'm sorry, I'd rather not sustain a sexual relationship over a 56k modem link".

    I learnt, from first-hand experience, that trust takes years to build, and seconds to break. I learned to respect others, not because it was 'forbidden' to be disrespectful, but because mutual respect is what created the greatest acheivements and communities. I learned how to act when in a position of power, how to diminish rather than fuel dissagreements. Online communities, be they forums, IRC channels, or simply e-mail, have one thing in common; they are environments in which decisions aren't made with fists or knives, but via wit, intellect, and understanding. If children weren't sheided from this "for their own protection", they would grow to become better people.
  • by yduzitmatter ( 456661 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @09:58AM (#7492548)
    As a parent of an almost 15 yr old who has his own internet connection in his room I say trust 'em.

    When he was young and we first got on the 'net the computer was in a common room and I occasionally would look and see what the kids were doing on line.

    The only rule I had then was NO CHATROOMS. I enforced it and talked about why I felt this was necessary - the kids were 8,8 and 4 at the time.

    We talked about internet safety in general and specifically. It worked well.

    I never had a net nanny installed or blocked sites - we talked about what was and was not appropriate and that they would lose ALL computer time if they were doing something they knew was wrong. Worked wonders.

    He is 15 now and very computer saavy - I trust him to do the right thing - and if he gets in a jam I will help him out - with the understanding that we will discuss it after I come down from the ceiling. We have never had to do that.

    As a teen he has friends with whom he wishes to talk without being listened to - he has a right to his privacy. He has the right to be able to do his thing - HOWEVER - if doing his thing involves anything that I consider immoral, or unethical then we have a problem.

    We may not always agree on things but he knows he has earned my trust in being online and does not abuse it. He also realizes that things have a way of coming back and biting him in the a## is he messes up.

    His younger brother uses the common area computers to go online and is still monitored somewhat closely. Why? Because he is only 10 and is still rather impulsive and trusting. He too is learning the rules for internet negotiation - his older brother is teaching him as well.

    Have they ever gone to sites I think are "bad" You betcha - but we talk about them and discuss the situation seriously - and most times I see their point in going there. (this does not include porn)

    As to porn - has my teen ager seen it? Probably - am I totally freaked ( well a little) but then again we have discussed how I feel about porn and why and he seems to get it. Will he look at porn again? Probably - but knowing how I (his Mom)feel and thinking in terms of "would you want your sister to do this?? has ,hopefully made a difference.

    One of these days he is going to be on his own - I would hope that he will have the skills he needs to cope in a world that is so different than the one I grew up in.

    Letting go is hard but hanging on is harder

  • Re:Trust them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:21PM (#7512289) Homepage Journal

    We agree, and I admit I'm surprised.

    I enjoyed surprising you. :) I'm quite happy to advertise my values, but have zero interest in forcing them on people. Since Jesus Himself condemned His followers for trying to protect Him with the sword, I believe Jesus Himself taught a religion of non-coercion, as well. Christianity didn't spread by coercion until it had changed so much that it was no longer Christianity.

    How many in your campus Christian group would have judged me first? Judged me harshly? Said I'm going to hell

    I think you would have still been surprised. You would have met some that were like you expect, but I would think that would be less than half. I don't recall anyone in our group having an attitude of looking down on others or preaching judgment. We believe in it, but we don't see it as something to rejoice over.

    I can remember many an unbeliever coming to our building, interacting with us, even participating in some of our activities (which were not all religious). I brought friends from my CSE classes many times, and I don't remember any ever leaving because they felt preached at. Our campus had a lot of foreign students, too, and believe it or not many Muslims spent a lot of time in our building and I never witnessed anyone saying anything harsh to them.

    Children are everyone's concern. Children are our future.

    Have your own kids, then. Children have been raised in Christian homes for centuries, and I hope I've adequately demonstrated I'm not going to make them into murderous zealots. I shouldn't need anybody's approval to raise them, and they'll be perfectly free to leave and select their own way of living when they're old enough.

    It still seems to imply to me that you are a 25 y.o. abstaining virgin, not married.

    I am, and engaged. I interpreted what you said two posts back as an insult to my fiance. She and I are quite happy with choosing each other. We view our virginity as a positive.

    There's nothing going in your bedroom for you to get touchy about. I didn't think there was a nerve to hit there.

    Not today, no. But I meant that your comments about my future sex life with my wife were inappropriate.

    I was surprised to hear you have a fiance.

    Surprised because I'm a virgin, or surprised because this is slashdot? :D People managed to get along finding mates without trying each other out beforehand for centuries; it seems to have worked well for us.

    I'll end things with: Thank you for teaching me that there are "Westerners" who can be devout without being zealous. That's a happy thing to discover.

    Enjoyed it. :) I'd regard myself as "zealous" because that word literally just refers to enthusiasm; unfortunately the connotation implies someone seeking to coerce others to behave according to his values. Not part of the denotation, though.

    I'm glad I surprised you. I think far too many have failed to get a chance to even look at the Christian religion because they could only regard it as a coercive tool.

    This is bar-room banter.

    Understand. Would have been nice to know who you are, but even a username doesn't tell that much, anyway. :)

    I set out to poke a Bible thumper and see what made him tick

    Heh heh. Glad to show you the stereotype isn't the totality of the truth. :)

    Instead you opened my mind some regarding the devoutly religious

    I'm honored.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.