How many times have you worried about your kids are doing on the Internet? Are they really doing research for their history project or are they playing video games online?
I have to be honest and say that the thought of monitoring my kids' devices or phones irks me to no end. I would absolutely hate it happening to me. That is, if it is done in the spirit in which a lot of parents undoubtedly do it. Without the permission of the child.
While we think that we should have a know-at-all-about-everything-about-them-at-all-times attitude, it is a) extremely exhausting and b) disrespectful to the child. They are another human being after all.
In teaching accountability to our children, we must make them part of the process. I know many parents may feel different on it. but I know it is something I feel extremely strong about. It is like their faith. I can't force them. It is like them eating dinner. I can't force them. Just like no one can force you.
If they haven't given you a reason, you have no business going into their business without permission. I am sorry if that pisses some readers or parents off. I just don't see why.
Now, if they are explicitly breaking rules in the house all the time, sleeping around or you notice behaviours that deserve the questioning, I think you need to have a one-two punch combo way to approach it. In that case, it may warrant stepping in with something like this.
My son, for example, when doing school, will go off course all the time and watch the latest American Ninja Warrior competition on YouTube or a Marble Race on Youtube. While watching those things aren't bad things, because they are inspirational, especially for my son, there is a time to watch them. It certainly isn't while he is suppose to be doing work.
That is a no fly zone right there. Nope.
Don't pass go. Don't Collect $200.
So, I sat down and talked to my children and told them that they will have this program on their computers and it will tell me what sites they have been to.
So, why after the spiel above am I putting this on my kids' school computers?
They need to be apart of the accountability process in staying on track for school. No marble race or ANW while doing school work. I told them I completely trust them but this is just a reminder that they are accountable to the choices they make when they are online. It is a powerful lesson.
The inner voice doesn't come overnight for responsibility and this is a great way to gently remind them that the choices they have made are theirs to make- I won't judge them if they visit ANW while they are suppose to be doing their work. We will just go over it and talk about time management together.
The biggest difference is the transparency I am having with my kids. They were very open and receptive to it.
About the Program:
* You can download this program on your PC, MAC, iPhone, android phones, and tablets.
* I was even impressed they have something for different operating programs including Linux. While not popular, it is definitely growing in popularity.
* You can get daily or weekly reports
* You can nickname devices
* You can set up different accountability partners-- aka, the person who gets the emails with the activity for the week
* You can get text alerts with the activity as well
* For phones, you can do GPS activity as well as more detailed activity such as emails and such (this is not something I am comfortable with at all-- I would not do the emails at all unless there was something that called for it).
* Works instantly
* You can choose how detailed you watch your child (I choose less to give them more freedom)
Overall, this program is great but can be a great weapon as well. PLEASE PARENTS, I urge you to use this with caution and consider how you would feel when you are signing your child up for this. Talk about it with them so they don't grow resentful and becoming un-trusting when they find out. This can be a powerful tool for you and your children!
Be careful and use wisely and it can be a great family tool!