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E-Mail and internet for kids

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Posted

So it's time to set my kids up with their own tablets. They are very excited about having skype , for some reason.

 

How much restriction to people put on their kids? I want them to have their own e-mail and skype. They are too young to have their own facebook accounts. I'm sure there will be other such topics.

 

However there's a lot of spam and sites I don't want them to have access to out there. So looking at software to lock the tablets (android) down. On top of that I'm not sure how much freedom is appropriate to give them wrt e-mail. I want to trust them but maybe they are too young to be let lose totally (7 and 9).

 

How have others approached this. My natural reaction is to try and give them as much freedom as possible but it's a nasty world out there , at times. TT is on the banned list. ;-)

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Posted

I guess I am a bit more conservative here, my kids don't have tablets (neither do I as a matter of fact) and my youngest - at 11 - is only allowed on his laptop in the living room where I can see what's going on.

 

The oldest got a decent laptop last summer, and is online in his room, but he's 15 and I have full access to it if necessary.

 

I did set them up with e-mail years ago, those accounts were immediately spammed and spoofed, resulting in sporatic emails selling viagra to the grandparents. Basically from them signing up for dodgy game sites (most of the games were ok, it was the sites themselves, I guess). And they've been exposed to computers and laptops, under relatively strict supervision, since they were in grade school. However, that still didn't stop them from running across sites with nudity etc. Those sites are very clever in search engines (even with safe search on).

 

The youngest is now a Minecraft fiend though - creating worlds and setting up server connections (or something) to play live with his friends while skyping. The oldest has a sense of balance (and still prefers paper books) but the youngest (who was exposed to play time on the laptop at a younger age, logically) has a harder time backing off and doing schoolwork.

 

In summary, If I had it to do over again, I would have restricted him from it more when younger. But I am glad they have grown up with the technology.

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Posted

Maybe a nanny software might help. I think it's important to explain that there are a lot of weirdos out there and they should always be careful what they write about themselves. And it might help to surf with them together. Explain how to see if a website is safe, what to avoid and so on.

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Posted

I can recommend Kim Kommando. Her site has lots of good info for parents, including a contract with rules you can set up with your kids. We utilized this quite a few years ago to help with a nasty situation concerning the internet, chat-rooms and my young daughter who thought she was about 21, but was only 14.

 

http://www.komando.com/kids/commandments.aspx

 

http://www.komando.com/buyguide/index.aspx?id=2072

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Posted

My kids also don't have phones yet, but I am always torn because of their very unreliable school hours. About 80% of my daughter's classmates had smart phones by the time they reached year six. They are banned during school hours, but they still get used during breaks and before and after school. There are some very worrying statistics about the content that gets passed around on student's smart phones. I was shocked to hear that this content often includes videos of people being killed. It kind of made me wish I was Amish and could home school my kids.

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Posted

Thank you Moondancer, that's great advice and very good to have it written out in this 10 commandments style.

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Posted

To google the definition of the word "fuddy duddy" and other words of interest. :unsure:

 

Seriously, many schools are promoting a laptop for every student. It's an educational and entertainment tool.

 

Here's what Scholastic says about their mission of a laptop for every student.

Ebooks and digital readers are becoming more and more popular. This reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently about children paying with their computerized gadgets and found a real book and didn't know what it was.

 

Quote from Scholastic:

 

We came to realize, however, that in order to raise the bar for teaching and learning and help our students compete in a technology-driven society, we needed to go the extra mile. We decided that the best solution would be to secure a computer for each student. The answer: laptops.

 

Providing teachers and students with state-of-the-art tools such as laptops, we thought, would help spark new types of learning, exploration, and a change in the relationships between students and teachers. Moreover, the students could take their laptops home, learn with them, and make them their own.

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Posted

Unfair. We had to meet up at school early to copy each others' homework.

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Posted

 

This reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently about children paying with their computerized gadgets and found a real book and didn't know what it was.

 

Here's the cartoon I mentioned.

 

post-14005-13556810670804.jpg

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Posted

many router/gateway devices allow content filtering similar to netnanny, some are subscription based.

 

my kids are 11 & 13 - laptop stays in the kitchen, no PCs in their rooms. daughter (most interested in social media) has been warned about what kind of freaks are out there and what *not* to ever disseminate. son just uses xbox gold - he's also been warned about what not to tell anyone.

 

years ago, I set up a PP wlan for a client so they he could connect from his house to his office to use the higher speed internet. He was adamant that there be some sort of protection on the kids' PC (think I went with net nanny, but don't really remember). Anyway, it runs discretely and when one tries to access a naughty site it'd just redirect them to something random like pokemon.com, log the attempt and email the log everyday. He said he had a 12 page email to discuss with his 12yo son on the very first day.

 

 

The best advice I have read is to change the Wlan password everyday and only release it after they have cleaned their room, done their homework, etc..

Ooh - I might just have to steal that - one child will veg all day on tv/internet/ipod if I let them. actually, I think my gateway lets me set access hours, might just have to do that.

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Posted

My son is 12 and has his own tablet, phone and uses our laptops and PC, when there available and he has finished his "duties". We also have quiet time at night without electronics, perfect time for him to read (which he really loves). I have his passwords and I am constantly checking on him and asking questions. He skypes with many of his friends, both here and from the US. (he just loves when I say hello to his friends) ;) Email account is only for his friends and family. This one is a must to check... He already deletes anyone he doesn't know, without opening the email. And, generally he is good at letting me know if there is bad language. And the PS3, the kids are all playing together, talking to one another. Same rules apply. Only who we know!

 

He is into MindCraft and other games, but also takes time to go on Khan Academy to complete 20-30 minutes a day, which is asked of him.

 

We have had many conversations about the creeps and how they pretend to be a kid, so no personal information. Kids just don't think it through, so we role play and keep it fresh. I have played videos for him regarding Stranger Danger and the US schools are constantly teaching the kids the same. You must have open communication and when they make a mistake, let them know that they have learned their lesson and this is the reason that you are there for them. You can always download (I think ours is NannyBlock), to prevent your child from accidentally typing the wrong word and having a site pop up that they shouldn't be subjected to. Also, there are those downloads that you can keep track of what they are doing.

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Posted

Set the kids free :) Although make sure that they don't get addicted to any online MMO's (Massive Multiplayer Online games).

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Posted

 

I don't want to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but why on earth would a 7-year-old need his or her own tablet?

 

I agree. My 8 year old asked for an iPod for Xmas, which led to a discussion of WHY do you feel you need one? "Because all the cool kids have one." This led to a much longer discussion, which I won't bore you all with.

 

He is fine with not getting one. There is a reason that it's law [in the USA] that kids can't be on FaceBook before age 13. I recently went to a training on cyber-safety for kids, and it was very eye-opening... and scary.

 

My son has no video games which are connected to internet, and isn't allowed on the internet alone. He won't get a smart phone until he can buy it himself and pay the bills. Ditto with his own computer/ tablet.

 

This isn't just coming from a place of idiotic fear [i wanted to beat Keydeck there]. This is coming from a serious problem with inappropriate internet usage from someone else in our household.

 

Pas, for the strongest 'parental control', I believe you want to block unsavory sites at the router. Good luck. I hope they will still go outside and kick a ball. :P

 

p.s. I just bought 20 new books for Jr. The printed kind.

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Posted

They spend more time kicking each other but a football is sometimes also used.

 

The world is only getting more techinical. I had the gift of technology from a very young age and it's served me very well. I want to ensure my kids have as much exposure as possible and will hopefully be well equiped for the world coming, not the one our generation would like to hold on to...

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Posted

Be sure that you test the nanny software that you choose. I downloaded a couple and typed really straightforward stuff into google (like porn and tits) and I was distracted for hours!

 

I wound up with having Firefox as the only browser on my son's laptop, with a white-list add-on. It's a pain in the ass, because you need to use your password for every URL you want to have on the white-list, but the kids can only access pre-approved (by you) sites. I try to sit with him once per week and find out what he'd like to do on the 'net and add sites to his white-list for him.

 

I ended up getting him his own computer because he's always begging me to let him on benten.com starwars.com teenagemutantninjaturtles.com etc and these sites are nothing but advertising to the point where it slows down and eventually crashes my computer. He's already learning what crashes his computer and doesn't ask nearly as much (since I don't rush to fix it when it's his computer).

 

I also got him a typing-tutor, seven's not too young to learn.

 

We haven't talked about email, although I'd like for him to have his own facebook that I would completely control for him. The only problem is that I would no longer have anything to put on my facebook, since it's all about my kids anyway.

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A tablet/smartphone can use Wifi from some other home or data connection - either own or belonging to someone else (another sim). Then there is always sharing content. Ya and Nanny softwares... just google How to bypass <software name>... Poof! :P Don't underestimate the 21st century kid or his friend.

 

 

They should be given that phone from Diary of a Whimpy Kid : Dog Days movie. Just two buttons - Home and 911. No dial pad. :lol:

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Just to put it into perspective our kids got an iPod so that we could get the music and listening books they wanted. Turns out the 9 yo youtubed the term horses ( which she loves) and got a video of them being hit by a car :blink:

 

We have since blocked Internet access and only let her surf when we are in the vicinity. Still looking for a childfriendly Browser for the iPad.

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