The Best and the Worst Gift Ever
Last December, with much trepidation on my part, we gave our 8.5 year old twins each an iPod Touch for Christmas.
Not only was I hesitant to spend that much on eight year olds, but I had to think long and hard about giving them a portable device that gave them access to the Internet.
We live in a very different time.
When I was eight the coolest thing I had was call waiting and the ability to conference in a friend…who would then conference in a friend…who would then conference in another friend.
But having 20 kids on a conference call is very different than 20 kids who can take pictures, or trade emails or texts and shoot them to 100 people each within a matter of minutes.
If you make a wrong statement to your friends online, it's out there permanently. A text that says "I don't like that person" still lives a year later. It can still do damage a year later.
All this is reeling around in my mind when my mom says she'll go halvsies on the iPods so then we only have to get one, and my husband is nodding and saying, "take it and call it a day", and before I know it I've agreed to getting them each a $200 device that can basically ruin their life before they've even it puberty!
Here's my own neurotic version of parental controls:
It's my iTunes account on their iPods so I have to approve every app download
YouTube is deleted (have you SEEN the "popular" stuff that pops up when you launch YouTube???)
The do not have an email of their own yet (so they can't Text or use FaceTime either as far as I know)
Learn More about Parent Controls from Cox Cable and John Walk on June 28th
As a Lifetime Moms Affiliate I'm excited to tell you about a Tweet Up on June 28th where a local DC blog friend of mine, Leticia from @TechSavvyMama and the amazing child advocate, John Walsh, will be talking about parental controls and monitoring tools for TV viewing, Internet and mobile phone use as an important component in keeping kids safe.
Date: June 28th
Time: 6 - 7 PM
1. Talk with your kids about Internet Safety.
Talk to your kids regularly about what they do online and what they shouldn't do. Research shows that kids whose parents talk to them about Internet safety are less likely to engage in risky behavior while online.
I have started to talk to them regularly mostly because they keep asking when they will get an email and get to text and FaceTime their friends. They might not be happy with the discussion, but I know that my reasons are slowly seeping into their heads. When it IS time for them to start using more functions on their iPods, I hope they will do so responsibly.
What are you doing to ensure your child's safety online?
I'd love to know the steps you have taken.
Disclosure: as a Lifetime Mom affiliate I have been compensated for this post and for helping to spread the word about this Tweet up and the Cox Take Charge cause. All that said, ALL opinions expressed here are my own and are based on true experiences I have documented. This is a cause that is close to my heart. I'm excited to learn more on the 28th!