Internet Safety

So now that we have internet again, I've set the boys up with their own screen. Parental controls and stuff. It's good. But while Chas and Max will do whatever they set out to do online and be done with it, Sam will follow links until he gets into trouble.

Yes, we've got parental controls. Yes, I hover. Yes, We've talked about it. Till I'm blue in the face. But Sam will go to a friend or family member, and Sam will be drawn to the screen, like a moth to a flame, and before I know it he's watching Wrestling or Prank Calls or Naked Santa Dancing or violent games. He's also pretty good at getting past piffling things like parental controls, and at guessing passwords. Naughty. Is the word I'm looking for here.

So internetties. You always have good answers for me. What can I do? I would like him to feel that the internet is a wonderful place, full of good things. He needs to learn to use the internet as a tool, and not just browse without thought. He's a strange kid, very high IQ and I think he prefers the company of a computer to that of a human. He also tends to believe what he reads, moreso than what he's told. (yes I got a little poster-thingy and gave it to him, "Internet Safety". I've looked online, and so far no great advice beyond what I'm already doing.

How can I keep my ten-year-old boy from learning wicked things online? I worry.


i am the diva said…
oh boy, when you figure this out, i hope you share with the rest of us... i have a few years, but it's already a concern.
Islandgirl said…
Sam is a true July person. Enquiring minds ALWAYS want to know! That same thirst for knowledge (can one say the fruit of the tree of good and evil) led me to pile boxes on chairs to discover just WHAT it was exactly dad kept hiding in those high, high cupboards when I was about Sam's age. A few ancient Playboys, a not so ancient Penthouse, a starter's gun filed with blanks and a pack of naughty playing cards. And no folks I'm none the worse for coming across those earthly wonders. (At least I don't think so). The internet was not invented yet! But I is so much scarier now and kids are more and more exposed to things we'd rather not have their little minds filled with. I think the only thing we can do is talk. And talk, and talk. And make it clear to our kids that we are here for them and they can come to us with any question they have. We can't protect them from hard as we try. We just have to lead by example, be truthful to them and let them know that no subject is taboo with us. We also have to try to instill a good sense of right and wrong in them. My grandma always told me that "if you are going to do something that you KNOW your parents or grandparents would not like - DON'T'. Think of how we brought you up and what is expected of you. If your concience starts to tingle that's a good sign to get your butt out of there" It has been good advice up to this day. said…
Oh gee, Nan I dunno. I know you can buy programs that let you track every keystroke of the computer when you're not on it. It will even alert you on another computer that the one under surveillance is being used and where it's "going". I guess you could look into things like that. Just don't let him ever get to thinking that he has ANY rights to doing whatever he wants on the computer with out your knowledge.
Good luck, sweetie!
Nan Sheppard said…
Sharon, I will use your grandma's speech. I know that they DO listen, even when they appear to be rolling their eyes.

Krissa, our computer is great. I can see everything that's been going on, block individual sites, and so on. I will explain that to him, so that he knows I'm watching.

ALL of the kids are due for a serious talk about responsible internet use. I need to collect my ammo beforehand.

LadyDiva, I will keep everyone posted for sure!
Unknown said…
Tell him what he CAN do, not what he can't. And like Sharon's Grandma said - If he finds himself doing something he shouldn't be doing - something he KNOWS his Momma won't approve of - then Don't Do It.

Sam is a GREAT KID. ALL of your boys are GREAT KIDS. But - Kids will be Kids. He will do things he shouldn't. He will learn things that perhaps you might have wanted him not to learn so soon. It's a question of what he DOES with what he learns. He will do right with proper guidance. That's you. Guidance. Not Hindrance.
nikki said…
I am of no help. Even with parental controls our 14 year old found a way to download porn.
Anonymous said…
I'm going to ask Mr. D about this--he's in this industry and I know he has "plans" for when our boys get older...
Let me know when you figure this out.
Hayley Millar is reading this as she does almost everything else online.
The plus is that she calls me when she comes across things that bother her. I hope!! I try to diminish the shock value. But who knows if that's right?
I think at the end they know when they are crossing a line. We can only do our best in this very different world. But you are an amazing Mummy so you've given them the BEST start.
Nancy said…
Well, what I tell my students and my own kids is "you're staying off that computer til you learn how to behave." Matter of fact. Then I give them the hairy eyeball. Then they say PLEASE I PROMISE I'll BEHAVE. It might take a time or two, but "cutting the cord" seems to work and they generally start behaving. Signed, Mean Librarian and Mom