>I Hereby Give You Permission

>After some thought and consideration, I hereby give anyone reading my blog permission to look and see what your kid is doing on the internet. And while you’re there look around and see what their friends are doing too.

Earlier this week, Newsweek carried this article: http://www.newsweek.com/id/177959 (And comcast carried this related article: http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-health/20090105/MED.MySpace.Safety/). What these articles are saying is what I’ve been seeing and saying for months now. Parents have lost their way. We don’t know anymore how much “privacy” we’re supposed to respect.

While I’m still willing to go along with the idea that sneaking under the mattress and getting a child’s private diary out to read might be stepping over the line, going online and seeing what they are clearly and loudly telling the whole world isn’t.

It should come as no surprise that teenagers are being wildly indiscreet on myspace. Everybody knows that. Some parents think the way around this is to forbid myspace altogether. Good luck with that. After working directly as a youth mentor and youth group teacher I can say with some authority that forbidding myspace isn’t that easy and doesn’t work very well. Kids can access myspace from their friend’s house, the public library, and even from the classroom.

Every kid I’ve known PERSONALLY whose parents have forbidden myspace as had a secret account that their parent didn’t know about. Does that mean your kid does? No. It means that I’ve stumbled on a few secret accounts though and I’ve had kids admit to me that they have secret accounts.

My point? Don’t assume that your kid doesn’t have a myspace account just because you’ve forbidden it. In fact, don’t assume anything. Go look. And while you’re there check out their friend’s pages. You have my permission.

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6 thoughts on “>I Hereby Give You Permission

  1. >thanks for the prmission. Didn’t need it though. ;)My kids have Facebook and Myspace accounts. They only have them with the agreement that I have complete and unfettered access to them as long as they have them on my computers with my email address.So, the deal is, mom is the moderator.We’ve already had issues, but they’ve been solved thanks to our agreement.that doesn’t mean they won’t try to circumvent me in some way to avoid accountability and detection, but then, I tend to believe the Karma with a capital K always traps you.So, if they do try to get away with something. I *will* find out. I always do. ;)Glad to see you back into the blogging world.

  2. >It’s been said a million times (or at least close), but I’ll say it again, “Thanks for walking so transparently your parenting journey over the past several years.” There are so many of us who are benefitting/will benefit from this lesson, specifically, if no other.

  3. >I want you to swear to me that if you ever find my son on Myspace — RAT HIM OUT!!! Tell me so fast that it even makes YOUR head spin.My dh works with law enforcement and they love myspace precisely because of how stupid people are about putting info out there.

  4. >Thanks for your permission. That being said, my 13 year old daughter knows that I can and will get on her computer and check what she’s been up to. Her internet is monitored, as well, and I check it regularly. So far, the only problem we’ve had is her using the computer till the wee hours of the morning. But, I hope that we can nip any other problems in the bud with this kind of policy. You were spot on in your post. It’s important for parents to be parents. Keeping our kids out of trouble is absolutely paramount while they’re still under our authority. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. >I know that mostly I’m singing to the choir as it were with the people who read my blog, but I gotta figure that lots and lots of parents don’t realize that they are allowed to read what their kid is putting out there on the World Wide Web.I’m reassured to read about other parents who do dare to look.

  6. >Oh yes. I dare. Not only do I dare, but I demand.it is not always warmly received, but when I frame in the terms that it is my house, my computer, and oh by the way, kids, MY email address. Ahem. Well, my point is sent home.Plus, I have this little habit of asking God to tell me the right time to approach them so that what I have to say is well received. Amazing how that works. 🙂

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