Drug testing

Mom, Dad and the Big Brother

Software for parental control is a useful tool, if applied right. Millions of parents in the USA alone do check their kids' online behavior. In November 2004 a telephone survey made by the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that:

54% of families with computers connected to the Internet either used filtering technologies to block potentially harmful content or have some kind of monitoring software installed.

Nearly three-quarters of the teens surveyed said that their home computer is located in a place like living room, 64 percent of parents said they set rules about their children's time online.

One can find anything in the Internet, and a certain share of its content isn't suitable for kids or even teenagers. Filtering Web content becomes common in American families, and nobody argues that it is reasonable. Restricting the time teenagers spend in front of the screen is a good idea, too--we care for our kids' health.

But should everybody who has a teenage son or a daughter apply software for monitoring his or her computer activity? Not just checking the browsing history, but monitoring every keystroke your kid makes? Do we have to do it? Please think a bit.

My opinion is that monitoring software is "strong medicine". Like any medicine, it has its own side effects which can be worse than the disease. Any medicine, if overused, can do harm.

I am well aware about threats children can face in cyberspace. We all are. You sure know about these dangers, too. Predators lure kids away from home to rape and kill. Suspicious "friends" your kid meets online --who knows who they are and what they might teach your son or daughter? What is he or she chatting about--and with whom? All this never leaves minds of overworked, ever-busy parents.

But all the same--monitoring software isn't a panacea, though advertising sometimes tries to prove the opposite. If you are going to install a program that logs everything done on a computer, answer this question:

What exactly do you want to achieve? Make your kid obey the rules or to catch him/her red-handed?

Most likely, first. Have you exhausted all other means? If yes, try to answer the next question:

If you are prohibiting something, does your teenager know why?

Remember what most people usually say to a toddler if he plays with a knife. They try to EXPLAIN -- even to such a small kid -- WHY NOT. Are you sure your much-older-and-smarter teenager knows WHY he or she shouldn't reveal phone numbers, address, and other personal information?

As for not visiting sleazy sites, your teenager is much more likely to obey rules if you say you care not only for him/her (but of course you do), but also for the computer. So, now you are not lecturing your almost-grown-up kid, you are reminding about information security.

Viruses, worms, Trojan Horses--teenagers know these words, and they do know where they are most likely to pick this crap. If your kid doesn't know it (though it's unlikely), EXPLAIN. If you don't know it, LEARN about it and explain.

Where to learn? In lots of places. For example, here are good sources of information. What's more, they are interesting and in plain English:

http://www.msn.staysafeonline.com/

http://www.staysafeonline.info/home-tips.htm l http://www.getnetwise.org/

Look at these as well. Tastes differ, but your teenager might find them interesting:

http://www.msn.staysafeonline.com/default2.htm http://www.safekids.com/

A simple search will bring you much more information. It will be very useful for you as well.

If you think you should apply monitoring software anyway, consider this:

Think at first what if tour son or daughter finds out that you have been logging every keystroke? Be prepared to face it.

Computer monitoring is the last resort. It means the situation is out of control. Is it really?

Aexandra Gamanenko currently works at Raytown Corporation, LLC --an independent monitoring and anti-monitoring software developing company that provides various solutions for information security.

Learn more about these products -- visit the company's website http://www.softsecurity.com

In The News:

Last week, marine experts at Seaside Aquarium fielded a call about a bizarre sea creature found buried in the sand at a beach in Long Beach, Washington.
Two Bronze Age women — one likely a teenage priestess — probably didn't travel far and wide across Europe, as previous research suggested, but instead were real homebodies who likely never left what is now modern-day Denmark, a new study finds.
It's the moment warm weather fans have been waiting for: the first day of spring has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dinosaurs and alligators may both be reptiles, but the similarities were thought to be few and far between. Dinosaurs are commonly thought to have been warm-blooded, while alligators are cold-blooded, meaning they can not regulate their own body temperatures. Now, a new study suggests that both dinosaurs and animals have more in common than previously thought – their ability to hear.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while selling her "Green New Deal", said that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done to address climate change.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton repeated a long-held conspiracy theory during a visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston last week.  
For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.
An astronomer at Columbia University has a new guess about how hypothetical alien civilizations might be invisibly navigating our galaxy: Firing lasers at binary black holes (twin black holes that orbit each other).
Skygazers are set for a treat this week when the third and final supermoon of the year occurs.
Four human herpes viruses have been found to reactivate in astronauts on Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to new research by NASA.

Parents, Teach Thought-Stopping! Fix Crooked Thinking Caps

Does your child pout, blame and brood? Does he gripe,... Read More

Family Meetings Are Now On The Agenda

"Not another meeting!"That tends to be the reaction from many... Read More

What Should I Know About Strattera for ADHD?

Strattera came out around January of 2003, and is becoming... Read More

More than Mom and Dad

Love, love, love. It makes the world go round. It... Read More

Clean Kid Syndrome - Does Your Child Suffer from it?

The learning and development of Australian kids is under threat... Read More

Your Checking Account

Checking accounts are an absolute necessity these days. You can... Read More

Childrens Friendships Made Easy

Most research into children's friendships shows that those children who... Read More

Water! Water Everywhere!

What one word best sums up summer fun? Water. I... Read More

Dyslexia: Is the Shoe Perhaps on the Wrong Foot?

Reading is the most important skill that a child must... Read More

Parenting Failure? It May Not Be All It Seems!

I'll never forget my first lesson in a glider.I'd been... Read More

Are Public Schools A Menace To Your Kids? -- 11 Danger Signals

Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More

?Gimme? Proof Your Kids: How To Keep Your Child?s Materialism In Check

It's the first day of the summer holiday. Five year-old... Read More

Advising Teens? Getting Your Point Across

Giving advice to a teenager is very easy; getting a... Read More

Coping With Colic

Quite simply, an absolute nightmare for parents and babies alike,... Read More

Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson Never Went To Public School

Most of our Founding Fathers, including Ben Franklin, Sam Adams,... Read More

The Value of Play

Isn't it ironic that a country whose constitution allows for... Read More

Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an In-Charge Parent

Q. How do I overcome the 16-year-old who does things... Read More

Tips for Single Parents

Prioritize. Learn to say No. Steal some time for yourself.Don't... Read More

?Mommy, I Can?t Sleep!?: Sleep Disturbance in Children

Oh Please, Don't Say Maybe!!!!Are you often a participant in... Read More

How Children Learn

Nurture and TeachThe single most important thing caregivers can do... Read More

Achieve Success At School - Parents, Help Your Kids Easily Be Top, Honor-Roll Students!

With the beginning of the new school year coming VERY... Read More

Uniforms

Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 31,... Read More

The Long Journey Home

Once upon a time, I thought I had it all.... Read More

Grandparents --- Homeschool Your Grandchildren and Feel Younger

Grandparents, what better way to stay close to your grown... Read More

Celebrating Life with Children in September

Here are ten simple pleasures you can enjoy with your... Read More

garage lights street light music Pete's produce ..