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Recently my son found YouTube and loves watching funny videos and clips. I am having a hard time policing the things he watches and I am afraid that he will come across something inappropriate. I've set some parental controls already, but is there something more I can do? How do you limit the influence YouTube and other social sites have on your children?
We are not quite there yet with our daughters but like you, I am scared to death of the potential dark side of technology and information being exposed to my children. There are programs out there that will track every site and image your kids see when they are online and provide you a report of what they do, which is what my sister did with her kids. She said it was very effective.
Yeah, I echo AnswerDad - we will eventually use tracking software with our little guy. Perhaps consider, that until your kids are able to discern different sites from another, that you may need to be there when they surf YouTube. Another rule I have always heard is to never let your kids have private computers in their rooms. Anything they need to do can be done out in the view of the family. Good luck with that - it's a sticky issue for everyone!
Those are some good ideas guys. I'll have to look into the tracking software!
As many of you have said technology adds a whole new dimension to parenting. I think that at the core this issue is about what values you have instilled upon your children. This, I think, is created through spending time with our children AND taking on tough topics head first. I can remember as a child my mom and I would make a monthly trip to visit my Nana who lived a good four-five hour drive from our house. We made this journey together one Friday night a month, and we spent the drive talking. I can still remember the dark drives with pouring rain and all the things we talked about. I was 6 years to 10 years during this time and we talked about the real stuff-death, drugs, violence, feelings, friends, family, religion, and so on. While I now worry that kids today might be plugged into a movie on the dvd player in the backseat, this is really time that can be used wisely as my mom used it. I think that knowing that I had this mom and me time ahead I would bring topics, concerns and dreams to talk about. I think that it is very worth considering when you are able to have alone time with your kids like this. I often hear parents dread when referencing "HAVING" to talk to their school aged kids about tough topics. I think this comes from fear-How do you bring this stuff up? What do you say? For parents this is a time to become very clear with yourself about what your values are.
I'm betting this gives everyone something to think about,
I'd love to hear your thoughts,
youtube requires you to be 18 years or older to set up an account with them. most of the mature content on the site requires you to sign in and prove you are of age to watch. if you have a youtube account make sure you log off before allowing you child to access the site, do not allow him to have an account of his own. this should help weed out a large majority of the content not suitable for his age group. whenever i allow my children to watch videos online i set it up for them and disconnect the keyboard and mouse so that they can not view anything they should not be. i recently created a folder of acceptable sites for my oldest son to play games and watch cartoons. he knows that those are the only sites he is allowed to access with out my supervision.
It sounds like you are on top of things! I like the idea of creating a folder of links that are ok for him to visit. This is a great idea and I'm hoping some of our other members can benefit from this as well.