^Just out of curiosity...have you tried telling your son what the acceptable hours for internet usage are first?
Reason I ask is because there really isn't a simple "technical" solution for what you want to do if he doesn't want to respect your wishes.
+1000 - Because if you try to make it a game by pitting your child against a security device. You'll most likely soon find out the kids are really good at games.
Talk to your kids...as parents, we're supposed to be doing that anyway.
Agree despite not being a parent.
And while I'm on my soapbox, I might as well say I take a very dim view of using technology as a chaperon or preventative measure. I even find those ankle monitors they put on people who are under home arrest to be both demeaning and counter productive. Because they don't encourage personal responsibility. All they do is instill the fear of punishment or reprisal - which tends to feed into hatred and resentments down the road.
Had a friend with similar concerns about his own children's web use. I declined to set him up with the monitoring "nanny software" he wanted. I suggested instead that he talk to his kids about what the situation was and why he was concerned. He's a bright guy. And his kids (12 and 14 at the time) are no dummies either.
I also suggested he leave out all the kiddie porn hype and online predator scare tactics the schools were using and focus instead on how you could be embarrassed years later by something you did online today if some school rival decided to humiliate you two or three years from now. How it might make a some college acceptances a problem if you got a little too vocal about somebody's gender, ethnicity, or race when you were trading barbs. How some silly pictures of you screwing around with your friends, or getting drunk, or flashing your boobs "for just a second," could come back to haunt you years later when applying for a job or a security clearance. I also suggested he go show them the Internet archive project - and how nothing is ever really gone forever. Especially if somebody is ever out to get you for some reason or another.
Truth is, most kids don't really understand the meaning of fear
. (And who wants to make them excessively paranoid anyway?) But they do
. And social standing in their peer groups. So why not focus on that as a tool to educate and encourage some maturity and personal restraint instead?
I made some suggestions about possible rules that were necessary, but which also respected his kids personal dignity and acknowledged them as persons
in their own right rather than just "his
He then sat down and had a chat with his kids. And from that he conveyed his "understanding" about how web access was going to work in their
Cardinal Rule: Any of your friends who go online with you in your home are subject to the same rules
however are subject to the agreed upon rules no matter where you are accessing the web from
- your friend's homes included.
Specifics to follow, with the understanding that these "rules" are guidelines and are to be observed in the spirit for which they are intended. They are not to be taken purely literally - or as a basis for playing word and definition games. When in doubt about whether something is kosher - ask first. If there's no one around to ask - better hold off until you clear it.
- No porn or adult sites
- No hate forums, or going around slagging people on social media sites
- No giving out 'secure' information like your home address, any phone numbers, or personal info - such as when your parents are or aren't home, etc.
- No posting personal pictures except in places previously approved.
- No NSFW pictures to be posted anywhere
- No "hooking up" with anybody you only know from "meeting" them online. Ever. Period.
- No online purchases without adult approval - even if it is "your own money"
- Internet usage hours are to be discussed and (optionally) renegotiated periodically.
- Weekends, summer and other holidays will have extended usage hours - with the understanding that, during the regular school year, they will be reduced as deemed appropriate.
- Access to the Internet "for school use" must be done within the allowed hours during the school year. If you put off a project till 10 o'clock the night before it's due, and you need the Internet to complete it, you are going to be out of luck.
- Violations of the above understanding will almost certainly result in suspension of access privileges, and very likely garner additional restrictions such as not having your friends over, or you going out.
It worked out well for him and his children. There were a few very minor incidents early on. Most likely to test just how serious he and his wife were about it. A day or two without the web got the message across they were very
serious. After that it was smooth sailing with periodic discussions and rule renegotiations as the kids got older.