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Should Parents Monitor Their Kids Online?

SHOULD PARENTS MONITOR THEIR KIDS ONLINE? A million dollar question…this article in the NYTimes profiles a couple of families who monitor their kids, sometimes using software like
net nanny


Big Brother: No It’s Parents

If so, should they let their kids know they are doing it?

Should they have their passwords?
“Friend them?”
Use “spy” software?

Here are some ideas parents have shared with me:

• Computer in a public spot (no laptops or computers in bedrooms).
• Making sure kids feel safe talking with parents about what they are doing/seeing/experiencing.
• Making password sharing w/ parents a condition of use.
• Relying on friends and family members to “friend” their child and keep an eye on things.
• Reminding kids that they can do whatever they want when they buy their OWN computer.

Please share your thoughts…

I think this article raises important questions—For example, in the case of the young woman in the article who claims to feel safer because her parents monitor her…How might parents mentor kids to feel safe online more independently?

Generation Z! Kids today,”digital hoarders” and into “Brand Me” according to research from The Intelligence Group


Allison Arling gave an engaging talk at Sandbox Summit at MIT.

To summarize her talk: The Intelligence Group’s research makes some bold claims regarding Generation Z. These kids, born since 1995, are focused on  “brand me.”
They are parent influencers, making decisions about purchases with parents. Their integration of the digital and physical world is totally fluid, and many of them prefer an online app to a physical toy. They are growing up in a racially diverse generation with an African American president. They are aware of recession and Arling described them as “digital hoarders.”

Play webkins with a Gen Z kid to see what she means!

One encouraging piece of data, at least for the environmentalists among us is that they are “less concerenced with owning phsycal possessions vs. having access when they need.” I can see I-Go cars and other forms of sharing really succeeding with this generation if this research is accurate.