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Are You Going Far Enough… Or Too Far?

October 21, 2007

Pic from BionicTeaching @ flickr.com What would you be willing to do to ensure your child’s safety online? And how do you deal with the information you discover?

The Guardian ran an article on Saturday that I am delighted to see is also available online. Their reporter, Sophie Radice, has been talking to parents to find out how well they know what their children do online.

Some parents wish they hadn’t looked, whilst some see it as part of being a good parent… but I think what the article does illustrate as much as anything, is just how much more we need to be doing to educate the parents about the dangers and benefits of the online world their children are inhabiting.

Musselburgh Grammar School’s Online Safety Information meeting for parents was a real attempt to start, what has to be, a conversation… and the Guardian article does serve to give that conversation a kick-start… even if its findings are likely to make some parents feel uncomfortable.

The real question, however, boils down to the amount of privacy you feel your own children are entitled to. In my own case, I am a friend on my own kid’s Bebos, and I’ve also installed imsafer… but neither of these was done without discussing it with the kids first. For me, that is the dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable surveillance…

The Guardian article is a revealing (and potentially shocking) read and what one soon learns is that no one answer prevails… as illustrated by these closing quotations form the article…

“It’s her world and actually I wasn’t meant to go there…”

“You’re not a good parent if you don’t know what your kids are doing…”

 

Image Credit: bionicteaching@flickr.com

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