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I've been without a land line for years now. It makes me think about how kids are going to be communicating in the future - with no common landline, there's significantly less chance I'll be able to monitor their communications, know who they're talking to, without some fairly wily monitoring software.

Leads to a situation where the question is: Where do you draw the line of trust? How do you teach kids that you have a valid need to know who they're communicating with without making them want to hide it from you?

How do we prevent another generation of 'Stranger Danger' paranoia, isolating us all from our neighbors (who, statistically, are decent folks, but we've been taught to believe are all rapists and serial killers by media)? We have a hugely open communications venue in the Internet, and personal communications are becoming trivially available, _and_ more vital every day.

Is it ethical to monitor kids' communications online, since they're minors and aren't necessarily fully cognizant of their actions' impact?

The internet is for Pr0n

Date: 2009-06-02 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think it is unethical to not monitor a minors online communication. Not doing so it a lesser version of letting your kid run randomly through traffic.

Date: 2009-06-04 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see this as two different issues. An issue of monitoring and an issue of trust.

For monitoring, some of that is already in place. If all you want to know is who they are talking to, look at your phone bill. Every number you call, every number you send a text message to is on your cell phone bill along with when and for how long the call was for.

The issue of trust is a more difficult issue to deal with. Ideally, if you raise your kid right, you will not need to monitor who they are talking to. You should have a good enough of a relationship with your kids that you trust them and have talked to them prior to them having their own cell phone about the dangers out there. I am all for teaching responsibility to kids at as early of an age as possible. If you know your kid is responsible, you will know you can trust them and monitoring will not be needed.

I understand that may be easier said than done but I think one key to build trust between parents and kids is time. You really need to spend time with your kids. It is not the quality of the time you spend with them that matter, it is the quantity. Your kids need to know they can go to you with anything at anytime. If you push them off to much and do not spend enough time with them, they will find other places to go when they need to talk about what really matters to them and get the support they need. And it is that going to other places that parents need to be most concerned about.

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