Freedom for Children
When Parental Controls are Too Much
By: slimjewel1 on: Wed 18 of Jul, 2007 [00:21 UTC] (6971 reads)
Little K is clicking away happily. She is a wonder. Five and able to navigate the internet. Unlike her siblings who can generally spell, I can tell what she is on by what she asks to spell.
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Her seven year old sister sheepishly admitted to surfing rude words and coming up on a site which she did not like the look of - I have not installed blocking programs just because I want to trust them - it is just like the TV the only time parental controls get mentioned is when I am threatening to block the children's channels as a punishment.
Perhaps I will regret this stance but I feel like they have to learn to do as they are told and I have to be in touch with them enough to make sure that they can do that. Mostly this system is paying off - my daughter's experiment with first grade trash words taught her that that was not a good idea and what she saw was not terrible - not as bad as what I saw when I mis-spelled a popular children's TV network URL a few years ago.
I came down the other day to find my son looking for a movie to watch - he was going through the listings on screen and checking the ratings ruling out all Rs and asking our opinion on PG13s.
But he instigated this check himself - that made me very pleased.
Freedom is, of course, a two edged sword. Too much and they will be crippled by their lack of ability to manage it but too little, too much cosetting from me and I worry that they will never cope well with life beyond the confines of this house.
Little K will go to kindergarten in the fall and move off down the road to independence. I am happy and sad. Happy that she will have new adventures to look forward to and sad that my baby is growing up. I hope that her abilities at the computer will stand her in good stead, but she is my adventurous child, perhaps she will challenge my policy on freedom and sef-motivation. But I hope not, I hope that when she stops asking me how to spell the names of her favorite sites because she has learned to read that she will use her new knowledge as her siblings mostly do, to enjoy herself within the clearly marked boundaries which we have laid down for her.