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Friday, February 13, 2009

Parenting 201

so today presented a totally different challenge.
my husband emailed me at work and let me know that he found search history for "naked women" and youtube of dancing teenage girls on the computer. he deletes the history every day. it wasn't me and it wasn't him...so that only leaves The Boy. we waited till i got home today before we talked to him about his unauthorized use of the computer, along with the inappropriate viewing. i can say that he was at least honest with us (or at least partly honest) about what happened. he went to the search bar and started to type in google. it brought up their quick search option. from google quick search, he started to type in an entry for Naruto which is a show that he likes to watch. (we made him do this with us watching to prove what he said happened) he typed in N..A.. and the first 3 items that popped up are in order: naked; naked girls; Naruto. there really should be something that a parent can do about having a popular kids entry come up right on the list next to inappropriate material.
so The Boy "accidentally" clicks on naked girls and next thing you know, he's clicking away. he said that he closed the window once he realized it was wrong, but really he'd looked at several of the links and some of the videos.
i have to say that as a mother, i really find it disturbing that adult things would just automatically display for children to be able to select. why don't they just set it so that things of adult content have to be fully typed in? i find that there are a lot of things i won't ask for or look for unless i am aware that i even have that option and that other people are of the same opinion. do i want to super size my food? i do now! i didn't even think to ask for a larger size but now that you suggested it i'll be taking advantage. do i want an artificial sweetener made from a plant rather than the poisons readily available in the stores? you bet your butt i do. i didn't even know they made such a thing. See where i'm going here? if you tell me about something, then of course i'll probably want it or express interest in it. i could have gone my whole life without ever wanting such a thing but now that i know it's there i want it. it's the same with sexually explicit materials. if you let kids know that it's there, they'll go for it. maybe they never would have thought to look for it but now that you mention it...
so now that it's dealt with, he's going to be talking to his grandfather and the bishop about what he did, and then my husband is going to have "the talk" with him. we have set the computer up with a password to keep him off it when he's not authorized to use it, and he has lost all video game/computer privileges for a month.


  1. That sort of thing has happened with us too. Now our computers are passworded. Also the monkey's computer has parent controls on it - If you use Symantec products for your anti-virus (Norton Internet Security, Norton Anti-Virus, Norton 360, etc.) you can download a free add-on pack with pretty good parent controls. There are settings so that you can configure it to an age-appropriate level of adultness (e.g. little kid, teenager, etc.) (I'm a software engineer with Symantec, but work on another product. I found this out through my department's IT support guys- I asked him what he would use. He has a little girl who accidentally searched for barbie stuff and got adult content.)

  2. I think there are several products out there that can help make the internet safer for kids. I don't know much about them, but msn has a free program you can download - http://download.live.com/familysafety

  3. Here's another suggestion:
    Go to google.com, and click the link "preferences" (located to the right of the search field). Scroll down to "safe search filtering" and select moderate or strict.