The Internet and Children

Computer - Just an ordinary old computer sketch!
@Darkwing (21588)
November 28, 2008 7:37pm CST
I know I've aired this subject before in here, but today, I have a real story to tell you. I was in a Pogo room today, playing Tri-Peaks Solitaire when this member came into the room and just said "Hi". The name was familiar, and as far as the rest of the roomies are concerned, is owned by a guy. A woman answered, saying "Good morning and good luck to you", which is the normal greeting, to which, the first person replied, "Lol", and then "Ha ha ha ha, I kick your butt out of here!" There was no further retort from the woman, but the male player put up several smileys, and I straight away thought, "Kid". Then another woman came into the room and said "Hi, everyone!". The kid replied with a hi and a bit of chat, when this woman asked where he was from, not knowing what had been said before. He said, "Out of town, or you?" She told him where she was from, and as per routine asked "Do you have kids?" He said, "I am the kid". So with that, the woman, not wanting to ask his age said, "I'm coming up 40 on December 3rd", and he replied, "I'm 10, coming up 11 on December 11th". Time went on and this kid kept butting into conversations, the previous two woman had left. I was talking to a friend and he kept butting in, so I started to tell him it was dangerous to tell his age to anybody; that the woman he'd told was ok as it happened but how was he to know who she was? He said, "I didn't tell anybody my age!" I argued, then it turned out that it was his Dad on now. He apologised and said he just couldn't keep his son's fingers off the keyboard. Then he asked if there was somewhere he could turn chat off, we told him, and he left the room. This is the third time I've had to warn kids not to broadcast their ages on the computer, or the fact that they're being babysat by their brother or sister. It's dangerous, and I'm very protective of kids online. There are teen rooms in Pogo but even then, you don't know who's hanging out in them. It's best not to chat at all if you're young. I believe they just do it for a bit of a wag, though, to see if they get any response. What are your views on this? Should there be more parental control or is the onus on Pogo, to restrict ages in chat? I mean, when challenges are open and the adult rooms are full, even I go into a teens room, so anybody can do it! How can we overcome this sort of thing... most parents can't sit by their kids' sides all the time, but they can make sure they turn it off whilst the parents are not around. How would you handle this situation of the son and father?
4 people like this
17 responses
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
30 Nov 08
I think ya did what needed to be done. and I have been in rooms where kids came in and some of the words that came out of puter would make a sailor blush. But some how ya knew right away it was a kid and we would end up blockint them then they went away when no one answered any more!
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Yes, but if it hadn't been me who came along, what might have happened my friend. I have encountered abusive kids before... they only do it for effect, but I've told them in no uncertain terms that if they can't speak to people properly, then they don't belong in the room. They've always left because they're no longer getting a kick out of it. lol. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution my friend. x
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
1 Dec 08
yup ya did right and thats right when the cant get the kicks out of it any more they leave
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Dec 08
@elemental69 (1562)
• Ireland
29 Nov 08
Personally, my nine year old loves pogo too. But we have a rule in our house that he is not allowed on unless there is an adult in the room with him. He is not allowed to chat unless it is to say gl or ty. If someone is persistently trying to chat with him I then come on and explain the situation and the player is fine with it. I will not let him be ignorant in a game room but he knows that his chat is limited.
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
It's good that your son has been taught to tell you when somebody is persistently approaching him in Pogo. I think people understand if they don't get a response to their 'wtg' and such, and think that closing chat to him is the best option. Maybe you could explain to the roomies before you switch it off, that your son is online and you are about to close chat. That way, there would be no chance of any rudeness at all. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
2 people like this
• Ireland
30 Nov 08
Thats a very good idea. Thanks for that. I will be sure to do that in future. :-)
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
I'm pretty certain that it would guarantee full safety for your son, if you did. I know they like to be a part of our lives and chat with our friends, but on the other hand, I'm sure you are quite capable of explaining your reasons to him and he'll appreciate it more that he grows up safely.
1 person likes this
@losouler (113)
• Hungary
29 Nov 08
To tell the truth I dont like chatting and dont know Pogo. But I think it could be dangerous when little kids are allowed to chat and spend their time in front of the computer. It could be addictious and of course they can meet adult content as well. Best way is getting a program which bans these kind of sites. Or not having children..lol
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Pogo is a fun games site, which you can join as a member. The site incorporates chat within the games rooms, and if you are a member, you can be invited to or invite others to "private chat". Now... this is really dangerous, and a good tool for people with bad intentions. In fact, adults have been conned into giving their passwords and losing all their tokens, so what hope is there for the kids? It would be a bit excessive to ban all the sites which people love to use so much, but I think they should all play their part in trying to control the kids' use of their chat facilities. With all the best will in the world, it's difficult for the parents to be there 24/7. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
29 Nov 08
It is dangerous for kids to be on the computer. Good that you told his father how the Pogo controls work. Really there should be more controls on the net and I think there are some programs that will keep kids off inappropriate sites. It should be up to the parents, but sometimes the parents have no idea how to fix it so that the kids are blocked. Certainly children should not tell their ages. There are perverts out there and some of them are so smart as to track down the ip address and maybe pretend to be children themselves in order to lure the kids. So they may ask him to meet them someplace and that father may not see his son alive again. Tell the parents to watch what their children are doing, so they do not get in trouble or worse.
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
I agree. More controls on the net would help the parents a great deal. Most parents try very hard to supervise their children at all times, but things happen to distract them, I'm sure, and control is lost. I certainly think this particular boy should be made aware of the dangers by his Dad. I tried, but as you probably know, kids don't take a lot of notice of adults outside the family... they think they know it all. You're quite right when you say that people pretend to be somebody they're not, be it children or otherwise, and kids are so vulnerable. I don't think it's that this particular father is unaware of the dangers but rather, that he was busy with something and the son sneaked onto the computer and started chatting. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 08
Well, I do this I don't know if it will help anyone else but it is helping me right now. I told my son 13 at the time and daughter 14 at the time to take care of their cell phones they are new and the first one's. my son did my daughter did not. My son got a new phone when we all did and my daughter got my son's old one. It was still working her's was not. When they both got their own computer's (Used) to do homework on my son took care of his my daughter not. Now, my son has wireless for his birthday and my daughter's computer is now the house computer. You listen you get you don't you loose things in my house. Forget the grounding and time out. I would tell my son NO! and if I find out he does it again and he does. He looses something he likes or wants! And, no you don't ever get it back.
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
I agree... this form of discipline is good, and you should never go back on your word. Children learn this way, but again, they can always use a friend's computer without your knowledge, and even if only used for ten minutes, they can get themselves into trouble, if not supervised. I admire what you do, but maybe a little help would be appreciated? I feel if the sites which employ chat, regulate their users' ages, then it would help a great deal. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
29 Nov 08
I have a different approach whereby I allow them to surf the Internet under some guidance. In my opinion if we completely block Internet access to them their curiousity level would rise. This could motivate them to find ways to overcome the restrictions imposed on them. Once free they would travel further than thought possible. I have a teenager who managed to visit several times to an adult site after being influenced by several of his friends. He was grounded for a week. Now he keeps away from adult sites. There are several ways to keep track on a single computer. Checking cookies and checking browsing history are two of the ways. Another way is by installing 'spy' software, usually one which records every single keystroke.
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Yes, I agree with most of what you say but I also feel that a certain amount of parental control has been taken from us with new laws being released regarding punishment etc. I'm sure these people live in cuckoo land.. half of them don't have kids and only have training, which really doesn't qualify them to tell us how to bring up our kids. I admire the way you control your kids' computer access, and am sure they will find their way to a happy adult life. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
@littleowl (7157)
29 Nov 08
Hi Darkwing, I totally agree with you about the danger of having children on the internet especially chatting to people they don't know and not really knowing what they could be like, this young boy was lucky but not all are...parents should have more control over their childrens activities on the internet and have a parental control system set up so they can only go on certain sites, plus a password that only the parents can even sign in before their children can use the computer...brightest blessings littleowl
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
There are a lot of people on Pogo, my friend, and the chances are, most kids will get away with a little bit of bravado. If there are several people in the room, mothers and such, then they will surely be protected as far as possible, but kids won't always listen to adults these days. The parental control has been lost due to the interference of do-gooders who don't even have children, but think they know how to treat them. We've lost the right to discipline our kids, and life is made very difficult for us. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, my friend. x
• Canada
29 Nov 08
Cut him off the computer
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Well, if he was mine, perhaps I would but I really don't think that would help much because he would find somewhere else to go. He needs more supervision and possibly, some of these sites with chat should cut the chat in children's rooms and make the adult rooms inaccessible to the kids. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution, detailed or not!
@livewyre (2455)
29 Nov 08
It is absolutely down to the parents to arrange for a PC to be used which has suitable filtering software. Although the sites themselves should police their network - as a parent you should want to protect your kids online. I think an earlier reply is right in that you shouldn't prevent them going online, but you can offer the a PC set-up which can only access certain sites. However with peer-pressure it will be difficult to decide which sites you would allow a child to use. I really don't like MSN messenger I just have a thing about it, but all the kids love it - I automatically purge it off any PC that I have. You would have to allow access to hotmail or a similar web-email service, after that I think I would have to 'approve' certain sites for my child on a case by case basis - you can do that in your browser settings - but I can imagine that their friends will want your kids to log on to other sites that you don't approve of (eg; 'hey look at this thing on youtube...')- just have to cross those hurdles when they come I guess...
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
As much as they try to control their kids' time online, there are always ways for the kids to access the internet outside the watchful eye of their parents. It matters not what you do if they have a friend with free access, for they will go onto their friend's computer. I just thought that the sites, like Pogo, Slingo and such... games with chat, and such sites as Yahoo Answers, should have some way of assisting parents to keep their control. Filters are good, but not the complete answer, I feel. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
@Darkwing (21588)
1 Dec 08
I suppose if the child was suspected of using a friend's computer and you knew his screen name, then it would be quite easy to log into your own computer and check the name out, but unless somebody spilled the beans, I don't see any other way of knowing if they've broken the rules. Yahoo Answers is quite an unsavoury site at times. I spotted a fifteen year old girl asking guys if they woud f*** her! I also noticed that a guy I know had answered. Naturally, he was hiding his identity as this girl was asking the question of men aged twenty to thirty-five, which is bad in itself, but this guy was over fifty years old... maybe it was a "man" thing, but he answered anyway. I checked the girl out because her wording sounded young. She had shown her website on the site, so I went to it. She turned out to be just fifteen years old, a Goth, and with a quite adult site of her own. Now that is sick, to my mind. You don't know until you come across these things. I did complain to Yahoo though and in all fairness they removed her discussion and her from the site! Needless to say, as that's not my only complaint, I rarely use Yahoo Answers any more... I find Mylot a much better place to be.
@livewyre (2455)
1 Dec 08
I only ever use Yahoo for targeted keywords, (and naturally they are quite legitimate interest group keywords!!) However, I do see the general questions in passing and mostly they look harmless though I sometimes worry that people ask really serious questions presumably expecting serious answers..!! you get that in Mylot too of course... (the 'question' you mention is indeed very disturbing) Kids will always disobey their parents my four year old already ignores at least 70% of what we say. It is however beholden on the parent to lay down rules of appropriate behaviour - I would hope deliberately breaking those rules would introduce some level of guilt and remorse, but if you don't have the respect of the child, then it will have no effect. I don't think you can expect to control every aspect of their lives, but you CAN make clear you expectations of their behaviour. I see the ensuing years (particularly the teenage ones) as one heck of a challenge, hopefully we can make it through with our relationships intact.
1 person likes this
@mtata23 (354)
• India
3 Dec 08
strict parental control is 110% necessary in this.
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Dec 08
That's all very well but with all the best will in the world, you'll probably know that parents can get called away in the middle of their supervision, to either the door or the phone, and the child is left unsupervised for perhaps ten to twenty minutes, depending on the caller. There must be a happy medium, I feel. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
@MsTickle (25051)
• Australia
3 Dec 08
Hell Darkwing....I believe there are filters that parents can put in place to block certain activity on the net. Obviously, parents choose not to use them. This is amazing to me. To me you may as well let your children play with any sort of dangerous thing. My own very young grandchildren are allowed to watch adult type programs on TV...shows there parents were definitely not allowed to watch...it truly shocks me. To me, it's the same as not knowing what your toddler is doing and where they are at any given moment. These are accidents waiting to happen...it's the children who are the victims, sadly.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
5 Dec 08
Yes, there are filters my friend, as my son uses them, but sometimes they're a bit costly for parents, especially single parents. It might be better if computers were sold with the filters already fitted so those who didn't want to use them could disable them. I don't really know the answer... it's a long-standing argument, and difficult to overcome without taking away people's rights. I think there should be parental control as far as possible both with the computer and the TV, but the programmers should show some responsibility themselves, i.e. adult shows should not be shown before 11 p.m. and chat rooms should not be available on sites, to children under eighteen. With all the best will in the world, the parent can be called away by a knock at the door or the telephone, and be away for ten to twenty minutes at a time. It's not easy to be there 100% of the time, my friend. The only other way is to drag your child off to the front door or phone, but then, you can't hold them there, and you're still distracted from what they're doing. This was a bit offputting though as the child was only ten and readily admitting it in a chat room containing over thirty people. Brightest Blessings my friend and thank you for your contribution. x
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 08
I have 2 kids a teenager and a younger child. Both of them love to be on the computer. Needless to say when my children are on the computer I am right next to them and watching everything that is happening. I do not allow my children to be online and not have an adult there to supervise any convo's if the convo becomes inappropiate or to advanced for my children's eyes or what ever the net gets cut and they are to find something else to do. Mainly that's for my son as my daughter just wants to play Disney games. My computers are out in the living room right next to each other and when I say my kids do not get on with out me that's what I mean, they do not know what the pass word for the net is and must be logged in to it to get access to the net. Second if my children had ever done what that little boy had done there internet time would have gone to zero when it happened, and from what you say its been a problem for a while now. Its just parents that are using the computer to raise there kids. Parents need to get more involved in there kids life's.
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
What do you do if you're sitting there with your children and you get called away to the phone or the front door? Do you sign them out, or do you leave them for five or ten minutes, to attend to your caller? With all the best will in the world, I don't feel it's always possible to be beside them the whole of the time they're online. A lot of parents do their very best for their children, but that very best can be thwarted by your being distracted by others. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribiution.
• India
29 Nov 08
Hello Darkwing and everybody, good day to all! Yes, there should some controls on kids for using computers, for a limit of age they should not allowed to use computer, for a limit they should allow to use only for games for given time like one or two hours only, for a limit they should allow only for school work and games, at this time you have to strictly confirm that they not play game whole the time, then a time comes when they can use computer as a whole. Otherwise it will be abuse of computer for them. because if you don't restrict kids then they will always plays games, they do not like to go to school, they do not like to do homework, they do not like to work, they like only to play on computer games !!
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
In reality, their homework shouldn't take them more than an hour or two each evening and one day of the weekend, and in most cases, this should probably be the evening limit for children who have to go to school the next morning, depending on their age. Games without chat are ok... they all want to play them because their friends do, so perhaps a couple of hours at the weekend on those. It's the sites which incorporate chat that worry me. Do you think they should play their part alongside the parents in controlling who uses their chat rooms? Would it help, and would it be possible? Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
@winterose (39897)
• Canada
29 Nov 08
I am out of the kid scene, all I know is there are programs like net nanny were you can turn certain things off.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Yes, this is true, but kids are a lot more computer-wise than a lot of adults and they seem to have ways and means of getting one over on adults. They do it for a ruse most of the time, but without realising that there are always those who will take advantage of their naivity. Brightest Blessings my friend, and thank you for your contribution.
• United States
29 Nov 08
I would password lock the computer so they couldn't get in unless I was sitting there watching them. Kids are too trusting and they don't know the dangers.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
You're so right about kids being too trusting and unaware of the dangers, and yours is a good move to prevent them entering the internet without control. I do feel it would help if the chat suppliers would help parents out a little also though, with a certain amount of control. You can supervise most of the time, but what if you get called away for five or ten minutes? Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
1 person likes this
29 Nov 08
Hi Darkwing, I think its so wrong for children been in a chat room with parental controll as there has been many incident where the children are lured into all sorts to things and also meeting them, which is so dangerous, as it is I don't like the idea whhere children are on the computer all the time withou having their parents there and really they should be out getting fresh air and playing with their with friends. Tamara
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
It's as I said in the previous response, my friend. Sometimes, supervising parents are called elsewhere without time to sign the kids off, and therefore the child is left free to wander. Somebody can knock on your door or call you up any time, or an accident occur with another child in the house. It's all so easy to lose control of computer use. However, if the social sites were to regulate their sites to disallow chat in kids' rooms, full stop, and disallow entry to adult rooms, then maybe it would help a little. I think a lot of parents are aware of the dangers and do keep control over their kids in the home but what if they're elsewhere on a friend's computer, or something. It becomes difficult to keep track then. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.
• United States
29 Nov 08
Hello Darkwing, When my daughter gets old enough, I am putting a computer in her room, she is not getting on mine. Her computer will not be hooked-up to the Internet, unless we are doing Public School Online (www.k12.com) in which case, the computer will only be for school. Happy MyLotting!
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
30 Nov 08
Good thinking, my friend. A lot of parents do supervise, as you do, I know but there are times when they get called away and don't have time to sign the kids off or something. The way you're going about it, your daughter will be safe. Brightest Blessings and thank you for your contribution.