Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unprepared again

Yesterday Havoc came too me and started telling me about how he had cleared this space in his bedroom so he could put his computer there and talk to Rose and Beth on it.

pause a moment while I digest that fact that my 6 year old has just informed me he wants to shut himself in his room and talk to girls on the internet… wasn’t I supposed to have a few more years before this happened?

I went with the long term issue first. No computers in bedrooms. In our family we watch TV, surf the web & look at porn in the living room, where anyone in the family can walk in and see what you are up to. 

Havoc was not happy about this development. Other kids have computers in their rooms. But the weirdness of our house came to my rescue. The wireless router is in the living room, at the opposite corner of the house than Havoc’s bedroom. And there is a 2 foot thick cinderblock wall (for roof support) running down the middle of the house. The wireless signal can’t reach is room.

See, it’s not my fault kid. It’s the house.  If you want on the internet you have to be in the living room or kitchen. Where I can see what you are doing.

I talked to Rose’s mom, my BFF Mel, and we decided to pick and IM program & set the kids up accounts, with lots of controls. (anyone know of any? How does Yahoo do in that regard? I have to find something that runs on LINUX because that is the operating system on the ancient laptop that the boys use. Not my Compaq but my dad’s old laptop)

We’ll see Beth’s mom Saturday at a birthday party & see what she thinks & then we will arrange times for them to chat. Since none of them can type & are still in the ‘write the sound you hear & don’t worry about spelling’ stage, we figure they’ll get bored with it quickly. But when it comes around as an interest again, we’ll already have programs & rules in place. And it could help with the typing, writing & reading for all of them.

I’m not ready for them to be on the wider web. I have no parental control site  banning software. I have no snooping in their email software, no keystroke loggers. I’ll  set them free to run around the neighborhood unsupervised but they are not getting on the web without my standing right next to them.


Too Many Hats said...

We have the same no computer in your room rule too. Dd-16 thinks we are weird and brings it up occassionally. She can have a computer in her room when she moves out, just like she can have a dog, and eat only brownies all day.

SciFi Dad said...


Wow, I am woefully unprepared for that, although my daughter is four.

I don't know what you're going to find that runs on Linux. My short-term suggestion would be G-chat through a web browser, since it's going to be monitored and doesn't require a separate application.

Mommy24cs said...

We also have the no computer in your room rule. The kids mainly use hubby's desktop and it's in the family room where their online activity can be monitored. It's too scary nowadays to not know what your kids are up to.
Sorry I can't help you with a good IM. I'm so clueless when it comes to that :)

Aunt Becky said...

Ben loves the 'net. After he busted my keyboard, he's grounded from it. I am going to get him *gulp* a cell phone.

Anonymous said...

When my son was around 6, we put the ancient desktop in his room, more or less for him to play Webkinz. One of his little friends came over one day, they started going to all sorts of gaming sites, and the next thing we knew his computer had a virus on it. Out went the computer! He is now 8, and with us moving soon, I have relented to letting him have email and use of the computer as long as he sitting where I can see him! lol We haven't tried any IM programs yet.

Tranquility said...

WOW - he wants to IM at 6?
My goodness - and to think, I didn't send my first email until I was 18! ;)