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Would you allow a boy in your 69-year old daughter s bedroom at night alone with the door closed? While sitting in a meeting last week, a girlfriend of mine had a pressing issue she wanted to discuss. No, it had nothing to do with our school meeting, it was more 5 women sitting in a kitchen with our mommy hats on. She proceeded to tell us, that her son in Grade 5, has been having quite the time video chatting with his friends. Sounds fun! And that means, hanging in possibly inappropriate ways. She talked about her son on FaceTime (video calling) recently with two girls who were together at a sleepover. The girls were in little tees and pj s, playfully talking into the camera to him.

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Now granted, the kid is in Grade 5, and I m sure it s all pretty harmless at this stage. But, jump ahead a couple of grades, and this can become a real serious issue. Now unless you are a happy, I am sure you will admit that your children need breathing room, privacy, and. That often means allowing kids the room to falter, make mistakes, and then troubleshoot their way to a solution on their own. In this instance, that could mean laying down the rules, and then allowing your children to handle this new technology on their own, and hope they do it responsibility. I really believe this to be true to a certain extent. I will NOT be the mom completing my kids Science project so they can win first place. I am fully aware that this takes place, and I am also fully aware that these are the kids who win the ones whose parents are doing it for them. But that is not how I want my child to grow up and learn. He will do his own Science project, and will not come in first place, but at least it will be HIS OWN. This new craze brings with it new concerns. Video chatting truly brings new elements to privacy issues. No longer is it just WHO your kids are communicating with, but video chatting lets people into your home in a very real way. According to this mom in my meeting, it is no different than inviting someone into your home or in many cases your into kid’s bedroom. That means that while this is a cool music and game playing device, it is also like having a computer in their rooms. Having said that, she went on to ask us the same question I asked above, Would you let your daughter (or son) have a person of the opposite sex in their room with the door closed? What is to stop them from video chatting at 6 or 7 am with their girl or boy friends? Is a concern that has received much attention of late. Video chatting brings this. What troubled my friend even more, is that when she brought up this topic and asked these questions to parents, most said they never thought of it that way and were horrified by the implications. With our kids’ busy schedules, video chatting is a great way for them to keep in touch with camp friends, get help for homework, do group projects and just have fun with friends. What do you think? What are your thoughts or suggestions in setting up these guidelines?

Please share with our community I have been saying this to my husband for months. Although I do agree it can get dangerous there is no physical contact with video chatting so thank goodness for that. But I do think each household should set down rules based on the children s ages. Great topic. I completely agree with your friend. I find this new technology very scary for ourselves and our kids. There is also the addiction factor. Its all very sad. You know you re able to shut off WiFi in a house at anytime. That would be a great suggestion for kids abusing the system. Moms should remove them if it s causing an issue. Hi Erica great food for thought in this post. There was a big article in the NY Times yesterday around a sexting scandal and 8th graders. It was scary, and even scarier I know that it was not isolated. There have been many occurrences locally that I know about. Middle School kids are sexting like you would not believe. My boys are a few years older than yours, and it is a huge fear. I agree I do not want to be a helicopter parent either but, as parents, we have to stay on top of texting and social media with our kids. Setting rules is important, but also teaching them right from wrong and being available to them is also important. Remember to talk to your kids early and often because studies have found that if the lines of communication are not set by the time a child is 67, it is very hard to establish. RachelI could not agree more. My son is 66 now. As you can imagine, it is difficult to control waht he does at this stage.

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But from early age the rule was bedroom is for sleeping. I never allowed TV, computer or laptop in his room. The rules should be introduced at the early age. And it shoould not be just about use of the devices but what devices are appropriate for what age. We just had to pull back the freedom on electronics in our house. Only weekends. Kids were slowly taking advantage. Also, the friend above told me some solutions: as Jessica said, you can shut off the wifi in your house. This is good to know. Also, she said she knows families who keep the chargers all in one room, in the den for example, and nighttime is for charging electronics, not using them. Also, imposing a family shut down time is another good thing to do as well. I m very reluctant to get one. Great post Erica. We will all have to learn to adapt to this new technology. My husband and I have discussed this subject several times lately. Never has there been such a need for boundaries, and it s harder than ever to enforce those boundaries successfully. I don t believe they are mature enough to handle the entire world. I agree Never has there been such a need for boundaries, and it’s harder than ever to enforce those boundaries successfully. Then also limit the amount per day and tell the child you will be looking at the account to see who they are Skyping with and for how long. If everyone does their homework on the technologies that are available this day in age, you will find that these devices typically require wireless internet for this kind of functionality. My guess is that the same Router that provides internet to all of your devices in your home is also capable of filtering out traffic, or even better, LIMITING internet connection to specific devices. We re not all technological geniuses, but know that there is a VERY good chance that the technology in your home has the ability to limit what can and cannot be used and CAN be effectively passworded/locked to prevent being tampered with.

Thankfully, at 6. 5 and 5 years old, my own children are still on the young-side for these concerns, although I know it will come sooner than I expect. I agree that we must let them grow and experience different adversity in order for them to learn reason and troubleshooting, but I do not believe this has to come at a lack of technological awareness. There is a fine line between fairness and lack of action. Read that manual that came with your wireless internet router. Still confused? Contact that computer guy that you know, or better yet, spend some time with Google! That s such a great idea! You can filter times MAC addresses on most routers. Hi! I found your blog on AOL. It’s really comprehensive and it helped me a lot. Continue the good work! You have to love how the bored/ angry Republican assumes that all teens drink or that they all take drugs or what ever excuse you wish to use to control them. If YOU raised them right, you shouldn t have to worry. Leave it to some partisan adolescent to say something stupid. Was learning something new until you opened your mouth dolt. Keep on hating, hater. Although I heard bored/angry Republicans have camps for your type. Get your kids in the habit of leaving their device I m your room for the night, to charge. Do it now while they re young. When they transition to using cell phones, it will be so much easier to enforce. It s a shame they can t take advantage to all technology has to offer them.

I m constantly trying to find middle ground on this. ! One, my child does not own a cell phone because she could not be responsible with it when she had one. We as parents are supposed to help our kids, but it seems the world just wants us to let them run free and they are not ready for that. I wish we were back in the old days where you only had house phones. Boy our parents had it a lot easier. I completely agree. I am just dealing with this now! These girls think they need to do this to get these boy s attention and for them to like them. A lot of the girls have low self esteem and it makes them feel liked. I know so many parents that didn t realize what we were doing as kids, but even more so now they are blind of what kids are doing. I think there should be a way to block these so they aren t aloud to do this skyping. It just scares me to death! We ve included in my favorites put into bookmarking. I love this app t is so easy because u dont have to pay but the worst thing about it is that it always frezzes but hey it still works so i am happyWhen in doubt about technology, take advice from an expert. There s literally an app for that. Between FaceTime and Kayak. Com, you can practically be in two places at once. Besides, I thought, absence doesn t just make the heart grow fonder. It would also provide some awesome white calendar space to get my own shit done. But then reality set in. We were suddenly thousands of frequent-flier miles apart, shuttling back and forth for birthdays and conjugal visits but mostly just communicating digitally. I tried to have a good attitude about the whole thing at first.

Calling is now cheaper than it s ever been. It helps that texting is free, too, thanks to WhatsApp, which works anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection, even internationally. When it s working, that is. Nothing makes you feel farther apart than trying to have an intimate experience over a weak Internet signal.

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