Ask Parry - How Can I Help?
My daughter is very good about letting me see what she is doing on the Internet, letting me read her e-mail or her instant messaging. I trust her, but recently we were talking about an incident with one of her friends whose parents had password-locked him off the Internet. He was trying to research some homework and couldn't access anything due to the lock. He called my daughter, and with my help, she found what he needed and we printed it off and delivered it. In a later conversation with my daughter, I asked why her friend's parents didn't just check the history link on the computer to monitor where their son was going on the Internet. Her answer was that some kids know how to get around that or erase it. I was quite surprised.
So I guess my question is what to do when your children know the system better than you do. My daughter teaches me on the computer and my husband knows more than I do. I am trying to be as educated as possible, but my daughter has been learning computers since kindergarten and knows so much more than I do. She learns sooner and faster than I do. My daughter and I have a great and trusting relationship, but the computer is kept in a common room so as a parent I can just walk in at any time. My daughter has also called me into the room before to show me things that she has linked to by mistake, so that I will know about it. We also check websites together sometimes. So far she has my trust and she will keep it unless she does something to destroy it. I believe we have to have trust to teach trust.
Trying my best,
Dear Midwest Mom,
You and your daughter can both join and work together on the Wired Moms project. You can pretty much create anything you both think other moms and daughters would enjoy or learn from. Or you can help your daughter become a Teenangel (Teenangels.org). Go to www.wiredsafety.org and join wiredmoms there or to teenangels.org for your daughter to sign up. I welcome your help and insight!
Your daughter is very lucky to have a mom like you.