Do you think parents should monitor kids internet usage?

Hi Logan, Wendell and the rest of the team.

At my school many kids are angry that there parents are monitoring facebook, twitter etc. 

Do you think it's right that parents should be able to spy on their kids and read private messages, and what the limits should be?

They can't do it to me because the first thing I did when I got my computer was to change the parental control password so they can't set them! (And they don't know how!)



I think kids of a certain age are particularly vulnerable on the internet. When they get older and a little more reasoned, people should respect their privacy.

Remember what did you on the internet when you were little (for me was searching porn pics on google :)) on win '95). Now, the question is do you want your kid to do the same?

Also not allowing to play MMOs is a thing, they have great impact on your life specially when you are little (skipping classes to play Korean MMORPGs and waisting money in internet-cafes was not a bright thing to do.. :D ).

I think you should only do that if your child is very young and don't want them to watch porn or something or if your son/daughter is older and acting weirdly suspicious.

I personally say setup a proxy filter server that all internet traffic has to go through, (so the computer its self doesn't have a internet connection) if they are smart enough to get around that then they are smart enough for the internet.

For boys I think restricting them from unsupervised searching or excessive mmo play is good up till the age of 15, as for porn... there is no stopping that but protecting their eyes from it until at least 13 is good. 

Girls im not sure about everything but I would definitely restrict phone and social media up until she can pay her bill or make straight A's

Yes, i do think that parents should know what their kids are doing on the internet.

I would say up until 13 they should be monitored, have time limits and only use the family computer. As they get older to maybe 16 or 17 they can have their own computer in their room with no time limits, but the internet will get disconnected at their bedtime.

No. Coming from a household of helicopter parents, it is actually far better to just raise them with the appropriate ethical, linguistic and educational framework than to control what they see and how they speak. If you can manage to raise them correctly, then you have less to worry about. Not to mention, unless you happen to be devoutly religious, particularly of the Abrahamic sect, then there isn't much on the internet that they won't find at the appropriate developmental points in their life. What I mean is that children are very unlikely to know enough about things that they may not be mentally and emotionally developed enough to cope with, so they are unlikely to find them by accident. I mean, who enjoys giving 'the talk'? Just let them do the natural thing and figure it out from sources that don't judge them. Who enjoys figuring out who they are when their parents won't even let them say what they want, or interact how they want on/with the most anonymous of places on the planet: the internet. I really like this quote from TheMessianicManic on Youtube, concerning a woman's confrontation with one of her gay friends: "Ah, so it's condescending love. The kind of love that you would have for a misbehaving child, rather than for an adult who is capable of making their own decisions. The kind of love that is completely devoid of respect." If you've bothered to raise them from an early age with an emphasis on my initial criteria for responsible parenting, then you should respect them and not attempt to force conformation or reformation.

The only thing that should concern a parent about their child on the internet is when they cease to interact with anyone else, because this isn't a particularly good mental state to be in. Aside from that, the internet is extraordinarily unlikely to actually hurt them, as contrary an idea as this may seem to be. 

Yes, to an extent, monitor it until they are 18(heck even older could be okay, your house your rules) don't be over bearing just make sure you know what is posted on their facebook ect and set up your router to track the websites they go to. 

Thanks for all of the replies so the general response is until they are 13 years old it's okay but after that it's not? 

I would agree with this since after 13 most kids can understand whats bad and good for them.

Thanks Guys

My parents were not very restrictive and I think that parents these days should pay more attention to what their kids online. Hell this opinion you're reading is from someone whose not even 20

I think that parents of young kids (pre-teens) specifically a black list on the internet blocking most porn and harmful 4chan like things on the internet.

also- Time limits on gaming should be a thing. (not in software but parent provided) Why isn't this a thing? also be in the next room if they're playing a game if your 11year old is swearing up a storm take away his video games.

For young teens obviously loosen these things up get them a phone when they reach teen years (not before GOD NO). loosen things up as they gain more maturity and responsibilty

I say loosely because every parent has their own style. But I make my point to most parents and kids I see these days are either spoiled or assholes in meatspace.

I think that parents these days are buying child-proof appliances because THEY'RE the ones too lazy to watch their own flesh and blood.

I was going to write something on this topic however... your last sentence sums up what I was going to say.

I think that parents these days are buying child-proof appliances because THEY'RE the ones too lazy to watch their own flesh and blood.

Its the same deal with the Internet "Porn" filter in the UK. Its because parents are too lazy to actually restrict these things or due to the speed at which technology has developed, they have been left behind in terms of knowledge on how to do certain things.

A lot of the times, things like this come from a general lack of knowledge and in the case of the UK filter was also implemented by people with an equal lack of knowledge.


I was 11.5 when I realized the potentials of the internet. I've been reading and learning so much information since then. I was the computer repair guy at like 12.

I'm from the opposite type of household, where my parents paid me zero attention and were uninvolved in my life.  I found a TON of material on the internet I really did not need to get at when I was a preteen/teenager and ithas hurt me.  I may not have necessarily understood it at the time I came across it, but it impacted me on a subconscious level that makes some of my issues extremely hard to identify and recover from.

And really, having the 'Talk' is something that should definitely happen.  The Internet and media is to full of misinformation about what is okay.  Children are mimickers and they will start acting like they see their idols in what they watch and read and what games they play and the media has a horrendous habit of exemplifying inappropriate behaviors (and not just those pertaining to sex).

While parents shouldn't hover over a child and try to control everything like they're forever two years old making messes in the kitchen, letting children completely have their heads as if they're responsible adults is not any better.  Parents need to be involved, they need to know what they're kids are seeing online and in the media while respecting certain privacy boundaries (boundaries that will grow as the child gets older and older until the parents have to let go entirely).  They need to judge what sort of material each individual child has the maturity and understanding to handle.


alright i am gonna throw my two cents into this whole thing here. if the parents are tech savvy enough to be able to monitor what is happening online then they should do so mildly. if they are idiot parents who don't really understand how technology works then they need to butt out of it. generally this just leads to complications later on. if parents are always snooping around with the kids knowledge then they will keep even more things hidden from their parents. there has to be trust or nothing will ever come out of it.

Parents should basic filters on to block disturbing images, sites etc. But it's wrong if they go over the childs private messages with there friends, unless they have a reason to suspect cyber bulling etc,

you totally missed my point:

It is actually far better to just raise them with the appropriate ethical, linguistic and educational framework than to control what they see and how they speak.

Don't prescribe what they should see the world as, advocate a method of viewing the world in a way that appreciates these three basic tenets and you shouldn't have a problem. 

Mostly, stop fucking around with internet freedom, it already has enough problems, damn it. Also, stop attributing all of the problems in the world to the internet, stop focusing your control on the internet usage of youths. It is not their internet usage that you should be concerned about, it's everything else. If you teach them empathy and the psychologically predictive capacity of their brain, then they'll understand that certain behaviors are deviant from the norm and not acceptable in general society. If you teach them about the necessity and intricacy of norms within language, then they will understand the importance of adopting these standards into their everyday speech. If you teach them about the necessary importance of critical reasoning, the acquiring of knowledge and general skepticism, then they won't grow up to be ignorant bigots because they will forever question the things that the world tells them until they can find the answers for themselves and determine whether they seem suitably reasonable and well supported.

It depends on how extensive the monitoring is, and if they go with controlling their use.

If you try to control their use too much then you end up kids who have no idea how to evaluate and think critically about what they are doing on the internet. Those end up being the same people who will fall for the old charging the iphone by throwing it in the microwave, as well as getting information stolen because they decided to log into an online store or their bank while on a public computer.


(happens pretty frequently at my college. For a while the bookstore used netbooks with card readers attached in order to process payments for students wanting to purchase using credit cards. The issue ended up being that the workers will use the netbooks for other purposes and get them infected, and then swipe credit cards through. If someone grows up with their internet use being heavily monitored and controlled, then they will not get a chance to gain a well rounded experience and knowledge about the internet, and thus they will be more likely to fall victim to malicious actions later on when they can do far more damage to them.

Overall, i'd say, it comes down to the maturity of the child... not so much age however that does have a large impact on maturity. From my experience, over control simply leads to faster counter measures and under control creates means for children to become disturbed. Monitoring and essentially spying should not occur however unless parents have extreme suspicion.

parents should take responsibility for they're children's internet usage, and I think that is a responsibility issue then anything else, and many parents these day use computers and consoles as babysitters ,then actually giving them attention that they need , and the internet can be dangerous for small children so I don't think they should use the internet without supervision. I don't know really it's up to the parents though, but this issue is tricky, to much control is not good either could build up to resentment, so in the end it's the parents responsibility . and I think in this day and age parents should learn that technology is growing so fast and that the shiny world of the web can be dark and harmful . and it is both a responsibility and maturity issue but, (little OT) I know that I am tired of pre-teen trolls and screaming kids when I try to play online, so I just ask where is the parents ,kids need to learn that all behaviours are not okay and I just ask for parents to take they're responsibility and raise them properly .