Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Words with Friends.... and all that jazz...

In this day and age the Internet is inescapable... there is really, honestly no way to get around being a part of it.  I personally love the Internet and everything it puts at my fingertips.. I get to visit, research, create, learn, experience in ways that would be otherwise unavailable to me.  I cant actually imagine living without it...

However, I have done just fine living without my kids navigating it!  As we venture deeper and deeper into the world of the Internet, Facebook, texting, emails, apps, Itunes.... the farther I get from feeling some measure of control over the kids activities.  I mean I don't want to imply that we don't have control--- we have rules, guidelines etc and they are strongly enforced!  I do not feel though that we have complete control... it is too easy to click on the wrong thing or open a spam email and leave yourself open to nothing good!

We have to measure our guidelines against God's Principles and our kids levels of responsibility and trust.  How much can we trust them to be allowed with is determined by their maturity, their past response to other situation, and their character.... 

So as new opportunities come up in their lives: an IPod, an IPhone, email, texting, the Internet... we have to base what is allowed and not allowed on the child.

Used with Permission of author

So this brings me to rules:

*We have the basic rule of no Internet, with the exception of a very few pre- approved websites.
*We have a no laptops in rooms... but this rule has not been established with Ipods and Iphones.
*We have a no buying apps without approval- but have not stopped them from looking at apps.
*We have a no electronics rule from basically 8-4 on school days, but yet we have them using their various electronics FOR school--- so I think this rule gets blurry.
*We have no giving out ANY personal information rule.
*We do not allow numbers for phones to get given out without specific permission.

We have established parameter's for texting and email, for example;
*keep in mind others have things to do
*keep in mind to not say or speak malicious gossip
*remember that tone can not be read in a text or an email
*remember things cant be taken back-- once it's out there it's out there
*do not delete: all texts, emails etc are subject to inspection by parents
*no pictures in bedroom or bathroom (unless it is of a non living object or pet)
*no pictures in swimsuits, nightclothes etc.
*no texting after 9:00 or before 9:00 without specific reason and permission
*basically if you would be embarrassed to show it to your parents--- Don't text it.
*any apps that require location need to have permission

A friend asked (before giving Kate the phone number for her daughter) what Kate's guidelines were so that her daughter would know.. I LOVED it.  It had not occurred to me to do so.. I was making sure they followed general guidelines and were courtesy, but I did not think to ask for specifics from friends parents.. but I will now! 

Isn't growing up fun...

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