How to supervise your child’s online conduct

Now that I’ve fanned the flames of MySpace dread, here’s a fascinating list (passed along by Satch) of 11 tips for online parental supervision. We’ve discussed Internet filtering and online supervision before, but not as much as I’d expect, given your well-connectedness and Net savvy. Contrast this list with Dr. Parker’s post “Should we spy on our kids?” (oddharmonic — nice to see you in the comments on Dr. P’s post!)

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. says

    I love Dr. Parkers post and do not see any dissonance between his advice and that I’ve offered (on my cool cat teacher blog.) It is all about relationship and being open. It is also about accountability and knowing that we will be held accountable. I am accountable to my family and they are to me.

    Thank you for bringing awareness to this important issue.

  2. says

    Great lists, I certainly recommend other parents to either keep their kids off MySpace or closely monitor their activity.

    I didn’t know a thing about it and opened a test account … I ended up posting the results on my silly humor blog ( – see Oct 29th). Although the results were funny, it certainly cements the idea of keeping my kids off MySpace!

  3. says

    As a middle school counselor, I am constantly being made aware of issues arising from myspace sites and over e-mail. As my own daughter started 6th grade this year and now uses e-mail and IM regularly, I made sure that I set up the accounts and that I know the passwords. I also have a chat watch program on the computer with my daughter knows is there. But, before I let her have access to any of this I let her know what I expect and what the dangers are. If the time comes that she asks for a myspace I will do the same.

    The problems that I see at the M.S. I work at, would not be such a problem, if parents took the time to moniter what their kids were doing online. Even just an occasional check would help. We keep track of our kids friends at our house, why wouldn’t we do the same in cyberspace?

  4. flynn says

    Not a comment, but a question for the experts out there. I’m a compulsive browsing-history-deleter. For parents who do decide that they may monitor browsing history, is there a way to turn off the ability to delete this history?

  5. says

    Regarding a “way to turn off the ability to delete this (browser) history” (if you are a parent who chooses to monitor things), it’s probably more useful to simply install security software that monitors ALL Internet activity, including emails, IRC chat, browsing with non-standard browsers, file transfers, etc. This way you’re more confident in the results and protection.

    As an Internet Safety advisor and trainer, I’d always recommend the “holistic environment” approach, vs. bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece configuration changes and settings…which are typically easy to work around.

  6. says

    I think a lot of people are forgetting a very simple way of preventing misuse: don’t give a kid their own computer. Or, don’t put a computer in your kid’s bedroom or anywhere you can’t see it.

    The family computer should be a high-traffic area, where anyone can see anything at any time.

    BTW, a great website for all kinds of media literacy related resources for parents and teachers is

  7. Judie says

    Ditto to Andrea from the Fishbowl’s comment. Definately put the only computer your kids can access in an area where everyone can see. This deters the child from ‘browsing’ questionable sites.

  8. Jen says

    At home we maintain logs of sites and IM conversations, and cut off internet access at 10pm, our 13 and 15 yr olds’ bedtime. We do this with CyberSitter. I view their myspace and can log in if I feel the need- I have login info for their myspace as well as their IMs. I’ve created my own account to IM them, and see when they’re online. My children know I keep track of what they’re doing online– it’s a condition of them being online at all.

  9. crystal says

    how can I suppervise my child on myspace if she goes to her dads house and he doesn’t check what she is doing,her step-motherf lets her do what she wants,already got her in troulb but dad did not do say nothing to his wife, what to do please advice