Friday, August 28, 2009
I know we usually talk about online predators, monitoring our kids online, and using McGruff Safeguard to help in bridge a gap when communicating…after all, teenagers CAN be from a different planet at times. For this blog, I wanted to dive into another subject which is a cause for concern. There could be a slippery slope when it comes to predators acting out. Here is an article from 2006 where a hearing wanted to establish the links between child pornography and child sex abuse.
The reason I wanted to bring this up is because this just came in from our friends in Florida, Protect Our Youth From Online Predators: Attorney General CyberSafety .
Marion County Man Arrested for Possession of Child PornographyTALLAHASSEE,
FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Marion County man has been taken into custody on charges of child pornography possession. Rodney
Tundidor was arrested by law enforcement officers with the Attorney General’s
CyberCrime Unit, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Citrus County
Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and
the Ocala Police Department.
Members of the Attorney General’s Tampa CyberCrime Task Force located
numerous videos and images of child pornography online during a routine
investigation and traced the images back to Tundidor’s computer. A search
warrant was executed at his Dunnellon residence and two computers, an external
hard drive, and numerous CDs were seized, which will undergo additional forensic
analysis to locate any additional images of child pornography.
An initial review at Tundidor’s residence confirmed the videos and images
located by investigators were on his computer, several of which were part of an
identified series of child pornography and others of children appearing no more
than six years old. Tundidor admitted to downloading and possessing the images
and videos. He was taken to the Marion County Jail and will be charged with 14
counts of possession of child pornography, which will be enhanced to
second-degree felony charges under the CyberCrimes Against Children Act, and two
counts of promotion of child pornography, also a second-degree felony.
This kind of thing happens daily. We are fighting it, states are fighting it, people all over the world are fighting it. Let’s all work together in taking these predators down. The first step is awareness.
Labels: Attorney General Cybersafe, child pornography, children safety, Florida
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 12:39 PM Link to this Article
"I Had No Idea"- A Real Parent's Wake Up Call
Thursday, August 27, 2009
There are many types of parents. According to most research, there are three: Authoritarian, permissive, and democratic.
I've run across all three. I've seen the differences of behavior in the children/teenagers of them. I'm fascinated by it, saddened at times, but nonetheless, extremely interested in the result. A friend of mine was talking to me the other day (I'm changing names to protect them). Her parenting style is somewhat on the 'authoritarian' side. She and her husband don't tolerate very much. They are extremely strict and not as understanding with their teenager as they could be. I could tell her all day long that it's not the way to go. I know she hears me, but when it comes to your own kids, and keeping in consideration how my friends were raised, it seems quite obvious why they have chose this route...right or wrong.
After recently adding McGruff Safeguard to their daughter's computer, things they were clueless about have come to light. "Everything seemed normal. I mean, Alexa has been doing well in school, involved in school functions, hanging out with her friends, going to the mall ALOT. I mean, she's an all around good kid. Sure, she gets attitude sometimes. I just had no idea this was going on."--this after learning her daughter had been shoplifting petty things from the mall...jewelry, nail polish, things of that nature. The mother thought her daughter was just borrowing things from her friends.
How do we handle blows like this without freaking out? Both she and her husband work full time and its difficult for them to be on the lookout 24/7. Plus, the mall is where a lot of kids hang out. Do you just take that away without compromising your advantage?
I know it can be a difficult line to draw. I advised my friend not to confront her. Rather, engage in more conversation and take some time to get to know her daughter. Perhaps see if there is something she can uncover through asking non-intrusive questions and getting real.
I personally find this story rather familiar. I did some of the same things as a teenager and so did my friends. I got in trouble but I was much younger. I know I made the decisions I did because it was my way of ‘getting back’ at the people who I felt ‘held me down.’ I often wonder if my parents parenting style would have been different, if I would have done some of the same things.
Alexa has great parents. They are doing their best, doing what they know. Sometimes, as parents, we have to step back and look at our parenting style and decide if it’s always the right style for the situation. I’ll be looking forward to keeping you updated on what happens with Alexa and her parents as they look inside themselves to adjust their parenting style and their relationship with their daughter.
Labels: McGruff Safeguard, parenting style, relationships, shoplifting
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 4:38 AM Link to this Article
I'm the parent. I make the rules.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When I was a teenager, I save up money to buy my first car. I worked a job before I was sixteen, riding my bike back and forth, and I even built my own herd of cattle (yes, I'm a farm-boy) which brought in some money. Now, couldn't I have just borrowed mom and dad's, or asked them to buy it for me? Sure. But I had a plan.
If I own the car, so I thought, they can't tell me what to do or not do with it. In my imagination, the ownership of the car meant they couldn't take my keys as punishment, restrict my driving privileges, or prevent me from certain activities on the weekend just by denying access to borrow a vehicle. Ah, yes, I was going to free myself from their rule.
I still remember when dad, a stern disciplinarian, brought that rule crashing down on me. I was told not to do something. I directly disobeyed. In our house, that was a cardinal offense. Since the deed had to do with the car, he promptly took the keys. "You can't do that," I exclaimed.
"I'm the parent. I make the rules." He didn't have to think too hard for that reply.
The fact is, at sixteen, the most loving thing Dad could do for me was not to let me do everything I wanted. Now, it took me about a decade to reach that understanding, but it happened nonetheless. I was a kid. I was irresponsible. I made bad decisions. So, my parents helped me learn what good decisions were, what responsibility was, and how to become an adult.
Gillian Shaw recently reported Online Spying is an Aid to Parents. A provocative title, no doubt, but her point was loud and clear. Children aren't ready to fly without a net on the internet. They have far too much propensity to harm themselves or others, sometimes irreparably. And, just as having my own car didn't free me from my parent's supervision, a child's own laptop, cell phone, email address, or social media identity should not be their ticket to total independence.
In her article, Shaw references internet monitoring tools she calls "cyber-sleuthing software for parents." In other words, knowing what your kid is up to. Is your teen permitted to drive wherever they want? Can they take a road-trip to Cancun on a whim? Doubtful. So, what are they doing online? McGruff SafeGuard can help you know, so you can be the parent and make the rules.
Labels: McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, teenagers
posted by Nick Carter at 9:41 AM Link to this Article
Welcome to the World of Sexting
Monday, August 24, 2009
I think it’s pretty safe to say that teenagers are prone to doing things without thinking of consequences. I also think it’s safe to say, had they thought about them, looking into the future, they probably wouldn’t have made the same decisions. Here’s a true story:
Not too long ago, there was a cheerleader in high school who broke up with her boyfriend. Two years earlier, she had used her cell phone to film an inappropriate video of herself. She was only a freshman at the time. Fast-forward to the beginning of her senior year, her now ex-boyfriend sent the video via text to her cheerleading coach and other random friends to ‘get back at her.’ She was kicked off the squad over something she had done as a freshman. She was devastated. Her family was hurt and embarrassed. I mean, think of the emotions you would go through if something like that were to happen to your child…to your family.
The girl in this story does not come from a bad home. Her family is still together, they attend church. They are the kind of family in which you would never expect something like this to happen to. However, it was the consequence of a teenager just not using her head when she was 14 years old. I’m pretty sure her parents never sat down and said; “Now honey, it’s probably not smart to send inappropriate pictures or videos over your cell phone, to your boyfriend.” Quite the opposite actually, since I know the family. It came as a shock.
Not all teenagers do things like in this particular story. I wanted to share it because many times, we have no clue what’s going on inside our kids’ heads. That is why McGruff Safeguard can be a major assistance in communicating with our teens. When we know what's REALLY going on, we are able to lead the conversation in a manner that could make all the difference in the world.
Labels: communication, online parenting, sexting, True Stories
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 5:38 AM Link to this Article
True Stories: "Before it's too late..."
Friday, August 21, 2009
There is a lot of fear involved in parenting. As we talk about protecting children, it's easy to focus on all the dangers that exist. Predators, drugs, violence, profanity, immorality, teen pregnancy, depression, self-destruction... I could go on, but to be truthful, I really don't want to.
Parenting isn't always about rule-setting and boundary-building. Although you wouldn't guess it from the media and the best-seller lists, there is actually more to be enjoyed and cherished as a parent than to be feared. Today's "true story" exemplifies that fact to a tee. After using McGruff SafeGuard as a parental monitoring tool, one parent wrote:
"Some of the examples you gave of how the program helped parents were pretty extreme, which is wonderful. On a much simpler note, I love being able to read about what is going on with the day to day activities of my 13 year old."
That's a breath of fresh air. As a parent, do you ever just want to get to know your child better. At thirteen, this little girl is just barely starting to become an adult. Now, she's not there yet, but a personality is developing that will be the foundation for an adult relationship for decades to come. This mother enjoyed one simple thing: she was getting to know her daughter. She was getting involved. She could pay attention. She could care about her life. She could know her.
The parent continued:
"The best thing about the program is simply being able to direct your conversations with your child about what is going on and having an intelligent two sided conversation about topics of concern. All of this is important to do before it is too late."Some day, this thirteen-year-old girl is going to be a sixteen-year-old driver, and then an eighteen-year-old college freshman, and so on. Meaningful conversations don't have to wait until they're an adult. If you feel like distance is forming... like "mom just doesn't get me" is on the back of your child's mind... maybe McGruff SafeGuard could help in one simple way: get know your child... before it's too late.
Labels: McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, teenagers, True Stories
posted by Nick Carter at 7:19 AM Link to this Article
The Targeted Teenagers
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I was reading this article from 2007 from BoingBoing.net by Cory Doctorow. He was discussing how most of the predators online weren’t necessarily targeting young children. They were targeting teenagers. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“… the research in the cases that we’ve gleaned from actual law enforcement
files, for example, suggests a different reality for these crimes. So first fact
is that the predominant online sex crime victims are not young children. They
are teenagers. There’s almost no victims in the sample that we collected from –
a representative sample of law enforcement cases that involved the child under
the age of 13.
…So these are not mostly violence sex crimes, but they are criminal
seductions that take advantage of teenage, common teenage vulnerabilities. The
offenders lure teens after weeks of conversations with them, they play on teens’
desires for romance, adventure, sexual information, understanding, and they lure
them to encounters that the teams know are sexual in nature with people who are
considerably older than themselves.”
Read entire article
This coincides with MSNBC’s 2009 online article by Todd Richmond (Associated Press). Here is an excerpt:
“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's cyber tip line
took 85,301 reports of child porn and 8,787 reports of online enticement last
year. Investigations of Internet crimes against children resulted in 3,000
arrests nationwide in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The statistics show how an entire generation has moved online, seeking
reinforcement from others with the same abhorrent sexual tastes, said Michelle
Collins, executive director of the missing children center's exploited child
Most disturbing is the correlation between child porn and
enticement, said Wisconsin forensic computer analyst Dave Matthews. Viewing
leads to doing, he said. "They're grooming themselves," Matthews said.”
These numbers are scary. What’s even scarier is the possibility of it being under our nose. It’s hard being a parent and trying to monitor everything our kids are doing, especially online. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to come off as a nosy parent. That’s why McGruff Safeguard is such an important factor in monitoring what our kids are doing and who they are talking to. Join the fight to keep your kids safe online. Visit GoMcGruff.com.
Labels: BOING BOING, Internet predators, internet safety, MSNBC, teenagers
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 12:03 PM Link to this Article
Illinois Law Bans Sex Offenders from Social Media
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Last week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that bans registered sex offenders in Illinois from using what this bill calls a "Social networking website." The definition put forth in the Illinois law seeks to define social networking sites primarily by the ability to host a profile of oneself combined with the electronic messaging--chat, email, writing on "walls," etc.--that accompanies it. But, surprisingly, the bill has been met with a mix of applaud and criticism.
For starters, aside from the very "legalese" attempt at defining social media, the bill does have some potential weaknesses. Critics fear that the bill is too narrow-focused and may lead to a false sense of safety for children online. Others simply wonder how one state's legislation will make any impact on such a broad-reaching medium like the Internet. For example, the bill does not account for predators in Gary, IN befriending Chicago youth. And, there are also those concerned that the alienation of one-time criminals could be unjust--creating a "virtual concentration camp" as Mike Doyle of Chicago Now puts it .
But, let's put this into perspective. The 19th Amendment didn't outlaw sexism in the workplace, spousal abuse, or other forms of gender discrimination. But it was a step in the right direction, no doubt! And, all of the above did follow in due time. I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that this simple bill, one of the first of its kind, will radically change the safety of children online... by itself. But, at the same time, I do applaud Quinn and the Illinois legislation for taking a first step.
To be sure, much revision is needed, and will undoubtedly come. But as other states begin to follow suit, and federal legislation such as the AWARE Act continue to gain the attention of lawmakers, I believe we'll someday look back to this era in history and see landmark legislation. We're taking small steps today to protect our children for generations to come in the ever-increasing internet community. As society changes, so must legislation. The internet has forever changed the society we live in. There is an urgent need, so I will continue to support the legislators who--though maybe behind the eight ball--do have the safety of our nation's children at heart.
Labels: AWARE Act, children safety, internet safety, Legislation, predators, Sex Offenders
posted by Nick Carter at 6:24 AM Link to this Article
Children and Awareness
Saturday, August 15, 2009
My daughter just started Kindergarten. She has been in preschool and is very secure in just about any environment she’s in. She is friendly and open and wants everyone to be her friend and play with her. As much as that is an amazing thing, it is also a little scary. I have really been working with her on learning our phone numbers and address. I’ve been teaching her about strangers and how she needs to NEVER go with them, even if they know her name and if they tell her that I said it was okay.
It is crazy to think that there are people out there who want to hurt the ones we love. My daughter has had limited time on the computer, however, she is now in a classroom where she will be learning how to navigate and use it. It is now, at 4 and 5, imperative to teach them about safety and internet safety.
The internet is a playground for predators, and there are a lot of things out there our kids have NO business seeing. My niece, who is 7 years old and loves the popular band, The Jonas Brothers, typed ‘cute boys’ into a search. Now, to a 7 year old with a crush on a band, surely the search would bring up the rock band. To her surprise, she is directed to a catalogue of gay porn.
It’s extremely easy for kids to just ‘stumble upon’ things they have no business seeing at their age. And imagine how long an image can stay in a kids head.
We have to teach our kids at a very young age that the world is a scary place. We need to encourage them to be aware of their surroundings without freaking them out. For tips on some of these issues and how to address them, visit http://www.mcgruff.org/Advice/online_safety.php. Let’s work together on keeping our kids aware. And if you are a parent on Facebook, please join our Facebook group dedicated to parents and online safety.
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 7:00 AM Link to this Article
True Stories: "It has been a great way to open lines of communication..."
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sixteen. That magical age when a teen somehow becomes entirely free. They blow out all sixteen candles, their brains mature instantly, their hormones stabilize, and they gain such perspective on life.... oh, and they get car keys, to boot.
We all know it doesn't work like that. But, there are challenges that arise for parents when teens suddenly gain the freedom of wheels and the empowerment to believe they are self-sufficient. Attempts to hold on tighter often backfire in rebellion. But on the contrary, unbridled freedom could leave them vulnerable to risks and dangers they cannot even imagine.
McGruff Safeguard is a monitoring tool that has helped countless parents stay in-tune with their kids activities without crossing the fuzzy boundary between concerned and controlling. One such parent tells this story:
"I got this product after my daughter started talking to a new boy at school... The boy wanted my daughter to meet him after school to get to know each other better. They also decided it would be a good idea not to tell their parents. The boy is 18 and my daughter 16. I found out through the service that they were going to meet and where."
Now, before you wonder if this is spying, intrusive, or otherwise objectionable: the story goes on to reveal that the daughter was in fact suffering from clinical depression. While undergoing counseling and with support from her parents, she wasn't improving. They just weren't able to get through to her, to relate, and to let her know they cared.
But McGruff Safeguard afforded the parents a unique insight. They began to discover that their daughter wasn't opening up. She wasn't telling anyone, the counselor included, what was hurting her, how she really felt, and what she was really thinking about life. How has McGruff Safeguard helped?
"It has been a great way to open line of communication between us. She doesn't know I use this , but I don't want her to think I am prying into her private life, but she has grown closer to us as she feels that we really do know how she feels and we can offer help for issues that she needs a little guidance in. I love this service and highly recommend it to anyone with kids."
Labels: depression, McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, teenagers, True Stories
posted by Nick Carter at 9:42 AM Link to this Article
Recognizing Taney County's Battle Against Online Predators
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I know the past couple of weeks, we have been discussing ways to monitor and protect our children’s online activities. There may be some parents out there freaked out about their kids being online. It can be easy to do. However, it’s important to keep in mind, that even though the internet can be used to lure the innocent unsuspecting, it is also being used to lure the predator.
This is exactly what the Taney County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri, did last week.
Michael Sean Pruiett, 37, of Ava, was charged in an Internet crime sting, after allegedly exposing himself on a webcam in the belief that the person on the other end was a young girl. This man was found in an internet chat room.
"Welch's sole purpose is to chat everyday with possible predators, in web
chat rooms, finding the best ways to act like a teen or child.She must be very
careful not to entice them. Laws require that the predator must be the
one to initiate inappropriate conduct.
Welch says as soon as she logs on she is approached by so many people she
has to start ignoring them. And many, she says, are from the Ozarks.
Russell says having a deputy dedicated to this type of crime is vital to public
These are the type of people that sooner or later are very apt to progress
on and go into rapes and other acts with children," Russell says.
Russell says parents may be surprised to see what is going on with children
online, and there are people living in southwest Missouri who expose themselves
to kids and try to lure them into face to face meetings."
I want to look at this twofold. Even though the internet is often used for bad, it is also being used to catch the bad. And it’s also great to know that there are folks out there dedicated to protecting our children from someplace other than our own home. If you are a law enforcement officer and are with us in our effort to keep children safe online, please join our Facebook group, Law Enforcement For Protecting Children Online.
Labels: chat room, children safety, Facebook group, Internet predators, internet safety, Taney County Sheriff's Department
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 5:20 PM Link to this Article
Internet Predators Traveling to Pennsylvania Busted
Attorney General Tom Corbett and the state's Child Predator Unit deserves our accolade today, along with all the law enforcement teams who serve to protect our children in the increasingly cyber-active world. Corbett's team is discovering that threats to the children of the Pennsylvania communities they protect are not always local. The Internet has made it easy for predators to solicit minors from several states away, and the predators are willing to travel, it appears. But Pennsylvania has not settled for a defensive posture. The aggressive undercover work of the Child Predator Unit resulted in another arrest today, and we think that's something worth congratulating.
Today, Corbett announced the most recent arrest of one man from Ohio and an accomplice local to Reading, Penn. The two men thought they were soliciting 13-year old girls. They were wrong. Agents from the Child Predator Unit used assumed identities of underage girls and made the arrest in a suburban rendezvous.
The Gant Daily, however, reports that this arrest is the 53rd child predator arrest this year alone. Since it's inception in 2005, there have been 230 arrests to-date with an amazing 100% conviction rate. Their stings have put would-be predators behind bars from as far away as Texas and Florida. Our hats are off to you!
According to the Gant Daily's report, Corbett doesn't want to do it alone. He want's parents involved to:
"Corbett said the best defense against Internet predators is for parents to regularly discuss online safety with their children, to actively monitor their online activity and to encourage kids to immediately report any situation where strangers make sexual propositions."
So, how can you get involved? One way to get started is with McGruff SafeGuard's free monitoring tool. But more than that, take Corbett's advice: talk to your kids. Finally, we want to invite you to connect with other parents like yourself who are fighting to keep kids safe: join the Facebook group "Parents for Protecting Children Online."
Labels: Child Predator, Facebook, internet safety, McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, predators
posted by Nick Carter at 7:04 AM Link to this Article
Google Maps....Street View
Saturday, August 8, 2009
When I was in college, I had a professor tell me about Google Maps. It was then becoming all the rage. He was going to all sorts of places, Africa, Cambodia, South America, all through viewing Google Maps. So, in my natural curiosity, what’s the first thing I do? I type in my home address. Disco, online, I am viewing the details of my home. I mean, it was down to the moving van that was in my driveway at the time. Satellites are amazing.
So, despite the amazing technology that we have, some people out there use it in a way that is bad. All we can do, is be aware and take the necessary action steps in order to make our kids less of a target. But it truly begins with eduacation.
It is our intention over here at McGruff Safeguard
to keep you informed on what you can do to keep your children safe from Internet Predators. It is also our intention to keep you informed on what your kids are doing and talking about online so you can best protect them. We’re here to help you protect your loved ones.
Labels: Google maps, online parenting, predators, protection, stopinternetpredators.org
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 6:29 AM Link to this Article
The Internet Generation: Younger and Younger
Friday, August 7, 2009
I was at my cousin's house. His son, four years old, was at the computer. "Oh, does he have some games on there he can play?" I asked my cousin. "No, checking email," The four-year-old quickly replied.
Checking email?!?! When I was four I dragged a corded phone, the only phone in our house, to my mom in the next room so she could dial the number to my friend's house. Who taught this kid to email? Who is he emailing with?
Parenting children of the Internet Generation has unique challenges, but many parents might be surprised just how young that generation really is. Nielsen did a study of children on the Internet starting as early as age 2 up to 11. They found these young children spending 63% more time on the Internet today than children of the same ages did 5 years ago. This young generation now represents nearly 10% of the overall online population, and it continues to grow faster than older demographics.
All of this amounts to one thing: protecting your children online may start earlier than you expect. No parent would place their child in a room stocked with pornography and weapons, resting assured that the child is safe because they don't know which drawer to open or under what mat to find the magazine. The Internet holds dangerous content, not to mention predators of all kinds, that are too easily discovered by entirely innocent behavior.
Consider the child, recently back from an exciting trip with dad to the car show in town. Can you imagine what he may find when he innocently searches the term "Hot Rod?" What would a six-year-old do when an email promises fun games if you only download the software attached? What would a ten-year-old do when a wealthy Nigerian businessman supposedly offers him millions for safe keeping?
Children ages 2 to 11 are online 63% more today than 5 years ago, and over half that time is spent watching video on sites like YouTube. It's never to early to begin educating children about the internet community, modeling safe behavior, and monitoring an active child on the Internet.
Labels: education, internet safety, monitoring, online parenting, predators
posted by Nick Carter at 8:36 AM Link to this Article
What's A Chat Room Anyway?
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
What is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear of this thing called a “chat room
?” For me, (I’m a visual person) I picture this invisible room of random strangers chatting away. Almost like some secret society. For some, it is a place to meet friends. Others may see it as a place to escape from real life if they aren’t happy with where they are. Some may be seeking like minds to share ideas and thoughts in a state of anonymity. And others use it as a platform to prey on the weak at heart, the insecure, and the young.
There are vast differences for ‘reasons’ why someone may want to join a chat room. For those of you who have never been ‘in’ a virtual chat room, it may look something like the photo above. (Please click on picture for larger view.)
Usually, there is a box on the right of the screen which displays all the usernames of the people in the chat room. Some use their real name, others use a ‘screen name,’ and some use a fake name. However, unless you actually know the person in real life, you never truly know who you are talking to. That is why it is easy to use chat rooms for sting operations.
Internet predators can disguise themselves as anyone. It is for this reason McGruff Safeguard
was created. So we can be informed on what is actually going on in the chat rooms our kids are entering. When I say “see what is going on,” I mean, McGruff Safeguard
monitors and sends you conversations word for word. This is not to get them in trouble. It is to help you be INFORMED on what is going on in order to adjust your parenting strategies.
We care too much for our loved ones to let them get ‘snowed’ by some internet predator lingering in the shadow of a chat room. McGruff is here to help you keep your loved ones safe.
Labels: chat room, internet safety, monitoring, online parenting, predators
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 11:31 AM Link to this Article
True Stories: "I felt a little guilty..."
We have met and spoken to countless parents--hundreds if not thousands--and there's a common sentiment that we'd like to bring out into the open. It's usually mentioned in about the same fashion. We're sharing about our product. The parent is nodding in agreement. Then they pause. They lean in closer. And, in a lower voice, the parent asks: "so, is this like spying on my kids?"
In my mother-in-law's home, the window over the kitchen sink provides a panoramic view of the entire back yard. It's far beyond a child's ability to understand the luminosity and reflections that prevent them from seeing in, even while mom can see out quite clearly. She watches her son play. She watches him break the rules. The punishment ensues. Was she spying?
Of course not. When a child ventures outside, there's risk involved. And, where risk is involved, monitoring is not just permissible, it's required. The same is true on the internet. The internet is a neighborhood, not unlike your backyard, but with infinitely more neighbors, more ways to "play" with them, and less ways for you to monitor you kids' activities.
One parent wrote to us about her initial trepidation, "I felt a little guilty." But, as you'll read, McGruff SafeGuard let this mom see the encouraging results of her adolescent son making the right decisions. It also let her help him avoid the wrong ones. But ultimately, what we all want is to impart the wisdom to know the difference.
"Let me start by saying this is the best $30.00 I have ever spent. I have two stories to share. The first is a happy one for any parent to know. My son a freshman in HS goes to a roller rink every Fri. I'm not clueless I know the drugs are there but you just hope your kids not the one. My son came home early one night and wouldn't say why he just seemed mad. Later I checked the service to find out why he was mad. He was mad because some of his friends went and left to do drugs. He wrote to his other friend that they were a waste of his time and he was not going to go with them again. I was so happy to read this message. Another time some kids were going to have a sleep over and he added that his parents would not be home. It was good to know that and put a stop to the sleep over. I felt a little guilty when I first put it in but the feeling of safety has won me over as well as the other people I have told about this. I hope you can get the word out to other parents and still keep the kids in the dark about your product. It is nice that they don’t know it is there. Thank you again."
Labels: internet safety, McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, True Stories
posted by Nick Carter at 7:21 AM Link to this Article