It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that many tweens/teens don’t want their parents to know what they’re doing when they are online. It’s obvious to any parent of a teen that has walked into the room when their teen is using the computer and have seen browser windows close, browser history erased, or blockers circumvented. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “64% of all teens say that teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about” and “63% of teens said they know how to hide what they do online from their parents.” (Harris Interactive/McAfee study 2008)
ScreenRetriever, a new approach to online safety, levels the playing field between parents and savvy tween/teen computer users that don’t want their parents to know what they’re doing online. When something isn’t quite right parents are pretty intuitive, and that’s when they need to step in, and check in on their teens, just as they do offline. Kids would like to K.P.C (keep parents clueless) and with ScreenRetriever they can’t. Parents can check on what their children are doing online just as they do offline.
All parents want to believe that their tweens/teens are making good choices in all aspects of their lives. The reality is that we also know that tweens and teens don’t always have the best judgment and need parental oversight. For example, we talk to our kids to be sure they’ve done their homework. If we’re concerned with their school work, we check in with their teachers, or we check their report cards. Parents need to check in periodically too with kids when they’re online. Are they visiting appropriate sites? Are they doing their homework when they say they are? Are they on the computer at one in the morning when they should be asleep? Are they posting appropriate pictures on Facebook? Are they visiting strangers online?
Don’t allow your kids to keep you clueless…start monitoring what your children are doing online today. Parent online just as you do offline. It’s a parents job to teach, responsible, safe, appropriate behavior online.