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Police Chief Teaches Parents To Keylog Kids 505

Hugh Pickens writes writes "LiveScience reports that James Batelli, the police chief of Mahwah, NJ, and his detectives conduct seminars that teach parents how to outfit a computer with keystroke logging software, giving them access to the full spectrum of their kids' online activities. Batelli explains that kids put themselves in potentially dangerous situations online every day, especially on Facebook, where they run the risk of coming into contact with child predators who troll the social networking site. 'When it comes down to safety and welfare of your child, I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children,' he says."
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Police Chief Teaches Parents To Keylog Kids

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  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:24AM (#35258722)

    I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children

    If you are so out of touch with what your kid does online that you need this.. then you forgot to sacrifice something somewhere along the way.

    No, you can't watch your kids all the time .. and at a certain age you can't just say "internet only when I'm around" either.

    You can however educate your child on the risks out there, and have a good understanding of your childs judgment is.

    • But... I thought that education was bad! They need to be able to happily live in their little bubbles thinking that society has no bad qualities. Banning/censoring/nannying is so much easier...

    • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:47AM (#35258794)

      "In order to save the village, we had to destroy it" comes to mind.

      Or "never time to do it right, always time do fsck it up and try something even worse" perhaps.

      If parents'd done their homework, there'd be no problem. But they haven't, so this guy's "teaching" some half-assed catch-up technique that doesn't scale next to the drawbacks of being highly unethical and is bound to lose the parents their childrens' trust if (inevitably) found out. So the value of teaching this is mostly in how it's eventually self-defeating. The fact that a holder of public trust thinks its acceptable to teach this I find... telling.

      As a parent you can insist that no internet access happens unsupervised ("training wheels") until it's time to take off the training wheels. If you don't understand that, then internet access is the least of your parenting worries.

    • Happy with your successful first post!

      We're a generation bringing in the first generation born into Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, etc.. I can only assume that on Slashdot our kids will be curious of what their parents do online at an early age, and very quickly figure out what they can do online too.

      It's a little scary to give kids that kind of access to information, but I'm excited by the challenge. I fully intend to have them on my lap in front of the PC at an early age (among other less stationary activit

      • Re:Came to say this (Score:5, Informative)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @12:29PM (#35260130) Journal

        Hi Matt! You won't have any problems as long as you are honest with your kids and actually know them. With my two boys I had them playing with my hand me down PCs almost from the time they could walk, had them a little LAN set up so they could play each other (no net access of course) at around 6 and gave them timed access to the net (most routers have time based settings) when their schoolwork started requiring research. I finally gave them full access at around the time I was giving them the talk at 15.

        Funny part is I knew damned good and well what was gonna happen when I let them loose. I gave them the whole spiel about how many porn sites have bugs but I knew damned good and well the oldest would think I was full of shit and just saying that to spook him. Sure enough about 3 days later his little brother drags me towards his room laughing his ass off and there is the oldest with his head in his hands as "YOU CAN HAVE A BIGGER DICK!" and "HOT SEX IN YOUR AREA!" pop ups just flooded the screen. I looked at his little brother and we both just died laughing. A month without his PC along with having to learn how to do a spyware removal was a valuable life lesson IMHO.

        So as long as you're honest with them, take it one step at a time, and realize they WILL fuck up occasionally and that ALL teens will eventually want to look at the opposite sex naked, everything will be alright. Now the oldest is in premed and the youngest is deciding whether he wants to be a chef or go into CAD, so I figure I did alright. One thing I got lucky with was dope, as my ex brother in law became a full blown meth addict which gave the kids a really great example of what drugs can do to you close up. I'm just glad I never lied to the boys or covered for him because now neither one wants a damned thing to do with any drug after seeing him fried with holes in his face where he picked himself bloody.

        The world can be a scary place, but as long as you are honest with your kids and actually explain WHY there are rules (other than "because I said so!") then you'll do alright and they turn out just fine. Every friend I went to HS with that had trouble with his/her kids did the "Because I said so" bit and without a better reason the kids just thought they were being asses and pretty much ignored them when they turned teen. But other than the oldest thinking he knew more about computers and the net than me (BWA HA HA HA HA!) I never had a lick of trouble by simply being honest and giving them freedom in slowly larger increments. A little trust goes a long way.

        • by lwsimon ( 724555 ) <> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @01:25PM (#35260418) Homepage Journal

          Intelligent kids are so much more difficult to raise - and I'd wager that there is a disproportionate number of highly intelligent kids of parents who read Slashdot.

          I've got a two-year-old, and I always take time to explain why I set boundaries for her, even though she doesn't fully understand all of it yet. "Because I said so" is valid, if and only if you're really setting a boundary only for your own personal preference; that's okay, you're the adult. The same reason shouldn't be given for "why can't I wear my tutu to Walmart?" as "Why can't I put my hand on the top of the stove to see if it's on?".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by louic ( 1841824 )
      It also reminds me of the story of Perceval. As I remember it, a mother brought up her kid in a forest to protect him, after her husband (a knight) was killed in battle. The only thing she achieved with this was that the first time the young boy accidentally saw a knight in shiny armor wandering in the forest, he first thought it was a god, and from that moment on, all he wanted to do was become a knight.

      Children need to be protected, but not overprotected. They need to be ready for a society where the n
    • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by houghi ( 78078 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:34AM (#35258962)

      Reminds me of a girl in my class. She was not allowed contact with any of the other kids. He parents were very over protective. Then at 18, she was old enough according to her parents and was left loose. In about 3 months she became the school slut, because she had no idea how to correctly interact with others.

      It is also like kid-proofing your house. Don't. The kid will get some bumps and that is how you learn: by failing.

      It is basically the standard: do not take candy from strangers. I was raised in such a way that I would not even take candy from neighbors and if my parents were there and some neighbor wanted to give me candy, I would aks my parents first.

      Education on what to do is the best thing you can give your kid. Not only so he won't get raped (which happens way more with people they know then with people they don't) and murdered, but s they have a basis for the rest of their life on how to handle situations.

      As a parent you are NOT the babysitter and you are NOT their friend. You are the parent and YOU need to see that they learn as much as possible. Putting them in a cocoon will take the ability to learn away.

      Protection is a short term goal. As a parent you need to look at the long term goal. 20+ years from the start.

      • by wisty ( 1335733 )

        Remove unacceptable hazards (hot oil, going to a sleep over with a kid you have only chatted to online, and playing in traffic), but don't about acceptable ones (hot metal, p0rn, and other non-life-threatening things).

      • Re:Nope (Score:5, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Sunday February 20, 2011 @08:57AM (#35259224) Journal

        Reminds me of a girl in my class. She was not allowed contact with any of the other kids. He parents were very over protective. Then at 18, she was old enough according to her parents and was left loose. In about 3 months she became the school slut, because she had no idea how to correctly interact with others.

        And yet she was still able to become the governor of Alaska.

        Shows the resilience of the human spirit.

    • If you are so out of touch with what your kid does online that you need this.. then you forgot to sacrifice something somewhere along the way.

      You *are* that out of touch with what your kid does, and it's not because of a lack of parenting. It's because they are free and sovereign creatures. The child you see and interact with everyday is not the full expanse of your kid--it is the expression of words and actions your kid has learned avoids your ire and keeps the allowance money flowing. You hope there is a good correspondence, but it's not guaranteed. If your kid is up against some dark inclinations, he or she will realize that telling you co

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        I think there is a huge difference between meeting up with someone they're chatting with online and the other usual childhood "behind the parents back" type stuff that we all did and expect our kids to do (though will probably still freak out over).

        Do you think your kid is going to actually put him/her self in real danger? Ok.. then yeah.. surveillance mode, but I would probably use some other tactic then this, and at the very least would tell the kid about it.

        Beyond that, I think standard passive monitorin

        • Re:Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @08:30AM (#35259142)

          I spent most of my free time for a big chunk of my childhood from about age 8 to 12 down at the local river /stream building damns and rafts with some of the neighbourhood kids about a mile from home.

          when going out the door I'd call out "going out for a few hours, if not back avenge death."

          In that time I never put myself in any more danger than I did climbing trees in my parents garden. Some danger but no more than the norm.
          My parents had a fair idea of roughly where I was and had instilled in me the basics of not killing myself.

          When we got an internet connection when I was 12 or 13 they instilled the basics of "don't give out your details online, don't give out your location online" which is really really really easy to follow if you're not an unusually thick child.

          being a 13 year old boy I looked at quite a lot of pornography, went on a lot of forums and a lot of chat rooms but not once did I ever get approached by any kind of child predator or anyone trying to dig my location/details out of me.

          the fear of child predators online is wildly over the top.
          Your children are vastly more likely to run into them in real life than online and it's almost trivial to stay safe.

      • The child you see and interact with everyday is not the full expanse of your kid--it is the expression of words and actions your kid has learned avoids your ire and keeps the allowance money flowing.

        If that's the sort of relationship you have with your kid, you've already lost something important. Rather than teach your child what your values are and why they are your values, you've instead taught them that the only reason to be good is because of the consequences, and if no one finds out, it's ok.

        A key example:

        If your kid is up against some dark inclinations, he or she will realize that telling you could have negative results, and that not telling you keeps the situation fully under their control.

        While they may not be able to tell you everything, you'd hope there would be some adult in their life they'd be able to talk to. In any case, this is precisely what I'm talking about. My parents

    • Re:Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @09:32AM (#35259358)

      If you are so out of touch with what your kid does online that you need this.. then you forgot to sacrifice something somewhere along the way.

      I kinda knew this would be the standard /. response. However, kids lie and lie well. Many probably know how to wipe their history. Many won't and don't know how to check for a keylogger. And in the end, honestly, I don't think there is enough hours in the day to know "everything your kid is doing."

      I think I might use something like this. But not to spy on their internet activity. Just when I was in MS/HS, I knew a few kids that went missing or ran away with an older person. Then, such a tool would get you way ahead of the game on might have happened.

      Of course, there will be abuse of the tool. It would be perching on your kid's shoulder, and if they sense you are doing that, they'll just as soon seek another computer, or go to a friend's computer, or from a school computer find out how to bypass it a million different ways (Linux Live CD for one if no BIOS PW). And I know parents who go out of their way to make sure their older HS kids don't look at porn. If they are actively seeking it out, they're old enough to look, imo - though it might signal a talk, not restrictions.

      But I'm sure the likely outcome to the Police Chief's talks is that more than a few people will start spying on their spouses.

    • by arivanov ( 12034 )

      Doubly wrong: "I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children"

      1. There is something any parent must never sacrifice - it is the children future. If children are not educated in what danger is, what risk is and how to deal with them they will never ever succeed in life. The first really danegerous thing coming their way once they are outside their parents protective envelope and they are done.

      2. "Nothing happens to their children" - most cretinous idea possib

  • by Grapplebeam ( 1892878 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:25AM (#35258724)
    They will sacrifice all the dignity, freedom, and independence that child once had.
    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:07AM (#35258870)

      And worst of all, the kid will grow up seeing this state of affairs as perfectly normal.

      • by JustOK ( 667959 )

        so, no down-side then?

      • And worst of all, the kid will grow up seeing this state of affairs as perfectly normal.

        And it is perfectly normal. That doesn't make it right. Public school trains you for a future in which if you are not in the "in" clique your success is limited by others who will keep you down just on general principle. It really is how the whole world works. That doesn't make it right. But you DO need to be trained to operate in that world. Unfortunately, school trained me to be an undercitizen so I've had to forget everything it taught me societally. Even more unfortunately, the only way we're ever going

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You do know that if your 14 your old daughter decides to show her boyfriend her tittles for all fun and games on a web cam that she can go to jail for manufacturing and distributing child pornography and be labelled a sex offender for life! That counts for 2 crimes and the cops are asses and do not care.

      I think that is ridiculous but I work for a school district and heard some of these presentations. To me the idea of my kid going to jail for something nearly all teens do now is disturbing. Having a talk o

    • if your employer similarly monitors work emails, I expect you will save your own dignity by refusing to work there.

  • by Spad ( 470073 )

    ...I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children...

    Great argument there, really supporting your cause.

  • Sexting? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrQuacker ( 1938262 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:27AM (#35258738)
    And then he arrests them all when pictures of said kids pop up on the computer. Easy felony busts to fluff up a record.
    • by C0R1D4N ( 970153 )
      Nah, in New Jersey you don't really care about the record once you make chief. At that point you've got at most 3 years before retirement and a permanent paid vacation.
  • by Krakadoom ( 1407635 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:37AM (#35258766)
    'When it comes down to safety and welfare of your child, I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children,' he says."

    First off, shouldn't that say that he DOES think that any parent would sacrifice anything blah blah? Second, the parents don't actually sacrifice anything themselves, what they do is violate their child's privacy, which doesn't affect themselves in any way.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      It's easy to fix the privacy issue. I told my children in advance that I was monitoring their computer. I gave them non-admin accounts on the box and informed them that I WAS watching everything they did. Thus informed it's not like I"m spying, they know I'm there.

      • Just because you're told you're being watched, doesn't mean it doesn't violate your privacy. If the goverment decided we should have state controlled yet fully disclosed cameras in every home, you would think your privacy was being violated, right? Whether you tell your kids or not, you're still violating their right to privacy. Now whether you think they should be afforded that right in the first place, as I assume you don't from what you wrote, is another matter entirely.

        I just happen to think all hum
  • by mehrotra.akash ( 1539473 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:40AM (#35258772)
    The age when you cannot say "internet only when I'm around" - 10-12 yrs I guess
    The age when the children start maintaining the computers themselves, taking basic precautions against malware,etc -- 12-14 (and then they find out about the parent installed keylogger)
    Would you really want your kids not to trust you after the age of 14?
    • Who keylogs whom? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @08:16AM (#35259102)
      Meanwhile, the kids are learning how to install keyloggers on their parents' machines. After, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the goose's parents. Plus you never know when you'll need a little leverage to excuse those bad grades, trade for being grounded or as an "incentive" for that first car.

      The parents have already set the ground rules (that privacy and respect mean nothing) so the kids are only learning fromthat example - oh, and the example from law-enforcement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anybody who knows anything about the Internet and Reality knows that the child predator myth is the creation of law enforcement and other agencies wishing to profit.

    Everybody who knows anything about child abuse knows that the vast majority of abuse happens in the home.

    So when a child is on the computer explaining to their friends how they are sexually, physically, or psychologically abused at home by their care givers, then their care givers will be one of the first people to find out what their children a

    • I agree that the biggest danger is close to home, family and friends of the family. And while there are "predators" on the net they are far less dangerous than the predators the child may meet in real life. Children are pretty safe with the online equivalent of "don't go with the stranger offering you candy."

      What are some good rules of the thumb:

      • Don't talk to people you are not comfortable with.
      • Don't tell where you live. "Near Big City" is good enough for someone until you trust him/her.
      • Be careful wit
  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @06:58AM (#35258832)

    Talk to your kids.

    Make sure there's an open environment at home where the parents take an interest in the kids and talk about what they've been up to and what they're going to do.

    This will (statistically) make the kids want to share what happens in their life, which in turn will make them not do stupid things they'd have to hide.

    • what if your kid's gay? Transgender? What if your kid's being bullied to the extent that they just do not want to talk about it?

      Even if you create a perfectly safe space for your child, they may not open up.

      • by migla ( 1099771 )

        Sure. Talking to your kids in an honest open manner about all things is no guarantee, but it is still an important factor for having a good relationship with them and keeping them out of trouble.

        • After hearing about the rash of news stories about GLBT teen suicides and bullied teen suicides, I don't know if there is a good solution anymore.

          These news stories aren't new and the statistics haven't changed, but my total awareness of the problem has been refocused. I mean obviously the first step is to make sure the kid knows you're not a fuckhead who's going to judge them for being different, but what about the next steps? When the kid goes off to college, that's a different story, but, while there's

  • I've seen lives ruined because of mistakes made in youth online away from the prying eyes of parents.

    Parents can't supervise *everything* but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be in the loop. Nor does it mean that they should be completely intrusive.

    Most likely, what a parent should know is if your kid's being bullied, if they're being pressured to do drugs, if they're being ostracized, if they're depressed or otherwise that shit is going to go down. Just asking your kids if that's what's going on


  • "Be Prepared" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davide marney ( 231845 ) * <davide@marney.netmedia@org> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:05AM (#35258864) Journal
    I like the way the Boy Scouts handle this sort of risk. Far better to be prepared for problems and to know what to do in a dicey situation, rather than try to insulate oneself from all harm (which cannot be done, in any event.) I didn't find it very hard hard to teach my kids how to be safe on the Internet. I would not put a blanket prohibition on keylogging, however. If a child deliberately lies about his online activities, is actively seeking out bad things on the Internet, and has been caught in the act more than once, then monitoring is called for. Then, it's really more about the lying than it is about the Internet.
    • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

      Well put!

      This thing really does sound more like a punishment for violating trust than a preventative measure.

  • by OzTech ( 524154 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:14AM (#35258892)

    It is east to always justify things like this in the name of protection and safety. It is the motherhood and apple-pie argument which Americans use to defend all of their actions.

    Sadly, it is not a substitute for taking care of your children. Explain things to them, teach and guide by example. Make them aware of what they can stumble into and how to get out. Handled correctly and with educated children, you don't need nanny filters, porn filters, or key-loggers. With 3 children connected to the internet since their early to mid teens, two of whom are now in their early 20's, I have actually practiced this method and it works. Show some respect and guidance, you might be surprised to discover that you get the same in return. Children are a reflection on their parents, so kids who grow up with nanny filters and snooping software, think it is normal and won't have any issue in seeing it used elsewhere for any reason whatsoever.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:16AM (#35258900)

    If we teach our kids not to trust random people online in the same as we teach our kids not to trust random people in the real world, online pedophiles wont be a problem.

    Kids should be taught that the "Captain Turbo" in that chatroom they like to chat in is not to be trusted in the same way as someone strange who walks up to them in the street.

  • This is not the job of the parents. It should be the job of the school to prepare kids for the future (where they will be monitored all the time)

  • by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:25AM (#35258932) Journal
    "It is better, and easier, to try to worldproof your children than to try to childproof the world."
  • I hate the notion that there are innumerable predators stalking children on the internet. The actual number of molestations ect barely registers on the actual list of dangers to a child. But it's just so scary in a parents mind that they will ignore real threats to their childrens lives. Fear triumphs over reality again!
  • Sacrifice?!

    How many lazy bum parents do not really give a toss about what their kids are up to?
    How many think education is simply telling off?
    How many try curb internet access mainly for legal reasons?
    How many try curb internet access for so called moral reasons?

    The basic of education in a civilized society is knowing good from bad. (Be good to others but don't be a fool. Others may not be all good. Porn will come your way eventually and you should know that in real life stuff doesn't go like that. S
  • The chief continued... "Because kids are smart they might suspect that their own PC is keylogged, and use another computer in the house to avoid being supervised properly. To avoid this I suggest installing keyloggers in all computers in the household. Now, parents I know are very busy and it is hard to keep up with all this tech, so to help you be a better parent, the department has setup a website where you can register your keylogger and upload its data to our servers, where department specialists will

  • Teaching kids to be sneaky is the answer!? Kids have been "going to their friends house" since the dawn of time. Understanding the lessons of decision making will be of more use to them when you are not around. If they are too young to understand decision making, they are too young to be on Facebook.

  • There will be many, many kids who will never, ever trust their parents again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:54AM (#35259040)

    Damn straight I log what my kids do online, but I never admit it or tell them about it. We were all young once and we all made poor decisions. It is part of growing up.

    I also block content at the proxy server and act really dumb when certain websites don't work at our house from the family PC. "I don't know, did you get a virus or a rootkit somewhere?" is my standard answer. It works on my PC.

    Someday they will learn about transparent proxies ... maybe. Until they do, they are "Lusers" and don't need to know anything about our home network security, just like the users inside my company don't need to know. Google and results for proxy are not blocked.

    BTW, I learned this from my excellent parents. They knew I was smoking pot and drinking as a teen. They said nothing, but after a bottle of JD disappeared from my room, we entered the "don't ask, don't tell" parent-interaction-method. About 10 yrs ago, Mom admitted to everything - she was pissed about the pot, but her and Dad decided it was a "phase" and to leave me alone if it didn't impact any other part of my life - which it didn't. I was in sports, held a job, got ok grades (As and Bs) and didn't get into trouble anywhere.

    Talking with your kids is a good thing too.
    Trust, but verify - just like in the business world.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @07:56AM (#35259042)

    We didn't limit our daughter's online activities - but the computer she used was out in our living room. We explained to her why we felt it mattered, and also explained that it wasn't so much distrust of her as it was concern about a small minority of online denizens she might run into. We didn't spend time looking over her shoulder, but we would on occasion ask her what she was doing at the moment and who she was talking with. And no, we didn't really check - we took her word for it.

    You may or may not agree with this, but really the bottom line is this - be honest with your kids. If you're sneaking around behind their backs, don't be surprised if they turn around and do the same thing to you. If you want them to respect you, show that you respect them. Sure, it's not an equal partnership and you certainly need to look out for them, but the goal of raising them right is you should be able to trust them to do the right thing most of the time.

    • I'm very glad that worked well for you. You should keep in mind, however, that not all kids are the same. I have four children, all of them raised in the same environment, with the same rules and in basically the same way. With one of them, I'd have no qualms about giving him his own, unmonitored, laptop and letting him use it anywhere he likes (in deference to issues of perceived fairness, I haven't done this -- he has to use the computer in the living room just like the other kids). With another, the

  • If you are going to do this, you might as well just go all the way and crate them up like veal. Why not bug their rooms? Cavity searches every night will protect them from the dangers of contraband.

    What amazes me is that we don't have a set of parents set on fire literally every night somewhere in the country. Maybe we do and we just don't hear about it.

  • I bet these same parents would be so pissed if the kids keylogged them and for example revealed Daddy's porno habits or occasional affairs.

  • by iter8 ( 742854 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @08:48AM (#35259202)
    Today's lesson is parents keylogging kids with the aid of the police. How long will it be before the computer savvy among the kids keylog their parents or teachers? Kids learn things quickly. Teach them that spying and dishonesty is the way to treat people and they'll learn the lesson and apply it.
  • by FlyingGuy ( 989135 ) <flyingguy&gmail,com> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @11:13AM (#35259776)

    It never ceases to amaze me how many apparently well educated people ( I am assuming of course that most people on /. are well educated either formally or informally ) just don't get it.

    There is a razor fine line a parent walks between giving a child the freedom to express themselves and explore and grow and protecting both the child and themselves from some of the very ugly bits of reality in this world.

    Could Have, Should Have, Would Have if only I had known

    How many times have we all seen or heard of a situation that we come up against in even our own lives that even the slightest aside to someone would have prevented something very very wrong from happening.

    Call it spying, call it invading their privacy, call it not trusting them call it whatever you like, but there is nothing wrong with key loggers for your 13 year old daughter or son. Absolutely nothing. I state that firmly and without reservation, and the rest of the world be damned.

    I make that statement because in my world it matters what you DO with that information. As we all know information IS vital to being able to guide events. You look at the the data and you see that your kid is trending into a pattern of behavior that you know is going to get their ass in a sling you just might want to start doing things with your kid that will gently guide them away from that. Your daughter and all her little pals are planning an event and in their little chat groups and what not you discover that someone is bringing drugs or there is going to be booze there you just might want to plan an alternate family event that just happens to prevent them being able to attend. Do you get in your kids face and call all their friends losers or do you gently steer them elsewhere, "Sorry kiddo we are going to be out of town that day."

    Since my wife I are the ones that are going to get our asses raked over the coals by CPS / The Police / Family Court if our child does something stupid which, and lets face it if we all remember back to when we were 13 we know that despite our parents best efforts we did some stupid shit, 13 year old's are want to do, then we damn well have the right to use whatever tools that are at our disposal to attempt to prevent said stupid shit from happening.

    It really comes down to how you act on that information. If you see your kid making choices that keep them out of trouble then you keep your mouth shut and let them explore and make the small mistakes and occasionally a few of the larger ones that have consequences that might very well cause you to have to take some kind of punitive measures but that will not endanger their future and or health. BE the invisible hand of guidance and let them grow up and hopefully they will do no harm to themselves and others.

  • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @01:52PM (#35260544)

    I can understand why parents would turn to police officers for some description of the threats out there. I get why they would want the people who deal with criminals to talk about the nature of the bad guys and how they operate. What I don't get is why parents would accept OPERATIONAL advice on how to behave towards their kids. The police are (duh) charged with the investigation of crimes and criminal suspects. This is a model for behavior which is unbelievably ill-suited for parenting.

  • by Dishwasha ( 125561 ) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @01:55PM (#35260576)

    Feel free to replace "parents" with "US Government" and "children" with "citizens" in any of those statements. Also feel free to replace "police" with "FBI".

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone