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Bad Web Parenting In 4 Easy Steps

For parents who are worried their hands-off approach to supervising their child's online activities lacks the energy they once had, I thought offering this 4-step plan would be just the jumpstart they'd need. So let's get right to it!

Step 1 - Don't set restrictions on what sites your child can and cannot visit.

Yep, the sky's the limit! Whatever site they can get their hands on will contribute to shaping their minds leaving less work for you. There are what, a gazillion web pages out there? How are you supposed to keep track of them all anyway?

There are plenty of sites out there that will do the parenting for you — they won't exactly claim that they're in the surrogate parent business, mind you, but they're out there and are eager to help. So act now, by…well, not acting.

Oh, and who among us parents doesn't dread the awful "birds and the bees" talk? No worries! There's plenty of free online porn for the taking. And it's so easy to find help, too. By letting them exchange ideas and photos with "12-year-old Pat" (who is really a 50-year-old man) they could soon teach you things you never even thought about. Just think of the time you'll save!

Step 2 - Keep your superpower a secret.

Everyone has some sort of special talent. Some are capable of saying no to that second helping of pie. For others, their superpower is being able to program TiVo. Ah, but there are a great many like yourself who can render a computer to a smoking pile of ashes with but a mere look.

You didn't ask for this power. You don't even remember how it manifested. But you struggle with it everyday knowing that if you ever got into your kid's computer that you'd be the equivalent of a bull in a china shop. Besides, you've put a lot of money into their computer because it held the promise of lofty grades and even loftier salaries after they graduate. Why go mess things up by learning something about it? No, no — don't divulge your secret lest you be captured and studied.

Step 3 - Let your kid have their own unsupervised blog.

Blogs have been so popular over the years and there are no signs of it slowing down. Give in to their freedom of expression by allowing them to tell all their visitors how old they are, what their cell number is, their likes and dislikes, maybe they'll even share where they'll be next weekend so they can meet the people they've been chatting with online in person instead.

And don't forget the digital camera or web cam! Why limit themselves to just words when they can practice their provocative (or even explicit!) poses for anyone willing to review their work? There's a built-in audience for such willing and able kids who could help them with their "creativity", so there's no threat of their efforts going unnoticed.

Step 4 - Remember that you should never interfere with their privacy.

Much to their dismay, scientists have yet to discover the exact moment when a kid's privacy becomes impenetrable. With eyewitness reports saying it's a gradual process, and others reporting it happens overnight, one wonders why science hasn't stopped such fruitless searching altogether. But that's okay, because if it was known, then it might dislodge some bad web parents out of their "ignorance-is-bliss" state of mind. So fear not — their loss is your gain!

Traditional thinking once held that preserving a kid's safety was more important than their privacy. But the "don't ask, don't have to worry" method of parenting seems to be gaining favor among parents who just don't have the time.

Here's a story that may be the boost you were looking for. A mother in Frisco, Texas announced that her 13-year-old daughter ran off with a 48-year-old man she met on MySpace (whom she thought was 16-years-old at the beginning of their online relationship). "I haven't heard from her in over six months," she said. "It would have been nice if she left a note or something before she was taken — I mean, before she left. But at least I'm comforted by knowing that I never once asked anything about her private life. I'm a parent and it just didn't seem right to go meddling in her private life." The daughter was not available for comment.

Okay, switching back to reality now. If you love your kid enough to protect them from strangers on the street, then you must love them enough to protect them from the strangers they'd meet online.

Submitted by:

Ken Cooper

Ken is enthusiastic about the Web. But with all the entertainment and education that it offers, there's a lot of danger that comes with it. Family WebWatch (http://www.familywebwatch.com/blog) is a resource that provides internet safety news and tips.




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