Thursday, June 6, 2013

Taking the bite out of the techno bug

Long gone are the days of tea parties, dress up and dolls in our house.

These days, the only thing my daughter seems to be interested in is music and the latest technology that can deliver it to her.

Forgive me if I sound naïve, but I thought I had at least another three to four years before this sort of behavior began. Yet I find myself checking playlists on a daily basis to make sure all apps and playlists remain “kid-friendly”. Doing this has made me realize, more than ever before, how important it is to stay up to date on what is relevant but it has proven to be more of a challenge than I expected.

Her interest in accessing the internet to play games and listen to music is still very new, but I know that if I don’t take action to appropriately chaperone her activity, things can get out of control quickly. I also know that this phase is only in its infancy, so prepping for the future is critical.

Recently we began doing research on the various monitoring tools and found ourselves completely overwhelmed! There are ways to track them down when they are not at home, ways to decipher what they are accessing on the internet by tracking their keystrokes, etc. I started feeling like maybe I need to change careers and become a professional spy to be able to keep up.

Needless to say finding the best resources and ways to keep current has proven to be a challenge in and of itself. I mean, at minimum, I’d like to be vaguely familiar with the kid whose singing his/her head off in her earphones or on my television screen.

So, I’m asking a question that I feel many parents with kids at this stage may want an answer to. What kind of tools do you use to help keep track of what your kids are doing online? As always any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Nikki Hall-Branch is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and very busy Mom of one.

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