Dumb Mom’s Guide to Staying Safe Online: Win a Free Tablet from T-Mobile!

#1 starts 5th grade on Monday.

Fifth.  Grade.

I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that I have a child that is so close to being a middle schooler.

I’m so young!

So, so young.

And yet, he’s so old.

It’s kinda freaky and hard to wrap my mind around.

He’s aware of girls now (although I have no intention of ever acknowledging this in real life, ever).  He’s more about basketball and soccer and football than swords and super heroes and bad guys.  He doesn’t even really like to watch animated shows anymore, choosing instead to spend his TV time watching one of those corny Disney shows with the strangely dressed teenagers dancing through the high school hallways.

He’s also starting to express a real interest in grown-up level electronic devices that goes beyond just playing Angry Birds in the doctor’s office waiting room.

He wants to go online with his Wii to play games.  And he wants to be able to use my phone or my iPad to search the Internet to find out exactly how venomous a Black Mamba really is for randomness.

He has his own hand-me-down laptop now and he uses it to read game reviews, and play Cartoon Network, and read my blog?!

Okay, maybe that last one is me.

Either way, I’ve gotten quite comfortable (and maybe a tad bit stalkerish) about reading his history and checking the parental controls.

Because you never know when your almost-11-year-old is going to get curious and figure out that Google is the perfect place to learn about p-o-r-n, um things!

But, him discovering the ability to do nasty Google searches is not the only thing that concerns me about him being online.

There are creepy people online.

And there are identity thieves online.

And there are spooky-McWeird things that my goody-two-shoes-mind can’t even wrap itself around online.

And, offline too.

As The Dudes get more independent, both online and off, I am starting to be more interested in finding things aside from my Mom face to keep them safe.

I went to a T-Mobile event this summer to learn about different ways t0 keep your kids safe, lucky for you, I was only goofing off in the back for like most of it taking good notes.

Dumb Mom’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe Online (And Off too!)

1.  Make some rules.   Kids need boundaries when it comes to using technology.  It’s new and exciting and they can do all sorts of things without you even knowing.  So, make sure they know your expectations, and the consequences for if they decide not to meet them.  And then spy on them a bunch so they can’t be sneaky about things.

2.  Use what T-Mobile gave you.  They have all kinds of tracking devices and phone locators and web guards.  Personally, I’m not really about the kid tracking devices because I want to be able to rely on trust (talk to me in a few years when I’m living with 3 teen Dudes), but I think the Web Guard app is a spectacular idea.  Takes the temptation right away from them so you don’t have to worry about p-o-r-n it and neither do they.

3.  Keep it old school. The basics still work better than any app or device on the market and they will come in handy if your child ever finds themselves lost in a place with horrible cell coverage. Talk to them about what to do in case of an emergency; who to call, whose house to go to. Make up a secret code word, set an in-case-of-fire meeting place, teach them to dial 9-1-1. All of that stuff your mama taught you? You should teach your kids that too.

Now, let’s not forget that the Internet, apps, and mobile technology are really super fun too!

With rules and safety precautions taken care of, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t have an exciting and fun and FREE tablet to enjoy and be safe on and stuff!

To celebrate back-to-school, T-Mobile and I have teamed up to give one of you an awesome Springboard Tablet (ARV $299).

Springboard Slanted vertical_HIRES

It’s a sweet, 4G/wifi capable tablet that uses the Android platform to bring you all kinds of awesome just in time to go back to school!  You can learn more about it here: T-Mobile Springboard Tablet.

Want to win it?!


Here’s what to do (as in you HAVE to):

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing how you keep your kids safe online.
  • Check your ID and make sure you are 18 or over and live in the United States.

Want more chances to win (these are the optional bits)?  *Be sure you leave a separate comment for EVERY ENTRY.

  • Fan me up on Facebook.
  • Love me long time by following me on Twitter (@dumbparent).
  • Follow me on Pinterest and Pin this post (probably this fancy wolf graphic with the words works best, but you be the judge!).

Good luck, friends.  May the force be with you!

*Contest rules and junk: Only one of each entry per person is allowed.  Contest closes Monday, September 3, 2012 at midnight Eastern time.  Separate entries will only be counted if a comment is left for each entry.

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  1. Erica Best says:

    i use safe web to keep my nephew safe online.

  2. I’m anxious over here to know who won!

  3. I follow you on Twitter, yo! (@ErmaBasila) I’m kinda surprised I wasn’t already following you.

  4. And followed you everywhere. I’m basically a stalker at this point.

  5. You know I’ve fanned you.

  6. Cady has a laptop and I have parental controls set up on it. Plus I’m the administrator and she can’t change any of the settings or download anything without my approval.

    I’m so far over 18 I don’t want to think about it.

  7. Christina D says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how to keep my kids safe online. My 4 year old has suddenly developed a passion for watching youtube videos of super mario games. How do I keep questionable videos from turning up as he clicks on videos?

  8. And I am def over 18! LOL

  9. Whenever my boys (ages 11 & 8) are online, they are in the same room as me and the computer is always facing towards everyone so I can keep an eye on them. I also put parental controls on the computer to block them from being able to access inappropriate sites.

    Oh and I follow you on Facebook and Instagram! ;)

  10. Stephanie says:

    My two boys (9&7) are only allowed on the internet when a grownup is with them

  11. follow you on pinterest

  12. follow you on twitter

  13. follow you on facebook

  14. My oldest is only 5 so the extent of him being online is playing games we set up for him, but I imagine as he gets older we’ll only let him be online when an adult is in the room and he will have some pretty strict rules.

  15. My little one is still too little for technology, but I definitely plan on setting up some rules and checking the history!

  16. I follow you on Pinterest and pinned the giveaway: http://pinterest.com/pin/235242780507043574/

  17. I follow you on Twitter (@tammystwocents)

  18. I am now your fan on Facebook (Tammy Berbells)

  19. I am way over 18…and yes, I do live in the US…:)

  20. My kids are 12 and 9 and both have ipods. I have all access to their accounts and passwords for their safety. We have tried to keep them off the social sites, except for a few that I personally watch daily. I love that TMobile has these family security options. Great for my 12 year old who does have her own cell phone. Makes me feel better.

  21. So far the only time my little one is on the internet is when she takes my phone and watches Caillou. That show should definitely be banned from all users, but at least its not pornographic. These were some good tips that I will tuck away for future use! I’ll pin them fo sho!

  22. I follow you on facebook as well :)

  23. My children are 8 and 6. One thing is that we keep their computer in open view so we are more likely to notice if something is not right.

  24. I follow you on Facebook ;)

  25. I’ve been lucky that my kids aren’t overly eager to go online.
    I’m a helicopter and check in on them on the sly often.
    I play it down so they don’t feel they have to hide anything.
    I do think as they get older and wiser I need to get more proactive.
    Theses posts will help! Thanx for all the info!

  26. I’m a fan on Facebook! (Erma L Basila)

  27. pinned!

  28. I follow on twitter

  29. I’m a fan on FB

  30. Mark Magdaleno says:

    We have a list of approved sites. They have a finite time to be on the Internet. And no Internet capable devices in their bedrooms, only in the kitchen or family room where they can be peripherally supervised.

  31. I keep my son safe online by being in the same room with him when he is online, but he is 7, so that is good for now.

  32. We go way back on the Twitter yo – back to the lyric stumping days!

  33. I’m a Facebook fan – for like ever now. ;-)

  34. I can’t remember if I asked this question already….but here goes…when our girls become of age to be online we’ll keep all tech in common areas and there will be transparency with all accounts – meaning they have to be Facebook friends with me and stuff ;-) I also might require they log-in for me for a random account check if there seems to be suspicious activity.

    I also think communication and education are key – informing them to the dangers as well as our expectations.

  35. I try to keep my kid safe online by breathing a sigh or relief that he has yet to have the knowledge on how to use the internet. ;) The only thing my toddler does online is watch cartoons and we do that together. I do post photos of him online, on my blog and Facebook for family members but I make sure to keep most details of his life private and not share a lot online that could potentially put his (or our family’s) safety in danger.

  36. I follow you on pinterest and here’s my pin (http://pinterest.com/pin/79657487130126700/)

  37. I follow you on Twitter (@sclubmama)

  38. Already a FB fan. :)

    Randi, a lot of tablets are helpful. I have two children with autism and they have used iPad, Kindle Fire, Iconia, etc. They all have some version of PECS and a lot of educational apps. Good luck in this one though! :)

  39. I’m your Facebook fan (Randi Schmid)

  40. This would be super cool for my kids. I think you know (??) that my eldest has autism and I have been bombarded by every special ed teacher I know to get him an iPad. But the price tag…

  41. Our kids are pretty young, so we keep it limited to things like ZacBrowser or Just For Kids Netflix, etc. As they get older, we’ll re-evaluate and plan from there.

  42. I follow on FB! Okay…I think I’m done adding comments :) PS- You should use Rafflecopter…I love it for giveaways.

  43. I follow on Pinterest! (Ashleigh Evans)

  44. I follow on twitter (@itscheapash)

  45. My kids are a bit young for computers, but I have started showing them some sites (Nick Jr) and we play games together. I will be very very cautious as they get older and they will always use the computer with me around.

  46. I follow you on FB and pintrest ;) PS I loved your what not to wear episode!

  47. My daughter is also going into 5th grade, very scary for me! I have to approve of any web pages she wants to visit. I also only allow her to use the computer out in plain view where I can see her. She does have a FB account, but I helped her friend people she knows mostly just family. The girl scouts have an awesome online contract for your kids to sign and gives parents pointers on how to teach your kids about online safety.

  48. Jennifer R says:

    I also follow on Twitter…. @jen_xavy

  49. Jennifer R says:

    I am a Fan on Facebook

  50. karen donnelly says:

    I also follow you on Twitter and Facebook. thank you for the giggles!

  51. Jennifer R says:

    My girls are only allowed on the computer when Im around and only on pages and games that I approve, and they canoot friend anyone.

  52. Kendra Jackson says:

    I check the browser history to check the sites my girls visit, I know my oldest daughters password for fb and i talk to them about internet safety. They know not to tell anyone where they live, phone number, were they go to school, etc. The internet can fun but sometimes a dangerous place if you do not know what to look for.

  53. I heart you all day on Facebook.

  54. I wrote this whole article (bwahahahaha yeah it was that long) about how my toddler and my toddler nephew are all tech saavy and my parents are all
    Let’s buy them tablets because those are safe and all they will
    Know how to do is watch netflix and play games we buy them. Ummm yeah ummm nephew was on YouTube that he was connected to through angry birds which by the way is NOT for children. Let’s just say he was not a happy dude when I block
    Just about everything. My daughter on the other hand is just perfectly content with watching Jem and the Holograms (Amanda you remember that right? I do. I grew up on Jem even though I’m pretty sure it came out when I was born. ) oh and she hearts herself
    Some my little pony. So lots of parental blocks with passwords there brats I mean perfect angels cants figure out. Lol

    • Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud says:

      Did someone say Jem and the Holograms?!? She’s truly, truly, truly outrageous!

      • Love Jem and love that my almost 4 yr old does too! But dude second season they changed the theme song totally messed with my head!!!

  55. karen donnelly says:

    I have our laptop password protected and only allow a short time a couple days a week. The laptop goes to bed with me at night and to work with me.. call me paranoid, but these kids get enough inappropriate content from their friends, movies, and tv.

  56. I follow you on Twitter @HFofNicholes

  57. I follow you on Facebook

  58. I keep my son safe online by using Micro Trend Guardian. I can view what he’s looking at and also get it time stamped. Sites that are adult in nature won’t come up when he is signed in, and I will even get an alert if he tries.

  59. Pinned you!

  60. And I follow you on twitter @goodgirlgonered

  61. I am a FB fan (which is how I saw you’re hosting this giveaway!).

  62. I am your FB Fan. And a fan outside of FB. LOL!

  63. We have safety controls set up on my MAC, but man, it’s annoying because they won’t even accept Disney Jr sometimes! Which might be okay, but still … ;) I’m also over her shoulder and ensuring she’s not clicking stuff she shouldn’t!

  64. Following you on Twitter.

  65. Jessica Reader says:

    I have an almost 15 year old and while I want him to be safe on the internet I find the BEST safeguard to internet danger is to TALK TO YOUR KIDS ALOT!!! I have the usual parental controls on his computer, but as he gets older and SMARTER, he finds his way around those. So, I’m in his face all the time- peeking around corners, taking his computer away from him while he’s using it to look at what he has been up to. With older kids, you gotta be a SERIOUS creeper!

  66. My daughter is only 3, and as she starts to get online (with me, of course), I’m starting to learn how to keep her safe. When she starts going online on her own, I’ll DEFINITELY use a web guard and passwords to keep her off of certain sites.

  67. Computers with the Internet should never been in a child’s room PERIOD. Even when the computer is in the family room do not just single out that child/teen. Tell the child that everybody in the household is being monitored and their history will be checked. Tell the child that everybody can become a victim online in the enigma cyber world. This way the child will not feel that he is not be trusted.

  68. Maybe I’m old school, but I just say no a lot to playing on the computer. Maybe once or twice a week for not very long. I just think with school starting up-they’ll get enough screen time at the computer lab there. As long as they know how to make a call on my iPhone than I’m good with that. Plus, mom and dad are on the computers, phones etc for work that we need to unplug too.

  69. Seema Kumari says:

    My Kids are always on computers, all the time, my smaller one is even starting to have eye problems recently. To prevent him from hurting himself anymore, I added a password on my computer, and only let him use it once he finishes studying, and that too, for no more than 1-1.5 hours a day.

  70. Totally like you on FB!

  71. I follow you on Twitter @thienkim

  72. We have an approved list f website that my daughter can visit. If she wants to try something new, I have to check it out first.

  73. and also in twitter

  74. I follow you on Facebook

  75. And on facebook!!

  76. And of course I follow you on twitter.

  77. My kids (thankfully) are still too little. the oldest can barely read. With first grade starting on monday, though, I know those days are numbered!

  78. I pined the wolf mask picture http://pinterest.com/pin/150729918749623748/

  79. I am already follwing on Twitter as @Chasing_Joy

  80. I already follow you on Facebook as Arlett :-) and as my blog Chasing Joy .

  81. Don’t have kids yet. But I help keep my nieces safe online by friending them on Facebook. Explainng the differents securitty and visitbiity settings to my dumdad brother (their fater). I also talk to them about how not to post too much personal info online. And I remind them that not everyone who claims to be a kid online is really a kid and that some bad people are on the internet. I think that’s pretty good for a dumbaunt (futer dumbmom).

  82. follow you on pinterest and pinned http://pinterest.com/pin/161918549073802613/

  83. follow you on twitter @atticgirl76

  84. facebook fan of parenting by dummies

  85. I monitor my son’s online sites and have access to his facebook account. I also have a parental screening that requires a password to open the site if there is questionable content.

  86. I am a facebook fan!

  87. My kids are still a bit young for the internet, but when they are on I am with them at all times!

  88. Love you longtime on twitter (SeriousKrystyn)

  89. Fan of you on FB (Krystyn…share last name offline!)

  90. They grow up way too fast! And, our tip, right now? No internet:) But, when it comes…all sorts of things to block, protect and keep them safe.

  91. I follow you on pinterest(kelly saver) and pinned this post


  92. I follow you on twitter(kellydpa)

  93. I like you on FB(Kelly D Saver)

  94. I keep my kids safe online by making them ask for me to type my password when they want to use the computer, and then I put the sites they want online, which is usually PBS or Disney Junior. I listen to what they are doing and check in frequently. They are 4 and 6, so I am sure my methods will change over the years.

  95. I not only have to keep my 6 year old safe online, but also all my sixth graders that I teach. Constant monitoring and ongoing conversation.

  96. I have no idea how to pin something, but I will try!

  97. I also already follow you on Twitter.

  98. I already follow you on FB. Love it!

  99. Amanda! I just watched your transformation on WNTW today and decided to look you up. Love the new hair AND the blog. My kids are technically all grown, though I still have two in college. When they were younger, though, we did a lot of talking about what was out there and how it could easily suck you in and all but ruin the rest of your life, or maybe really ruin it. We have always kept the computer in a public place (the kitchen or near it), and still don’t allow them to have laptops in their rooms with the door closed. And I learned how to check history without them knowing. So far, so good!

  100. I keep my teen safe by going over some “guide rules”. First of all, no full names, addresses, or photos. That is something I’ve forbidden from the start. I’ve gone over how important it is to only communicate with people she REALLY knows. No “friending” people she doesn’t know.
    I just found your website from watching What Not To Wear. Your transformation was amazing. Love the new hair and style. You look fabulous!!! Keep it up!

  101. Ok so I also follow you on Pinterest. Does this make me a total stalker? :)

  102. I follow your awesomeness on twitter already too.

  103. I already like you on facebook!

  104. Thankfully my kids aren’t old enough to use all this technology other than the Ipad with supervision for silly preschooler games. When they are old enough I know I’ll be checking history a lot and have already thought about having rules for facebook (if it even exists by then). I can’t even imagine what social media stuff will be out there by then. It seems soooo far away but really I know it will be here before I’m ready for it.

  105. Ugh….i have a 3 (almost 4) year old and a 4 year old nephew who both swipe my cell and laptop to play games….did you know that angry birds can link you to Youtube, well I didn’t and now? Its blocked and my nephew is PO’d. Suck it up buttacup! Anyway…..I’m scared…how are they so dang smart?!?!? If I have to gro through half the crap my friends do with their 13/14 yr olds, my kids are going to hate me b/c we are becoming AMISH. Well they are, I’m not. ;-) Seriously though, this junk is CRAZY and SCARY. *hold me*-actually don’t I don’t like to be hugged.

    So here’s a question, what about when they are at friend’s house? Who monitors, not all parents are cool yet responsible like say…..US?!?!?! Some parents (I know some personally) hand their kids Playboy….don’t even get me started….what do you do about this kinda situation. The kids are good kids and your kids are bffs with these great kids with sucky parents and who have no interest in the crap their parents give them. Oh and it’s not my kid’s or nephew’s kid, I’m referring to, just wondering what you or any readers would do in that kinda situation b/c p-o-r-n isn’t just online. :-(

  106. We didn’t set firm online rules for our (now) teen, but we monitor all our network traffic and talk with him about anything unusual. After laughing over his horrendous misspelling efforts in his efforts to search out porn, we had a long talk about the ways online representations can differ from reality.

  107. Renee Dlugos says:

    I just watched your What Not To Wear episode, your hair is amazing!! I have three teen daughters…even though I’m still too young for that too! I try to keep the communication going. I think that works better than anything. They need to know what the expectations are, because you can’t be with teenagers 24 hours a day. I still snoop too though. They know nothing better go on Facebook that they don’t want me to see!

  108. Andrea Ramirez says:

    I pinned this on pinterest :)

  109. Andrea Ramirez says:

    I keep my boys safe by only allowing computer time in a common area in our home while I’m lurking over their shoulders :)

  110. Computers are always kept in central areas; they don’t have passwords to any of their games, so all activity has to be approved by the parentals!

  111. Saw u on What Not To Wear – awesome! I keep my baby safe online by NOT posting pictures of her on FB.

  112. Amanda S. says:

    I keep him safe by supervising and talking to him about the internet.

  113. And your hair is amazing!

  114. angelaa Weeks says:

    My best way to keep the kids 10 and 9 safe online is tons of supervision and of course I use the parental controls on my computer. I am new to your blog and came to check it out after seeing you on tlc’s what not to wear. I am defiantely a fan of yours now, after checkin out your site!

  115. I check their history. OMG…You are gorgeous. I’m watching you on TLC right now. I understand exactly how you felt about yourself and I want to say thank you for allowing yourself to see you for the beautiful woman you are. You deserve that and so does your family. Now, what I’m seeing on WNTW matches what I’m reading.

  116. Hey! Love this post! It’s great to always stay safe online <3 Follow me: chiccupcake1.blogspot.com

  117. Oh and your tweets rock! :D

  118. I’ve LIKED you on FB for a LONG time. :)

  119. I honestly haven’t really thought about online safety yet since mine only go to Lego.com right now and I know that Ninjago is pretty much the only thing on their mind. ;) BUT. I know the time is coming soon, so we will definitely have child protection set up on the computer(s) so they cannot get on certain sites, etc.

    Awesome giveaway!!

  120. Random also, but I am watching you right now on TLC’s WNTW!!!! You’re adorable!

  121. And I have repinned the lovely “Wolf” pin & follow all of your PIN Boards on Pinterest!

  122. I’ve “Liked” you on Facebook!

  123. I am following you on Twitterverse! LoL! @BravoCorgiPack

  124. Alison Corbin says:

    I check his history and talk about risks alot!

  125. I, like Hanan said, don’t have to deal with that yet! But the best tip I could think of, is keep the computer in the family room. Where EVERYONE can see what is being searched and what sites are being visited. And just try to explain to them that the “interwebs” host a variety of people- good, bad, CREEPY, etc. Not to scare him but so one day he will understand that there is GOOD with BAD, and to help him recognize the difference.

  126. Crystallyn Whetten says:

    My boys have to ask permission to use the internet. I know when they are online. They are not allowed to use it when they are home alone. We also talk about safety on the internet frequently.

  127. Kimberly Fan says:

    I limit their computer time! An hour everyday and two hours on weekends. They are around that age where they only play neopets so I’m fine for now!

  128. And, of course, I follow your awesomeness on Twitter.

  129. I follow you on Pinterest as well and as soon as I get home for my lunch hour I will pin this post!

  130. Obviously I am a Facebook fan. :)

  131. My kids love to play games online, especially my almost 7 year old. I have restrictions placed on her we browsing. I also limit her time online and constantly check the history. She is way too smart for her own good which worries me sometimes. This tablet would be great for her. Maybe I could get my laptop back.

  132. I don’t have to worry about online safety yet because the kiddos are too young (6, 5, 5), the most I have to worry about is clicking on the wrong kind of SpongeBob cartoons on Youtube… maybe I do need some parental locks.

    With my daughter (because of the autism) I got her a necklace that has her first name, my phone number and the fact that she’s autistic engraved on it. That way if she gets separated from us and can’t tell someone she needs help they can get our info quickly.

  133. I follow you on Pinterest (Becca Burton)

  134. I like you an fb (Because I’m the Mommy and Rebecca Burton).

  135. I follow you on twitter. (bcIMthemommy)

  136. Like you on FB.

  137. Follow you on pinterest and pinned: https://pinterest.com/pin/98375573081438038/

  138. I follow you on Twitter.

  139. Keep the computer in a public area of the house vs their bedrooms.

  140. Pilates Mama says:

    following you on twitter too!

  141. Follow you on twitter

  142. Like you on fb

  143. I don’t have my kids have accounts for any games or that sort of thing- so they aren’t playing with anything that they’d disclose who they are/where they are, or anything else.

  144. Pilates Mama says:

    I also have a 5th grader…and I can’t believe he only has one more year of elementary school, next thing I know he’ll be in college! I make sure whenever he is online that he is in a family space so we can keep an eye on what he is up to while surfing the web.

  145. And how was I missing you on Pinterest? You have one more follower!

  146. I follow on pinterest (dailydribbles) and am pinning right now!

  147. I LOVE you on facebook (Daily Dribbles).

  148. Of course I follow on twitter (dailydribbles).

  149. We just gifted our old MacBook to Buddy, and I haven’t even thought about putting some security on the web. Geez. Thanks for the reminder. I will be working on that this weekend.

  150. I like you on the Twittersphere.

  151. Oh, wait, am I supposed to comment for each like? OK, I like you on the book of faces.

  152. Love you on FB as well. Thanks!

  153. I likes you all those places (except Pinterest! I gave up on Pinterest! Please don’t stone me). Of course I want to win this tablet (because we are rocking a no-name desktop that every three days tells us we have a virus even though Norton says we don’t, and a Dell laptop from the 90s IT STILL WORKS!). Anyway, we do have a few features online that keep them from going to certain sites, but for the most part, we know what they’re going on, someone is always nearby to run in and yell aha! There’s really no opportunity to click the X on that page because it never works when you want it to, like when I walk in and my husband is trying to minimize the page of boobs or when he walks in and I try to click fast get rid of the Zappos page. Whatever.

    I agree that it comes down to discussion. Yes, my children are eventually going to Google some things they have no business googling (especially since even the most trite search can pull up all sorts of horrific images (like when your kid thinks Henna is called Herpa and God Google thinks she means Herpes and images pop up YEAH, THAT).

  154. Newly following on Pinterest. Maybe you can give me some fashion help :)

  155. following along on twitter – @thelucaszoo

  156. I monitor them all the time! They are pretty young yet so it is PBS mostly for us :)

  157. And I stalk you on twitter.

  158. Totally a FB fan

  159. I am dreading the day my kids ask for real Internet access. I have a hard enough time keeping them in G rates YouTube videos!

  160. And of course i follow you on Twitter

  161. I like you on facebook

  162. I think my most important rule for my 10 and 12 year old is that the online stuff needs to stay in a common area in the house – no holing up in their rooms with it and NO SMART PHONES! Just too much they can do with those.

    • I agree about the no holing up. My 11 yr old asked when she’d be able to use the laptop in the living room like I sometimes do. My honest, first thought? She’s doing crack and I hadn’t even noticed. Girl, please. I don’t see why there’s a need for privacy. Everybody uses the desktop in the dining room. Period. She has an iPod Touch and that can go online. She probably hates having it, though, because my husband and I will both walk up on her unexpectedly, “Whatcha doin?” There’s no time to minimize a screen or say huh. She starts 7th grade next week, though, and this week has been full of new conversations about her, her body, her friends, expectations online and off. I have dubbed it: Seventh Grade, When Shyt Gets Real.

      • Love love love!!! Seventh Grade, Whem Shyt Gets Real!!! You should write thy book, I would totally buy it. My 7th grader also thinks she is entitled to privacy! Ha! Not a chance!

  163. My 9 year old has started this on line gaming stuff and I constantly grab his head phones. I heard stuff I didn’t want to so I made a list of acceptable friends and I occassionally (or constantly) go check to see if he is abiding by the rules.

  164. followed you on Twitter

  165. OK, I think I figured it out – http://pinterest.com/pin/245235142180182437/

  166. You know I follow you everywhere. Let’s see if I can figure out how to pin this post.

  167. Keeping the mustache dudes safe online is a full-time job. Everyone has their own laptop and phone and it’s hard to keep track of everything. And since two of them are technically over 21, I have limited power any more. I guess my best tactic is to tell them about my expectations and let them know some of the consequences for messing around with this stuff. A couple of times, dude # 2 has compromised his online ID by responding to phishing Emails or phone calls. He hasn’t been burned too badly, but I’m trying to teach him not to be so trusting.

  168. Loving you loooooooong time, on Twitter. @lilaccitymomma

  169. FB fan =)

  170. Luckily, I don’t have to deal with that. YET. When the time comes though, you know I will be stalking their FB page. Like crazy.

  171. Safety tip: pay attention to what your kids are doing and monitor their use, offer up safe, fun sites and know who they are talking to online.

  172. justmom420zaks says:

    It’s awesome to hear what to expect for when my kids get older. Right now internet safety entails trying to keep the kids from jumping off my bed in their underwear yelling, “I’m sexy and I know it!” after inadvertently watching LMFAO videos on YouTube. Thing 1 is starting to get interested in the internet after endlessly searching Google images for Hot Wheels while he was recovering from a tonsillectomy. And I know it’s just a matter of time before he’s playing online games with the Wii.

  173. When my kids were home (I got old and became a grandma since then), I insisted that the computer be kept in a room where everyone could see it. No computers in the bedroom. I didn’t even let them have TVs in the bedroom. I’m not sure how I’d handle things in this day of smartphones. They’re a little more portable.

  174. Dude…you kill me with the whole “check your ID” comment. So funny. My kids aren’t online yet, but I will say that all technology will be in common areas for the most part and all will be turned in before bed where I can, if need be, check their activity. More importantly, I can make sure they’re not up all night on the computer when they should be sleeping. I think open communication will be extremely important as well and following through with firm consequences when they don’t follow through with rules and boundaries for use. I love point #3 you made about the code word, etc…I need to do that….


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