A mom on our forum seeks advice: My son is turning 14 next week and desperately wants an i-pod touch. We really would like to get him one, but are concerned about the unlimited internet access. At the moment we have quite strong controls - our boys share a computer which is outside the kitchen, and I also use frequently. We have quite strict controls - parental controls and how long they are allowed on etc, and although the i-pod touch is a really cool gadget with many really great things for them, it means they can access the internet whenever they want without any supervision, and even the parental controls seem easy for the kids to get around. I am really torn, as he really is a good kid, but we have caught him in the past looking at some "girlie" type pictures, which is probably normal at this age, but we've been able to discuss it and make (pretty) sure it's not happening anymore - at least I don't think it's happening in our home - I guess you can never be 100% sure. Also, he lied to my husband recently about his usage, nothing major, but my husband was really upset, because he didn't need to lie, and we made a big deal out of it, just to get the message across. Most of his friends have one, although this certainly is not the criteria for getting things - but then again, this is the world we live in and you can't completely isolate them from things! He doesn't ask for a lot, so would appreciate any advice. I should add, that the place we live in - the Middle East- is pretty strongly censored on porn.
Denise's thoughts: I too struggled with this decision for my 14-year-old daughter. We did allow her to purchase one with money she had been saving. I had similar rules to what you had with our family computer and still do.
Currently our rules for the iPod are as follows:
Asking our parenting community:
- The internet access in our home goes off at night, usually around 8 or 9 p.m. This way there is no surfing the internet when we are sleeping.
- I have the ability to take the iPod for discipline reasons.
- I have her passwords to her Facebook page and other areas, and I check occasionally. She is always with me when I check.
Does your teen have an iPod Touch? What are your rules for internet use? Please share your thoughts, advice and experiences in the comments area