Kids, Parents, Internet.

Kathryn Montgomery, the author of “Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce and Childhood in the Age of the Internet” and mother of a 14-year-old.

“As parents, we have to figure out where to draw the line between encouraging and allowing our teens to have autonomy, to experience their separate culture, and when we need to monitor their use of media,” says Montgomery, a professor of communication at American University.

She says it’s especially important to help young people understand that social networking is often more public than they think. Sometimes monitoring them is the best way to do that.

Sue Frownfelter, a 46-year-old mom in Flint, Mich., thinks it’s less of an issue for parents who discover technology with — or even before — their children. Among other things, she has a blog, uses Twitter and has a Chumby, a personal Internet device that displays anything from news and weather to photos and eBay auctions.

Her children, ages 9 and 11, begged her to allow them to have a MySpace page, because she does. Instead, she suggested Imbee.com, a social networking site for kids that allows parental monitoring.

“I can’t imagine my life without technology! It has truly become an extension of who I am and who my family will likely be,” says Frownfelter, who works at a community college.

Still, in today’s world, parents are finding that the urge to stake out technological turf is starting at a very young age.

Jennifer Abelson, a mom in New York, says her 2-year-old daughter asks every day if she can play on the “‘puter” on such kid-oriented sites as Noggin.com and Nickjr.com.

“She’s constantly telling us ‘I will do it!’ and ‘Go away!’ if we try to interfere with her ‘working,'” Abelson says.

“It’s pretty amazing to see technology ingrained at such a young age. But I know she’s learned so much from being able to use technology on her own.”

Youth vs. adults in gadget wars – Yahoo! News

In honor of tonights Frontline special about teens, kids, parents, and the internet– here’s a cute section from a Yahoo! article I stumbled on today.

It’s not really saying anything new about online safety– but the difference from similar articles popping up a year ago is this:

Parents are getting involved.

I LOVE the fact this mother says her kids begged for Myspace, and she was smart enough to give them Imbee (which is FANTASTIC, BY THE WAY… I’ll be updating ya’ll on improvements to Imbee soon).

Now if ONLY adults would do this with youtube– the current bane of my existence.  But le sigh, perhaps soon….. soooooon.

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  1. tim
    January 23, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Izzy,

    Thanks very much for the mention.

    Our team is hard at work to continually improve our site and overall user experience.

    We recognize that more and more adults (parents, educators, Internet safety advocates) understand that kids are going up as “digital natives” with the desire to create and share content with their peers while in community. This is a bit different then participating in a virtual worlds and much closer to what MySpace and Facebook have to offer.

    Our feeling is, if we can provide kids with a viable, trusted alternative to the more teen / adult oriented communities; giving them access to features like configurable profiles, blogs, widgets, digital scrapbooks while also providing parents with the much needed insight and control they require for peace of mind…..then everyone will be happy.

    That’s our ultimate goal.

    Cheers,

    Tim D
    Founder
    imbee.com

  2. January 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    My 21 month old son already knows how to use the DVD player, the clock radio, and my Ipod with astonishing proficiency. So far I’ve been able to keep him off of my laptop 🙂 This article hits home to me, thank you very much for sharing Izzy!

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