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Betrayal Of Privacy Or Good Parenting?


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#1 athelos

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:41 PM

Now Ive seen this somewhere in the speakeasy before but I wasn't sure about the speakeasy's guidelines on reviving "dead" threads so i decided to start anew.

The thread was about how some parents were using key loggers and such on their childrens PC's. Basically I want your views and opinions.

I know this is all going to depend on your parenting style but here is my view on the matter.

I thought it was disgusting at how many parents were doing this! There were even some people who said that for their children there is no such thing as privacy!! It got me thinking, is there no such thing as trust aswell?

I can see the parents point of view on this. How it is a way of protecting their children but surely there is a different way to do it other than an invasion of privacy like this! To those who think children do not or should not have privacy, I'm going to be blatent here but I think your wrong! Everyone should be entiltled to it. Especially when those children hit the teen years. I would think that every teen values their privacy.

The way this has worked in my family is this. We're given trust. My parents trust me and always have. I was told and taught about all the dangers the internet could bring and it worked. It worked because I was so proud to have my parents trust me like this that I listened to what they said. If it has worked for me and my entire family surely it can work for others aswel.

Maybe its just because of my age but I really cant see myself doing this to my kids in the futre.
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#2 ambellina

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:13 PM

i've seen several topics here on BC of parents asking for child monitoring programs. i remember thinking how sad it was that they didn't trust their child, but there are so many strange people in the world, its hard to tell where the line is between keeping your child safe and just invading their privacy... i think that people should at least make sure to TELL their kids that they are being monitored, instead of just snooping around with all of their conversations and whatnot.

this reminds me of something i saw the other day... the way i interpreted the conversation, was there was a woman speaking who has a fifteen (maybe sixteen) year old daughter still makes her daughter use a child's version of AIM. her daughter can only speak to people that her mother adds/approves of, or whatever the process is. i may have misunderstood, but i think that that was what she was saying...

im fifteen myself and that would make me feel awful if my parents did that to me. i understand how parents just want to keep us safe but sometimes it just feels more degrading and embarrassing than anything. also, i began thinking, that in a few years, this woman's daughter was going to be eighteen and off in college living on her own and out of her mom's immediate control. i think that her mom needs to loosen her leash a little bit now. i've heard that one of two things happen to kids who've been kept under constant parental supervision begin college: they either go crazy and do really irresponsible things with their new freedom, or they freak out and have a nervous breakdown :thumbsup:

#3 BlackSpyder

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 11:01 PM

This Thread has been hashed and rehashed many times over. BUT it is a great topic that often evolves peoples views on the subject every time they post.

My $0.02. Child monitoring programs are a great way to keep children safe on the Internet but in no way are a substitute for good parenting.
Content filters are a good way to prevent your child from accessing unwanted site (but they are not complete coverage and are easily broken through).
Keyloggers and the like are a good way to keep a check on where your kids are going and what they've been saying. Just be prepared to check all the sites if you want to confront them (as some websites have unlikely names) and have some tough skin (favorite topic of teens "My parents are mean to me")

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#4 Walkman

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 11:38 PM

As long as children are minors, and are still living under their parents roof, then it's fair game and the parents have the full right to do so.

Just think about this:

If a child doesn't want to be monitored while being on the computer, then the next best thing is to simply take away the Internet access, or simply remove all network cards, including the modem.

Children are that... children. They do not know whats best for them, but the parents do, and if any child isn't doing what he/she shouldn't be doing, then there should be no problem from the children with the monitoring of them.

Children are so vulnerable, they wouldn't see a trap if it slapped them in the face.

Children will expose family and personal information to any and everyone. That's just how they are. It's natural. They say things they shouldn't, and they put parents in bad positions, and most of the time, the child doesn't even realize that they did exactly that.

Key-loggers are great to have, if you have children that are using the Internet.

And there is a 99.99%+ probability that children with Internet access haven't:
a. paid for the computer in which they're using
b. paid any Internet, electric, nor any other bill, whether phone, cable for the services.
c. paid for any software in which they use
d. paid for any repairs, upgrades or otherwise keeping the computer in tip-top shape.

Also, it's not a responsibility for parents to have to even give their children computers nor Internet anyway. And even if the children paid for the Internet, bills, and whatever, as long as they're minors and living with their parents, their parents are responsible for them and their actions.

We all think that children are prey when it comes down to the Internet, but what about the children that are using it as a way to do malicious and sneaky acts?

As long as
child = minor
they are to be monitored when using the Internet. The internet will have them in touch with adults... and if you're a parent, like I am, I'm sure you don't want your child talking to not only strangers, but grown people either that you don't even know.

And lastly, if you told your child that you're monitoring him/her, and then prove it too, chances are, your child will be more careful while surfing the Internet.

That's my take on the subject.

#5 stevealmighty

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 11:47 PM

I next to never get in on these topics, and seldom wander from the "software and hardware" sections of this forum, but here goes.....

Ok, I'm old.....33 to be a bit more precise. I have 2 children, my best friend who doubles as my 13 year old son, and my beautiful princess, who mingles with the commoners disguising herself as my 6 year old daughter. It goes without saying that they both mean the world to me, and that there's nothing that I wouldn't do to protect them from any form of harm.

I can see both of your points, and I don't disagree with them....however (yep, there's always a however), how many stories have you read where police have arrested adults for setting up meetings with teenagers and younger children? Lots, to many really. Same goes for how many children come up missing then come to find out that it was a neighbor or local person that took them. Think about how many times you've heard about a 13 year old bringing a gun to school, or a 14 year old getting pregnant by a 18 year old, or kids selling drugs in 7th grade....far to many. Take a look at this map HERE. It depicts the locations of fire arm incidents in schools across the country. No doubt, there are more than what's just listed here.

I bring these points up because in some of the stories that I've read/heard on the news, there's people saying "I never saw this coming".....just like at Columbine high school, then come to find out that there was talks of the event before it happened. If a parent was monitoring their child, then this might have been prevented. It's not all about trust, it's more about finding a balance where trust and protection of your child can find a happy medium.

If I found out that my 13 year old son was planning to meet someone in a park, I wouldn't say "Ok, I trust him." Because that wouldn't keep him very safe if the 13 year old girl he was going to meet was really a 45 year old pervert. Now, I trust my son to go and meet people, but I will most definitely monitor the meeting too. Example, my son had been talking to a girl from another school. He wanted to go to her house and meet her.....Ummm...no. I made him set it up at the mall, and he could meet her there. It's a public place and chances are that he's not going to get kidnapped. My wife met her parents before he was allowed to go over to her house. Now he can go over there if he asks, and if there's an adult (her mom or dad) there. See, balance of trust and protection.

There's a kid in my sons school who has done drugs. He and my son used to be friends (not good friends, just friends). Now, my son can no longer see him or associate with him. He can't even be at a friends house if the other kid is there. Should there be a drug bust, and my son was there, and even if he didn't know about any drugs being there at all, he's still "guilty by association" as far as the police would be concerned, and would most likely be taken into custody. I don't let my son hang out with him because he's a bad influence, I don't want my son exposed to drugs, and yes, by not letting him associate with this kid, I'm protecting him.

Same goes for my daughter, I've always taught her that she can talk to strangers, and to not be shy as long as myself or mommy is around. I've also always taught her that if she finds herself alone, then she's not to talk to any strangers, or go with them, and that she's to find a police man (woman) or a fire fighter and tell them that she's lost. If some one tries to take her then I've taught her to yell "Stranger! Help!" I trust my daughter won't wander off so I don't have to hold her hand or have her on one of those leash things for toddlers, but if she does, I've shown her how to protect herself. See, another balance of protection and trust.

Don't look at it as an invasion of privacy, or a way for parents to control you. It's more of a pain in the rear than you know for a parent to worry about their children. Think of it as a display of affection, a way of them looking out for you, protecting you from those that might cause you harm. Believe me, you'll do the same when you get older and have children. A parents worst nightmare is to lose one of their children. Put yourself in your parents shoes, and I'm sure that you'll understand. I think that you'd be hard pressed to find a parent that disagrees with me about protecting their children.

For the younger kids (young adults), keep in mind, it only takes one mess up to wipe out all the good things that you've ever done. Would that little bit of freedom be worth calling your mom or dad from jail because you were hanging out with the wrong crowd when you were told not to?

For the parents, you understand why wild animals sometimes eat their young. :thumbsup:
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#6 athelos

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 08:02 AM

For the younger kids (young adults), keep in mind, it only takes one mess up to wipe out all the good things that you've ever done. Would that little bit of freedom be worth calling your mom or dad from jail because you were hanging out with the wrong crowd when you were told not to?


In a way yes....In a way. You see life is an experience and this is how my family sees it. If I had been hanging out with the wrong person and got arrested because of them that would have been my fault and my experience. Dont get me wrong. If it had happened my parents would have come down on me like a tonne of bricks!! But it would have been one of lifes many lessons. I think this approach of parenting as prepared me for life very well as in my opinion I am ALOT more mature than most people I know that are my age. They never chose for me who I was allowed to see and who I wasnt. That said, if they knew that me going out with a bunch of thugs, possibly commiting crime, etc they would simply not let me out... Its hard to explain really unless youve lived "under their reign" :thumbsup:

I may be portraying my parents in the wrong light here. I realise what you and walkman have said. Children are children after all and they need protecting by their parents. As a kid I did not have direct access to the internet, I had to use my dads PC. But I was allowed to browse freely (almost). Of course he was abe to put protections on there against the seriously disturbed websites and seeing as hes the chief of IT at the place he worked there was no way I was going to get around these protections, but I was still allowed to (for the most part) browse without him breathing down my neck so to speak. If he did check what I had looked at after and disagreed with anything that I was looking at (not that there should be) he still hasnt said anything.

Because I was not kept on such a tight leash I did make mistakes. I still do. But my parents are always there to pick me back up, dust me down and give me a clip round the ear for being so stupid :flowers: . But again, this is very hard were the internet is concerned because there are so many people out there that can take advantage. As many of you had said, it needs balance.

Walkman: so because the kids have not paid for what they are using they have no rights to privacy? If it is a child (say 9-12) using it I dont think they are going to be able to get rid of the blocks on their own. If it were a teenager your dealing with something completely different. Sure, there is nothing wrong to monitor your children but there are other ways to do it.

Edited by athelos, 02 March 2007 - 08:05 AM.

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#7 JoshT

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 08:34 AM

I'm fifteen, I have four sister, two of which have had problems with the internet, and talking to strangers. My older sister, who is 19 now, still uses YIM, even after my parents forbid her to do so.

My younger sister, which has learned, and used neopets, found a website to get a free email, and started emailing this guy, who said he was a 9 year old.

I got into my sister's email, and showed my parents, and the so called "kid" was too smart for a 9 year-old, and misspelled words on purpose.

My parents wouldn't mind to install a key-logger, or some other monitoring device/program. They work to pay for food for us kids, our clothes, our allowances (HA, I never have had one yet), their taxes for our schools, and so much more.

I don't like being monitored, who does? but our parents look out for us, because their parents did, and we will have to for our kids, no matter what way it is.

The internet is an awesome place, and one of the most dangerous places too. It is a great tool for learning about anything, and in that anything, there are those people who love to prey on kids for fun, and pleasure. I will not stand for that, and neither will my parents.

-JoshT

#8 Walkman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 09:23 AM

At the moment, I have 3 children.... ages 19, 20, 21.

My point to the post is that if a child is going to be using the internet, they are going to be monitored, which would mean logging their key strokes. I'm not saying that a parent must stand there and watch their children while they're online, but they should be aware that children do stray away from parental advise... Even grown people stray away from their parents advise, so I know the children would need that extra monitoring.

As long as you're a minor, and as long as you're a minor living under your parents roof, you can not make your own decision of doing right or wrong. You only make the decision of doing wrong by doing what you're told not to do. Children aren't in any position to say "Well, if I mess up it's on me." That can be done by the child while not in the presence of their parents, like... in school.... walking to the store, malls... coming home from school... going to the movies with friends etc..... when the parents aren't around. But when you're home, that's where your wisdom comes from,,, your parents only. No one in the streets will care for you like your parents do and they surely won't be there to help you out like your parents will, and do.

Children get all the freedom in the world now,, especially since the Internet came around, because many parents don't monitor them while they're online, and as far as I'm concerned on that matter, it just like letting your child wander off to a far off place and you not caring.

I know you children want more freedom and privacy you think you deserve, but I think you get your fair share when you're able to sleep in your bed at night, with your door closed, and use the bathroom, with the door closed. You're not being monitored and you have all the privacy you need.

And because you haven't done anything to warrant your parent to have to monitor you, don't think for a second that your parents are not to act like parents. They care.. and if a child understands that their parents care and love them very much, a child should mature enough to say "Yeah.... my parents love me very much, and I understand why they're being that way."

Then you have the issue of something going wrong with your computer, and when you confront the child about it, they will either tell you that they didn't do it, or they forgot to tell you that they did it. Or how about a friend that I know... and the child accidently deleted some Windows files, causing the computer to not load up again.

But children are more vulnerable than their parents, and it's easy to get children to do things that the child doesn't realize what they're actually doing. I know a child wouldn't want to come home to find out that someone has broken into their home and done some harm to their family members. But if they can only realize that they gave out their personal information to a stranger... and possibly a neighbor too, they would have a different out take on this monitoring of the internet usage.

If a parent has a job working on computers all day long to support the family, and they are monitored too on their work computers, what makes you think that a child shouldn't be monitored.. on his home computer?

To be honest with you?.... I think it was the mistake of the lifetime for parents to even let their minor children surf on the Internet in the beginning. But since they do, the children are trying to take it a step further, and that is now they don't want to be monitored either.

You can ask my children yourself..... never in their minor ages of their lives have I ever allowed, nor let them get on the internet... not once. I let them play games and I've done many things for them, but they have never in their lives surfed on the Internet under my watch.... And I've been online since 1988 or 1989. And that's because I know how the internet/chat rooms was/is, and how easy it is for a child to make a mistake...... shooot, just look around here, for example, you have many grown people that can't even control their own computers, because of whatever fault of their own, and do you think those same people should be having their children exposed to their incompetence? on the Internet? No... not really.

And lastly, another reason I never let my children (during their minor years) surf, nor go online was because of what I see now:

no#1. Sad to say, but the children of today have been dumbed down by thinking that the Internet is their answer to them becoming grown.
no#2. children of today can no longer do arithmetic with a paper and pencil, all because society dumbed them down, and told them how easy and better the computers are.. and the children still believe it.
no#3. Schools now allow children to use calculators. Many children aren't able to think, nor do math on their own any more. But those same children know all there is to know about surfing online.
no#4. Children are exposed to too many grown people that fill their heads with the wrong things, and the children take it and run with it too.... and then the parents are wondering why their child is being that way. Influence from a grown person. A child?.. that's different than a grown person.
no#5. Children's reading and understanding/comprehension level have dropped to an all time low now, since they're able to surf online.... and less and less children read books anymore.
no#6. Most children born in the 1980's and up have never heard of an 8-track player.. have never saw, nor used a television where you have to manually turn the channels to get to the UHF/VHF channels.....have never heard of the Vietnam War, the Civil War, .... and.... cannot name the very 1st president of the United States.... and let alone... name the rest of them... in order.
no#7. Children's spelling has become so low, many children can't even spell dictionary. It's amazing. Many common words they don't even know the meaning to them.

I can go on and on and on about this.... but these are some of the reasons why children need to be monitored while being on the Internet. They know not of the past at all, but are stuck on today and tomorrow (not that there's anything wrong with that)... but they don't use the internet to research useful information.

How many children do you think will tell their parents after getting off the Internet that they've learned something? Not many... and that's because the Internet is a way for children to escape reality, and parents allow it. I bet all the children can tell everything in the world about uTube, chat rooms, MySpace, and a host of other mediums out there that are dumbing down people, and especially the children.

since the internet, there has been more killings, drug usage, amongst the children of the US and other parts of the world... but mainly the US... all due to parents not monitoring them while they're online. And guess what?..... it's getting worse every day.

Because of the Internet, you now have children driving cars known as (ghost riding) or something like that. Children are exposed to the kinds of crap that will lead them down a deadly path, and parents have every right to do what they can do to minimize it.

If any child has children when they get older, watch how their attitudes will change, just to protect their children. And although the attitude towards things can change and be your own decision to make while you're still a minor, your actions aren't, as long as you're living under your parents roof.

Again, thats my take on this.

Edited by Walkman, 02 March 2007 - 09:46 AM.


#9 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 01:17 PM

In a way yes....In a way. You see life is an experience and this is how my family sees it. If I had been hanging out with the wrong person and got arrested because of them that would have been my fault and my experience. Dont get me wrong.


Letting your kids do what they want is stupid.

Little kids would be happy to put their fingers in a electrical socket.

Let that be a life lesson too?

Just like that many things can kill them or get them into trouble.

As long as they live under your roof they will do as YOU say.

Yes they need some privacy but its your choice how much they get or need according to how they present themselves by their actions.

Why not let the baby run into the road and have his freedom. If he gets hit let it be a life lesson. No way!

Be the parent and teach them whats right and whats wrong. They wont never know if they arent taught or they will learn later when they get hurt.

About the keyloggers.

If your kid goes to bad sites and you found him doing it and told him not too. Then you can watch them if you want. Its not breaking their privacy really its being a good parent. If they dont go to those sites again I think the keylogger should be shut off.

You should watch out for your kids. Not listening has gotten many killed.

#10 Walkman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 01:37 PM


In a way yes....In a way. You see life is an experience and this is how my family sees it. If I had been hanging out with the wrong person and got arrested because of them that would have been my fault and my experience. Dont get me wrong.


Letting your kids do what they want is stupid.

Little kids would be happy to put their fingers in a electrical socket.

Let that be a life lesson too?

Just like that many things can kill them or get them into trouble.

As long as they live under your roof they will do as YOU say.

Yes they need some privacy but its your choice how much they get or need according to how they present themselves by their actions.

Why not let the baby run into the road and have his freedom. If he gets hit let it be a life lesson. No way!

Be the parent and teach them whats right and whats wrong. They wont never know if they arent taught or they will learn later when they get hurt.

About the keyloggers.

If your kid goes to bad sites and you found him doing it and told him not too. Then you can watch them if you want. Its not breaking their privacy really its being a good parent. If they dont go to those sites again I think the keylogger should be shut off.

You should watch out for your kids. Not listening has gotten many killed.

Amen!!

#11 MaraM

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 05:55 PM

I do agree. As much as I'd love to give kids total freedom on the internet, it's not so much them I don't trust - rather it's the often scary people they can unknowingly get involved with.

But when it comes to their diaries/journals (do kids even do that anymore, I wonder?) - it's hands-off for parents and siblings!
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#12 Walkman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 06:06 PM

Children don't do diaries anymore, and many of them will think of it as childish.... forgetting about themselves at that moment.

And besides, to write/print in a diary requires a child to write/print, and they just aren't haven't that anymore.

I'd be surprised if a child can sharpen a pencil in a hand-held pencil sharpener. They just don't do that anymore. And we parents are left with the remaining text of our society.

Watch how a child will take upto 3 lines to make a character, whereas it would only take 2 lines. They want to write less and less as possible.

I've gotten the real skinny on it all when in 1996 when I was a G.E.D Teacher. I know.. and plus raising 3 children all on my own. I've gotten to see two different worlds, all rolled up in one.

Although my children know how to use the internet to this day, I'm glad I've kept them away from it while they were minors.

#13 athelos

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:16 PM

Why not let the baby run into the road and have his freedom. If he gets hit let it be a life lesson. No way!


Im not saying that at all!! I said that it is a parents responsibility to look after their children and keep them safe! What parent would let their child run into the road or stick their fingers into plug socckets?!? Youve missed my point completely!

What im trying to say is there is a line that needs to be seen. Letting your kids get hurt is just bad parenting but to choose their friends for them? To read, what to them, could be private things? To let them see only what you want them to see?

Like I said there is a line between bad parenting and completly dominating ones life.

It depends on the child aswell. If, like i think what you meant, the child in question is only say 6/7 then, yes. A certain amount of monitering should be in place. But what happens when they get older? I was very independent when I was 14/15 and was allowed to make most of my choices. Your saying when they hit this age the same rules should reply? I was bought up this way and I am just fine!

I'd be surprised if a child can sharpen a pencil in a hand-held pencil sharpener. They just don't do that anymore.


Im hoping thats sarcasm there.

Edited by athelos, 02 March 2007 - 07:18 PM.

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#14 jgweed

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:24 PM

Thinking in generalities doesn't seem to reach a solution, since it ignores the varying degrees of maturity, education, and sophistication of the individual child- - -not to mention those of the parents themselves. As a child shows maturity, so it should be allowed increased freedom from close supervision, and the possibility of learning from its mistakes.
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#15 athelos

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:30 PM

You know jgweed. I think you have hit the nail on the head. Like many in this thread have said its a case of balance, which would alter depending on the child and parent. What I cant get my head around though is the people who are (or seem to be) completely against giving their children any breathing room whatsoever.

Maybe its just because this style of parenting worked with me I cant understand what other parents go through. But then I see plenty of parents who use the same general approach and it seems to work.

Edited by athelos, 02 March 2007 - 07:31 PM.

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