Do cyber parents have too much information about their child? How to monitor and respect privacy

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Cyber safety for Kids and Families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish Family Morning Show

Bob Dillon, founder of Artimys, parental control apps that offer threat detection alerts powered by artificial intelligence so parents don't have to look at everything on their child's devices. The aim is to strike a balance between respecting privacy providing security. (Photo: Courtesy)

Bob Dillon, founder of Artimys, is developing parental control apps that offer threat detection alerts powered by artificial intelligence so parents don’t have to look at everything on their child’s devices. The aim is to strike a balance between respecting privacy providing security. (Photo: Courtesy)

The universal challenge of the modern parent is monitoring cyber communications for threat detection. We know by our own experience and in the headlines featuring drug abuse and addiction, sexual exploitation, suicide and murder, that our children are faced with a fire hose of pressure to believe things that are not true. These are beliefs about their identity and inherent value that are simply beneath them. They are the adult issues that inspire fall from grace: bullying, addiction and exploitation, which are streaming into our cyber social realms and disturbing the peace.

Because teens do most of their conversations on-line, parents can have more access to their personal stuff than ever before. It can be too much information and there is a risk of knowing too much, getting too involved and/or micromanaging which can lead to high anxiety all around weakening the parent-child bond with broken trust.

Julia Shohbozian, author of Life is Bigger than the Screen on this blog, is as junior in high school, who attends Sierra College and is an active volunteer with the Placer County Youth Commission, and the Coalition for Placer Youth. She is concerned that when parents monitor texting closely, it might create anxiety for the teen. “Teens do a lot of communicating through texting,” she said. “And if they don’t understand why and how communications are being monitored it may cause them to worry.”

When our role as guardian is experienced as oppressive and worrisome it is as sure sign that something is out of alignment. Either the child does not understand the value of a guardian to provide instructive discipline, or the parent does not understand it. Or both. The most important thing a parent can do for the cyber-powered child is establish a trustworthy presence in their life on and off-line to teach them how to establish personal boundaries that  keep them liberated from the bullying and exploitative agendas of others.

Communication tips for parents

Clarify that private and secret are not the same thing. Privacy is the personal stuff you keep from the world because the world is not trustworthy. While secrets harbor risk. Parents are the guardians of your personal security; they do not grant you privacy, but they respect it by not commenting on everything they see and hear, and not sharing personal information without your permission.

Pick your battles. Be clear in your own mind that your job is to serve as the guardian of their personal security and that your primary concern is safety, which includes quality of thinking and language detected in the communications. So when you are surveying your child’s communications, be careful not to react to everything that disturbs you and stay focused on any content that represents potential risk.

Artimys launched a "kickstart" campaign to deliver parental control apps with artifical intelligence that delivers threat detection warnings to parents so they don't have to look at everything.

Artimys launched a “kickstart” campaign to deliver parental control apps with artificial intelligence that delivers threat detection warnings to parents so they don’t have to look at everything.

New parental control app with potential to offer threat detection alerts. Check out this “kickstart” for a parental control app, Artimys, in development that delivers threat detection alerts to parents so they do not have to monitor everything. This is a great idea. For example, the two most common words found in cyberbully conversations are “you should” – which Artimys apps would detect in frequency and context and then issue an alert with probability of risk made possible by an artificial intelligence engine.

Clarify your security objectives. When you explain you are monitoring for potential threats, and make your child is aware of the things that you are looking for, such as:

1) communications with folks you have never met
2) inappropriate websites, and
3) unkind, foul language, gossip and bullying.

This is an opportunity to reinforce your family values and for your child to do the same.

To learn more about creating a family culture characterized by open communication and individual resilience, go to: Fresh Start.

Banana Moments Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. To make a donation, please go go: Donations. Your generous support is greatly appreciated.

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Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM The Fish offers insights and lessons learned about faith and spiritual resilience. Check out her blog, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, weekday mornings on the Family Morning Show.

 

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.

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