/ / How To Oversee Your Children’s Use of the Internet

How To Oversee Your Children’s Use of the Internet

It is expected that our children will use the Internet. Despite the tremendous danger it can pose, here is how to oversee our children's use of the Internet.  #WomenLivingWell #Parenting #Parentinghacks #internet

It is incredibly scary to consider that with just one tap of a finger, our children have access to everything good and bad out on the internet.

My son is 12 and my daughter is 10.  They both have birthdays in the next two months and I’ll have a teenager and an 11 year old!

About a year ago, I came to the realization that the oversight of my children’s use of their iPads was not sufficient. I could not be peeking over their shoulder every minute of the day, making sure every website they visited was safe.

This past summer I began the book titled Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch, PhD.

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Kathy writes:

“Connectivity has taken on new meanings in our age of digital tools.  We need to be hooked up to the Web, linked in with colleagues, and interfacing with other computers.  We’re uploading and downloading and storing information in a Cloud!  It’s a whole new world of connectivity.”

“Someone posted a photo of people waiting in a store line.  Every single person in the line was intently focused on a cell-phone in his or her hand.  Teens walking to and from the local high school seem to move slowly and, often, alone.  They too are looking down at the cellphone in their hands.  Screens are mesmerizing!  It’s hard to pull our eyes off them to register what’s going on around us to make eye contact with the living, breathing people near at hand.”

“Like so many things, in small doses, continuous partial attention can be a very functional behavior.  However, in large doses, it contributes to a stressful lifestyle, to operating in crisis management mode, and to a compromised ability to reflect, to make decisions, and to think creatively.  In a 24/7, always-on world, continuous partial attention used as our dominant attention mode contributes to a feeling of overwhelm, over-stimulation and to a sense of being unfulfilled.  We are so accessible, we’re inaccessible.  The latest, greatest powerful technologies have contributed to our feeling increasingly powerless.”

And Josh McDowell writes:

Pornography is the number one threat to the cause of Christ, five times greater than anything historically in the last 2,000 years. It’s the greatest threat to young people, the greatest threat to marriage, the greatest threat to family, the greatest threat to pastors, oh, the greatest threat to youth pastors—this pervasive pornography on the Internet. And most people don’t realize. It’s five times greater than anything the church has ever faced in history, and it’s destroying kids right now.

So what do we do?

I don’t have all the answers…but I do have one tool I am using to oversee the use of my children’s internet that I want to share with you because it is DYNAMITE! I LOVE it!

Covenant Eyes.

Do you know how it works?

First, you remove Safari from your children’s iPad, iPhone or computer. Then you load the Covenant Eyes app onto their device.  Then every time they search the internet it is logged through Covenant Eyes.

Everyday, I get an email with a list of all the websites my children have visited the previous day. Yay!

Each of the websites are rated E for everyone, T for Teen, M for mature and so on.  Anywhere they go that is questionable, I am alerted and then I can click the link to see what it is they saw or start a discussion with them about their search.

I love that Covenant Eyes is a way to keep my children accountable without me staring over their shoulder.  It has opened great conversations for us and my children know that they cannot search questionable words or I will know about it!

If you do not have something in place to protect your little ones or teens – do not wait any longer.  I believe it is the greatest danger our children are facing.

To find out more information about how much it costs monthly and how it works – go to CovenantEyes.com  You’ll be glad you did!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In**

Do you use Covenant Eyes? How has it worked for you and your family?

If you are not using Covenant Eyes – have you found another great way to oversee your children’s use of the internet?  Share it with us!

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links.

23 Comments

  1. last week in our youth program, the kids were sharing with us how teachers and school administrators were telling the kids how to access different websites and social media sites without their parents knowledge…parents in our school district are furious that our schools are doing this. Parents already have a hard enough trying to bond with their middle and high school students, this is not helping the situation. Because our school district supplies our kids with laptops, many parents are no longer allowing the kids to use them in the home.

  2. Screen time is a parenting challenge. Thanks for sharing this app. Like you, I am concerned about the websites my children visit, but cannot always look over their shoulder.

    We also make our children stay in the room where we are (no going to bedrooms or secret places) so they know we are checking in on them at any time.

    Screen time does need to be limited because the tweens and teens just get lost on the screen.

  3. Courtney, our entire family 2 adults, 2 adult children and 2 teens) have used this for a couple of years now. It is wonderful and keeps us all accountable to one another.

  4. I have used this on all our computers and devices for years and it works great! When I do have an issue I can call the company and their customer service is superb!

  5. I’ve used it in the past, but ran into trouble logging into normal websites and having it affect the way other programs on my or my son’s computer work……….maybe they have improved their server?

    1. Julee,

      It sounds like you had their filtering system. We do not have that – I just have the accountability service where it tracks where they went and reports it to me.

      🙂 Courtney

  6. My children are all grown but I do have 14 grandchildren and 11 greats. I think this is a good idea. It’s too late for my grandchildren as the youngest is 21 but as for the greats the oldest is 15 and I must make sure my granddaughter knows about this. Will alert the parents of all the younger ones as well.

  7. x3Watch is another great resource that is an internet pornography accountability software. This was created through XXX church whose purpose is to free individuals from those types of addictions and temptations. This is obviously geared more towards teen and adults, but the truth is our tweens and younger are being exposed to pornography at alarming rates. Anyone who has access to the internet is just one wrong click away and they may not even know it. It’s a dangerous cyber-world out there and our children are suffering because of it. The enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy, and he is working hard at doing so through the use of the internet. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, and many others have the ability to share and/or access inappropriate information. I was shocked to discover from my teen that you can search for anything on the web via Facebook and Instagram even though all browsers such as Chrome and Safari are blocked on their devices. They are smart and they are also vulnerable to this! I am a technology teacher and a parent of 5 children. I often feel like it’s a full time job just monitoring devices that my children and my students have access to. Some rules I try to enforce: Youtube only used with permission in our presence and not even accessible on their personal devices, Electronics out of bedrooms and bathrooms, Electronics collected in our bedroom every night, Time limits on their screens, NO SNAPCHAT, Limited social media based on personal maturity levels and/or temptations, and more…and the hard truth is…it’s still not enough to prevent them from falling prey to the enemy!

    1. Candice could you please tell me more about Snap Chat…my 14 year old daughter is on it all the time. I would love to know anything you could share or advise.

      Thank you so much for your time,

      Susan

      1. Snap chat is an app where kids can send pictures or messages that are auto deleted after 10 seconds. There is no way to track them or check the history. Kids can take screen shots of messages/pictures if they want to save it… Although all kids don’t use it in a negative way- it is super secretive and often used for sexting. My 16 year old niece gave me the lowdown on the app.

      2. What Eliza said is completely true. I’m not suggesting that everyone has evil intentions, however we open our children up to possibilities and risks that I’m not willing to take as a mom. That is a personal choice that I have made based on our experiences. Your child may not do anything wrong with and it and it could be a really fun thing amongst friends. However, someone else may send her something that you would not want her to see and what’s done it done. I personally feel like it’s just too dangerous to use while there are other options that can be tracked. Kids have gotten into lots of trouble with inappropriate pictures on this app. Definitely used for sexting amongst teens. I am often shocked by the things that are going on between youth with these kinds of apps. It’s such a scary world!

  8. I think it’s great that you have made these changes, we too have Covenant Eyes for a while…but if a child is looking for a way around it they can find it. The safest thing we found was to use the restrictions setting as well as CE. I also recommend the book “Reset Your Child’s Brain” ( the subtitle is misleading – it makes a prospective buyer thinK it’s only for kids who have behavioral and learning issues) as it shows its not only about porn…there are a host of issues around kids under 13 using screens (interactive and not) and massive impact in their brain. Screens should be avoided until late teens and then only used when needed IMHO

  9. How appropriate that I got this in my email today. Our extended community is reeling and grieving after a 13 year old in neighboring Blacksburg, VA was abducted and stabbed to death last week and we are finding out that it’s because she was secretly on websites talking to people she had no idea were predators. Please pray for her family and friends and talk, talk, talk to your children and grandchildren about these things.

    1. As soon as I started reading the posting, I thought about that little girl. Just praying for her family and friends.

  10. I just wanted to say that my husband was a youth pastor for years and counseled many teens who struggled with this issue. Even when their parents had safety measures like this in place, people who are motivated to find pornography will find it. Many teens are so tech savvy that they can make their way around limits their parents have in place. Tools like this can be helpful, but they cannot reach one’s heart. That’s why the most important thing we can do to help our children is having honest, open, gospel-centered conversations with them.

  11. There is not actually a reason to argue for children’s overuse of internet in this modern era. We parents provide them liberty to use cell phones at early years. Kids need time from parents to play games with them, spend quality time, and educate them how to speak words. When you don’t spend time with kids, they become stubborn and don’t listen in to you. Spend most of time in playing online games and surfing internet.

  12. Courtney, thanks for sharing the link to your book and this app, I will share it on one of my blogs which talks about the dangers of digital eye strain…or computer vision syndrome which is another issue we will need to monitor as our kids grow up.

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