Parenting the Internet generation | July 9, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 9, 2010

Parenting the Internet generation

Website offers social networking for kids — with adult supervision

by Katia Savchuk

Stay-at-home-mom Teri Spanner was shocked to see 8-year-old son Blake killing American soldiers in an online World War II game last year. A National Guard veteran herself, Spanner told him that the website was off-limits.

This story contains 1350 words.

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Editorial Intern Katia Savchuk can be e-mailed at


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Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Sounds like another innovative Palo Alto start-up - Facebook for kids. Hope it stays in Palo Alto. Good luck guys.

Like this comment
Posted by parminder Dhillon
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I love interacting with my grandchildren and the other 25 in my Togetherville neighborhood. Living on opposite coasts, a three hour time difference, it is difficult to talk to them on the phone. It is either too early or too late, or they are in school or some after school activity.
On Togetherville, I can applaud them, encourage them, share their videos and sometimes try to beat their scores in the games they like to play. I must say, they are much better!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

It's disgraceful to see people trying to lure kids into becoming hooked onto a completely nonsense online activity like social networks at that tender age. Very sneaky and underhanded approach to doing business akin to selling heroine to kids in parent-approved dosages. Kids need exercise, need real social interaction and not such nonsense sites that keep them glued to computers in the guise of educational experience. People will do anything to make a quick buck, even so much as to pawn off their kids. Shame!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2010 at 9:18 am

DTN resident

Don't know if you have kids or how old they are, but kids are getting hooked on the internet nowadays at places other than home. It is better for parents to be able to put down some guidelines rather than play ostrich and imagine that their kids are outside playing and getting exercise rather than at friends' homes or the library on the internet!

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I don't know about this...could come to resemble internet lite, like how we have some dreadful abridged versions of books for children or Disney versions of Pocahontas etc. that are not the 'real' thing...

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Just another means of teaching or enabling behavior that does not require accountability.

And one day when these kids realize they can not deal with actual face to face interactions because they were always dealing with computers, and they get depressed and then WHAT...

How sad.

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Posted by Ken Shallcross
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

The bottom line is that if parents REALLY want to keep their kids safe online, they need to know what they are doing on the computer, and what is happening in their online lives. Blocks and filters are easy to get around, and talking alone will get you nowhere… (if you think your kids are going to tell you, honestly, everything they are doing online – you are only kidding yourself). Education is a great thing, and very necessary, but how can you consider yourself educated if you don’t know the simplest information – like what your kids are really doing on the Internet to begin with. If you have monitoring software, like our PC Pandora (Web Link), you will know everything they do and will be able to talk to them about it. If you aren’t monitoring and don’t know what they are really doing, how can you be sure they are safe? It’s not an issue of privacy (I have no idea where and when kids were granted endless privacy because they exist – in my day privacy was earned through trust and an established good behavior record), nor is it an issue of trust – it’s called being a 21st century parent. If you don’t know what your kids are doing online, you aren’t doing your job as a parent. If you aren’t monitoring what your kids do online and watch them, someone else will…

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Posted by Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS)
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

Adolescent Counseling Services' most recent e-newsletter focused on how to keep your teens safe online. Check out our blog to read our e-newsletter and our new blog series called "Parenting Teens and Technology": Web Link. You can also access our blog and other great parenting tips at our website: Web Link.

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Posted by RT
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

As a parent, I limit my children's screen time to one hour a day. By the way, "screen" means ANY screen - computer, TV, hand-held game, cell phone game - ANY screen. Our kids need to use their brain - not have something else use it.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

This article presents the perspective that the "opposite" of exciting technology in a child's life is mundane coloring books and crayons.

The balance that is needed in the article is that play, as in child-directed, open-ended play is the opposite of "playing on a computer."

Have you ever seen a child build a waterfall out of wooden blocks and train tracks?

The learning and development that goes on every moment that a child plays using his/her own ideas is richer and far more beneficial.

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Posted by Blake
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

It's really fun

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.