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Senate Votes To Empower Parents As Censors 418

unlametheweak recommends an Ars Technica report that the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill requiring the FCC to explore what "advanced blocking technologies" are available to parents to help filter out "indecent or objectionable programming." "...the law does focus on empowering parents to take control of new media technologies to deal with undesired content, rather than handing the job over to the government. It asks the FCC to focus the inquiry on blocking systems for a 'wide variety of distribution platforms,' including wireless and Internet, and an array of devices, including DVD players, set top boxes, and wireless applications."
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Senate Votes To Empower Parents As Censors

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  • Positive Changes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slifox ( 605302 ) * on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:06AM (#25271619)

    Well its about time this issue becomes more widely recognized in government...

    If you don't like whats on TV, DON'T WATCH IT.

    If you don't want your child watching it, DON'T RELY ON TV AS A BABYSITTER.

    "The text of the bill notes that the average child watches four hours of television a day"
    Uhhh, doesn't this seem a little much?? Subtracting school & sleep, that leaves 5 hours a day for other things (not even counting things like homework, meals, etc).
    Parents should be pushing their kids to spend this time doing *constructive* activities, such as those that inspire aspirations of becoming engineers, scientists, artists, etc... NOT activities that make 'stupid spoiled whore' seem like a desirable occupation

    "With over 500 channels and video streaming, parents could use a little help monitoring what their kids watch when they are not in the room,"
    The amount of content will only grow, and it is too difficult to categorize and rate every piece of video & audio, especially highly-paid-for items like advertisements.
    They are taking the blacklist approach, and as we all know, that will only work if you have the resources to maintain the list against all new and possible content.
    Rather, they (parents -- NOT GOVERNMENT) should be taking the whitelist approach, which, given an infinite content set, is far more realistic to successfully maintain.

    Yeah, that means taking time out of your day to ensure that your kids are only watching content that you deem appropriate for them (and this obviously should change with their age and maturity). That means not sitting your kid in front of the TV while you go persue your own hobbies or work (imagine that: sacrificing for the sake of your family). Most families are not in situations where the parents must work round-the-clock to provide *basic* supplies for their kids -- if the parents' excuse is they must work instead of parenting, then perhaps they need to cut down on their spending for the sake of their childrens' upbringing: a kid needs a good parent more than the latest clothing, a big TV, or yearly vacations.

    This is probably not news to most people here, but far too many Americans are quick to call for government censorship of TV/radio/internet/videogames/etc, rather than simply investing their OWN TIME into raising their kids.

    Now, of course, we should, as always, still remain vigilant and make sure that this newfangled "parent-empowered" censorship isn't simply a masquerade for actual forced censorship (read: government censorship)...

  • by TechnoBunny ( 991156 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:08AM (#25271637)
    ...suppliers will supply it, regardless of any spurious 'WONT SOMEONE THINK OF TEH CHILDREN' type arguments....
  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:21AM (#25271727) Homepage Journal

    Very true and quite insightful. I would also add that if parents are in control it's not called censorship and they are not censors. They are parents. Censorship applies to when Government engages in decided what can and cannot be seen/heard in the media.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:21AM (#25271729) Homepage

    Parents are already 'enabled' as censors over their children. It's called looking at what they are doing and watching, and preventing them from watching the stuff they disagree with.

    Asking the FCC to impose a technical mandate on every piece of communications technology to allow parents to individually censor every thing according to rules is asinine. Because we're all going to end up paying through the nose for our TV and ISPs and consumer electronics which have this stuff in it.

    Sadly, parents seem to expect that someone will come up with a technical solution to all of their ills. I think it would be both expensive and ill-advised to try to get this stuff built into all of the technology around us.

    This is the worst sort of mandate, because, once again, we look at implementing mechanisms of censorship which will be in place for all of us -- all in the name of the children. Eventually they'll take the choice away from us to watch what they consider to be objectionable as some overly zealous group says that on thing or another should be banned in case some child somewhere sees it.


  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:22AM (#25271731)

    Good post.

    As a parent, I'm appalled at how many parents let their kids walk all over them. I'm not surprised; so many people reach maturity without having been given the tools to be "mature," that it's nearly impossible to discipline their own kids when they have them.

    On my son's soccer team, the coaches son yells at him, jumps on him, throws temper tantrums... guess who gets to play whatever position he wants for the entire game (unless he's tired and wants to come out)?

    At an after school meeting, my son's teacher's son hit his mother... slapped her face, and she did nothing. Granted, she was at school, it seems like you can get the death penalty for discipling a child on school grounds these days, but good lord!

    My kids seem like the only ones who get the recommended amount of sleep... it's very difficult; they have friends who are going to bed at 10:00 and 11:00 at night and getting up for school at 7:00. At nine years old, they're supposed to be getting 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked with ADD and many other behavioral problems.

    And as far as TV and internet go, let's just say we start by having to earn time to watch TV or "play" on the computer.

    My kids also have to earn their money to buy things like video games and other toys... books are the only things they get for "free."

    It's really NOT rocket science.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:23AM (#25271737) Homepage Journal
    One of parents job is to slowly expose children to the world as the child is able to understand it. This is much better than limiting the behavior of all adults. For example, some might want to ban alcohol from any venue that a child might attend. This makes sense if the venue is primarily for children, but doesn't make sense if it is primarily adult, where parent can model responsible drinking rather than have the child's first experience at a high school kegger.

    For the internet the same is true. It is much better to give parent control of what and when the child can access certain content rather than limit content to that which is appropriate for a 12 year old. This is not censorship in the conventional sense as the content is available. A motivated child can leave the house and gain acess. Rather this is a little thing called parenting, which many around here might say is something way under practiced.

    One thinks that this is only a problem for two groups. First, teenagers who either do not have a means to get out of the house of out of school, for instance rural or homeschool kids, to unfiltered computers. Second, adults who live in the parents basements and do not pay rent or pay for their own phone/cable and computer. Otherwise, such technologies are merely part of rearing a child.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:23AM (#25271739) Homepage

    ...suppliers will supply it, regardless of any spurious 'WONT SOMEONE THINK OF TEH CHILDREN' type arguments....

    As long as parents are footing their own damned costs for this, and the rest of us don't have it foisted on us, I agree with that. Having the entire TV and internet infrastructure set up to do this is stupid.


  • Re:They're parents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:46AM (#25271913) Homepage Journal
    I was thinking the exact same thing when I read this. Especially this snippet: ""...the law does focus on empowering parents to take control of new media technologies to deal with undesired content..."

    Ok...they're making a law where parents can control what their kids watch?

    Since when is this new?? Since when did we need a law on this?

    Ok, we didn't have the internet out when I grew up, but, we did have TV, and my parents were quite effective WAY back then before laws like censoring what I could watch. First, they were home when I was home in the evenings (imagine this, we actually had a meal called dinner together, and it was home cooked, and yes, my Mom worked too), and they knew what was on the TV. At a young age, I had a bedtime...I remember having to go to bed at 8pm then 9pm when younger.

    Even past that, they would say what I could and could not watch. I didn't get my own TV in my room till I was a teenager, and deemed old enough to start making more of my own decisions, etc. know, the more I talk about things like IS truly amazing that people of my generation actually made it to adulthood, what with all the lack of laws like this, electronic parental monitoring, and lack of cell phones. Geez, I won't even get into the fact that we were actually tossed outside to play when the weather was nice.

  • As a parent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ehaggis ( 879721 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:46AM (#25271915) Homepage Journal
    We have implemented the following...
    1. Limited TV - Rabbit Ears only or pre-selected DVDs. Yes, we say "no" to many programs. When TV goes digital, oh well - we will not switch.
    2. ClarkConnect [] - proxy, firewall, ad blocker, content filter, anti-virus, spam blocker, for the house. Any connection to my wireless or wired LAN has this protection. The time on the computer is limited and monitored.
    3. We have not abdicated authority to our children. They are children, we are the parents. The responsibility for raising them and what they take in is with us, not them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:46AM (#25271917)

    a lot of these channels are crap now. history channel keeps showing programs about UFOs...

  • I don't buy it. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:57AM (#25272005)

    ...both parents needing to work...

    No they don't. They just need to live within their means.

    Do they really need that new luxury car? Or even a new car? The folks that buy/lease a new car every 1 or 2 years just dont' have a clue. There are plenty of reliable 3 year old cars.

    Do they really need that 3,000 sq. ft. house - even though they have only 2 kids?

    Do they really need to have the best of everything?

    I've seen folks who don't make that much insist on having the most expensive cable/broadband plan and the big screen TV. They go out shopping to buy stuff that they'll use once or twice.

    Raising kids wouldn't by so expensive if parents would stop insisting on buying all the expensive toys, name brand clothes, and all of the "educational" games and toys.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:04AM (#25272067) Journal

    Must be nice to not have to work and be able to spend 24 hrs a day with your kids, watching their every move. Unfortunately, many of us don't have that much free time.

    I wonder how parents coped before the Internet came along?

    I wasn't allowed a TV in my room until I reached a certain age. The idea of allowing a child to have unrestricted unsupervised Internet access I find insane - sure, I've nothing against if you want to do that, but don't go crying if the child then sees something you didn't want them to.

    This issue has nothing to do with finding the time to supervise kids, just as that wouldn't be an excuse for allowing your child to go to a bar on their own. There are plenty of method to keep children occupied without requiring an Internet connection - in fact, the amount of toys, resources and so on available for children today is I suspect far greater than it was in the past, even if you cut out the Internet.

    (Now, I have nothing against this story if it is just about providing tools for parents - I'm just referring to the general claim about parents not having time to supervise their kids on the Internet, as if somehow kids were supposed to be on the Internet in the first place.)

  • Objectionable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:04AM (#25272069) Homepage

    This can only come from the parents. Personally I find FoxNews objectionable as its absolute slanted trash, other parents think its education for their kids. Personally I find the god channels objectionable for their "send money for redemption" pitches and homophobic and other outbursts, other parents find this stuff uplifting and important that their kids should watch.

    Kids shouldn't be left in front of the TV with the remote. It really isn't difficult and TV should be a minimum thing, a treat, not the basic right that is in every kids' room.

  • by K.B.Zod ( 642226 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:13AM (#25272167)

    That means not sitting your kid in front of the TV while you go persue your own hobbies or work (imagine that: sacrificing for the sake of your family).

    My wife and I have two kids, ages 5 years and 16 months. I work full time, my wife part time with help from the grandparents babysitting. I can guarantee you that we have lots more to do while our kids are watching TV than hobbies or work. Here's a short list:

    • Cleaning the unending flow of dirty dishes
    • Handling the unending flow of laundry
    • Preparing breakfast/lunch/dinner, or cleaning up from it
    • Making phone calls for needed appointments
    • Cleaning the kitchen, or bathrooms, or ...
    • Did I mention the laundry?

    I could go on. See anything there that a really little kid can help with? See anything that maybe would go a lot smoother if the kids were just still for a little while? Using TV just to stop the whirlwind for even a half-hour can be a godsend for us. We love to spend time with our kids playing with toys, doing art, or romping in the yard, but when we need to do something ourselves — or we just need a break — putting on an educational, age-appropriate TV show can be a useful tool.

    Yeah, we're not perfect parents. But we aren't helicopters either, and we have other stuff we've got to take care of.

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:14AM (#25272171)

    Did that really ever work?

    Works for my kids:

    You've got books, you've got toys, you've got bicycles, you've got a back yard: go do something!!!

  • Pefect Solution... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FishAdmin ( 1288708 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:14AM (#25272181)
    ...get rid of the freakin' tv. My wife and I got rid of ours, and are ever-so-much the happier for it. Our son is growing up without a tv addiction, and we still all curl up and watch appropriate movies on our laptop. Sometimes he'll sit on my lap and we'll watch YouTube videos (Muppets how, Sesame Street, etc). Guess what? It's the ULTIMATE whitelist. You want your child to learn how to do more than just sit in front of the tv, veg out, and get fat? TEACH THEM! You ever want to see what parents are really like, watch their young children. A toddler will mimic you to perfection, in all the good and the bad. Play games with your children, wrestle with them, build things from blocks, read to them (anyone remember books?!), take them for walks and hikes, take them fishing, play video games with them There's some great emulators for pc!), teach them how to do something other than rot their wee little minds in front of a glowing box ALL DAY LONG. All things have their time and place, but it's amazing how well NOT having a tv works.
  • by Zashi ( 992673 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:18AM (#25272219) Homepage Journal
    But that implies responsibility and self-control.

    Sir, you ask FAR too much.
  • by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:20AM (#25272235) Homepage

    Must be nice to not have to work and be able to spend 24 hrs a day with your kids, watching their every move. Unfortunately, many of us don't have that much free time. We work, sometimes two jobs to help make ends meet, and have to rely on baby-sitters and family to help out with our parental duties. This is a tool to help us.

    Sucks to be you. Maybe you should have thought about how difficult and time consuming parenting is before you had kids. But hey, why bother when the rest of us can do it for you, right?

    Funny how you're too busy to be a responsible parent, yet you have enough time to whine about how hard it is on Slashdot.

    This is a tool that allows PARENTS to sensor TV.

    Because "Turn that shit off" just doesn't waste enough tax money.

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:25AM (#25272297)

    That simple word "no", was quite effective when dealing with all sorts of issues during my upbringing.

    With me it started with "Can I watch TV? No!"

    On the other hand, one of my parents was always at home and could act as the babysitter. No need for a second or third TV. I still only seldom look TV and when I watch, I am almost always doing something else as well.

  • by secretcurse ( 1266724 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:29AM (#25272325)
    Does anyone else think that it's not censorship for a parent to choose what their child watches? This is pretty much the opposite of censorship to me. The government isn't saying what should or shouldn't be available, they're trying to let parents choose what their kids can and can't see without limiting the choices of other adults...
  • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:47AM (#25272549) Homepage Journal

    I have a similar approach with my kids. If you consistently say no, the kids stop asking. It's only when you start saying yes sometimes that they start. That's as true of advertising as it is of buying candy in the checkout aisles.

    But, it's also important to teach kids about advertising -- they need to learn that advertisers LIE and will do anything to separate people from their money. (This is, unfortunately, even more true in kid's advertising than with adults.)

    A few Christmases ago, I deliberately bought a crappy, but well-advertised, toy for each of my kids. We opened them up and compared them to what we saw on the TV commercials. I gave the kids the option to return the toys and get something else that I knew they would like.

    There were two benefits: first, they look at advertisements with a lot more skepticism than their peers, and, second, if they get something they don't like, they're very willing to return it for something they do like.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:56AM (#25272633)

    Or do you come from the class of people that analogize having kids with crime and parenting is the sentence? Because as far as I can tell that's a particularly odious "libertarian" attitude. ("Libertarian" being shorthand for "I want that money I see deducted in taxes on my payslip.")

    That's actually a fairly keen insight, and an attitude you see far too often on Slashdot. I think it comes largely from an adolescent audience on Slashdot. You'll get the same people complaining that a) parents suck because they don't spend every waking hour monitoring their children (and even if you do, you're probably blinking too much you lazy bastard), while at the same time every time a monitoring technology is mentioned that WOULD allow parents to easily keep an eye on their children and what they're doing, the same group yells bloody murder that Little Billy is being sheltered too much and that he'll never stand on his own. The common thread is that many of the complainers are simply emo teenagers who have parental issues and the parent will ALWAYS be wrong, regardless of the story. It's as you mentioned: having children is a crime to them and they want to make damn sure that you're punished for it.

    Although, you might want to ease up on the Libertarians ;). There are different things to like about that party. I don't really care too much about paying taxes (heck I work for the government so my paycheck comes from taxes), I just like the hands off approach. I'm a heathen and I like it. Government laws that say that I can't take drugs, that the stripper has to stand at least 6 feet away, or that says what I can and can't do on the Internet annoy me to no end. It's not so much the tax issue for me as I'd just prefer to have a government with a military that protects me from invasion and provides law enforcement to police the most basic of crimes (theft, rape, murder, etc) but otherwise butt the heck out of my life. ;)

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:00AM (#25272695) Journal

    (Offtopic rant alert!)

    Once the control has saturated the various markets and has become accepted by the people as normal, the government will take over.


    It's often contended here that the government will change the fabric of society and oppress us the first chance they get, but I don't hear too many rational reasons why they would, and plenty rational reasons why they wouldn't. For example, I was not under the impression that modern politicians had the requisite courage to bring any real change to anything significant. If there really is some significant number of politicians out there in the current system who would risk it all to give themselves more power, how come there aren't more politicians who are risking it all to make tough, potentially unpopular decisions? So far, the stereotype of the cowardly, poll-driven politician has rung far truer than the power-hungry conspiring type. Not that a single politician who fits that description would be able to do much in his short time in his position.

    Another point is that creating and maintaining a society is difficult, expensive, risky, and they are often unstable to boot. Doubly so for a country rooted in democracy, and government bending over backwards for popular opinion. Most people with basic intelligence can figure out that such a venture is stupid, and that the timeline would probably exceed their own life anyway. I understand that you see this as a possible lowering of that barrier, but, if think about it, it's not exactly oppression they'd be accustoming to, it would be surveillance. The slippery slope isn't even going in the right direction.

    Anyway, in conclusion, your fears are IMHO somewhere between laughable and irrational. Nothing personal though.

  • Re:They're parents (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:19AM (#25272871)

    Things are different now. Economic realities force both parents to work, and then often go to another job to work more each day.

  • by rohan972 ( 880586 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:31AM (#25273011)

    See anything there that a really little kid can help with?

    A 5 year old, yes. Our 5 year old can do his own laundry (requires front loader) washing and hanging out, get cereal, sandwiches and drink for himself and younger siblings. He also unpacks the dishwasher, but I wouldn't like to have him washing dishes in a sink unattended just yet. We decided to put up with some mess (of little kids doing things) for the purpose of getting them more independent earlier. Get them onto those chores with you if they can't do it themselves, there is no rule that your time with them has to be all play, you can work together. Not so much on the phone calls of course.

    I would suggest that your time doing chores together may even be more valuable to you as a family and them as developing humans than your time playing.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:37AM (#25273079) Homepage Journal

    Since when has the government EVER done anything that didn't grow out of control ?

    By definition you should mistrust your government.

  • by Starcub ( 527362 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:46AM (#25273177)
    The problem is that what the govt. is doing will only help good parents be better parents.

    Notice that the govt's aim is to shift the responsibility for the problem to the parents. Society as a whole will suffer as kids that don't have good parents will be bombarded with spam programming. The govt. is abdicating it's responsibility and as a result the US will likely develop the same problem with TV that it has with e-mail spam. You get the libertarian party whether you like it or not.

    This failure was all the more recognizable when the problem was described in section 2. Section 2 was dropped before final passage, probably because they knew it would implicate them as facilitating a problem.

    So once again the evidence was there -- they see the problem, and are simply chosing to ignore their governmental responsibility as supposedly elected respresentatives.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:54AM (#25273261)
    Probably because having kids is not a prerequisite for having a valid opinion.
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:59AM (#25273323) Homepage Journal

    Or do you come from the class of people that analogize having kids with crime and parenting is the sentence? Because as far as I can tell that's a particularly odious "libertarian" attitude.

    Seriously, WTF? I'm pretty libertarian, but love having kids. I spent a good part of yesterday playing the part of the "tickle monster" and being swarmed by giggling kids. I think your description is much better suited to liberal soccer moms who are chained to their children by fear that something bad will happen to them.

  • Re:You're kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zashi ( 992673 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:01AM (#25273357) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I was kidding. The generation of people raising kids today were raised by the generation that said, "hey, children, you shouldn't have to take shit from anyone. If you want something, go get it. Demand it. The world is yours. If something is wrong, it's not YOUR fault. Don't take the blame for what isn't in your power to control."

    Instead of raising a bunch of ambitious, well-adjusted people, we've got a population with an undeserved sense of entitlement. We have to face it, the West (the USA in particular), has a population that shirks responsibility because they feel it's their right. Or something like that. I'm not sure where I'm going with this.

    I agree with the GGP. I don't believe TV, Radio, or the Internet should be sanitized to fit the morals of a few (or even many) as to what's appropriate for children. Who said these media (note: media = plural of medium) had to be kid friendly. A child might see/here this! So? That is a parent's responsibility. It always has been. My other gripe is how we so feverishly protect our children. Hiding things from children doesn't help them. It hurts them. Time and time again we've seen how greatly restricted children, and adults too, run a muck given the first opportunity. People complain of an immature adult population. I believe this is the result. Being a child at heart is wonderful. If you can still giggle at a fart joke when you're middle aged, good for you. But if you can't control your laughter when in court for your third DUI, you have a problem.

    Let's not keep our children as children. Let's help them grow up. Help them make informed decisions instead of having to experiment behind closed doors, unsupervised by those who know better.

  • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:12AM (#25273511) Homepage

    The common thread is that many of the complainers are simply emo teenagers who have parental issues and the parent will ALWAYS be wrong, regardless of the story.

    Remember that Slashdot is not a single consciousness with unified views on everything. Slashdot is a collections of diverse individuals, each with their own opinions on many topics, including parenting. There are likely a few with "parental issues", but for the most part I think what you're seeing is a lack of consensus, not individual inconsistency.

  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:22AM (#25273619) Homepage

    Nope. The physical representation of American money is made of cotton and linen. The money itself is made if hopes, dreams, speculation, and trust.

  • by tangentreality ( 1296105 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:29AM (#25273701)
    I agree with you. There was nothing more effective than realizing what deep shit I had gotten myself into, trying to run, feeling that hand grab my arm and throw me over a parent's sucked. I always learned my lesson and (almost) never misbehaved in that way again.

    My dad used to have a saying: "I can't get in trouble if it doesn't leave marks." It was humor (for him, it was terror for me, haha) at the time, but he had a point. I don't think any judge will inflict a penalty for simply spanking a child. At least, I haven't heard of any such cases.

    And there are other ways to scare the shit out of a kid without resorting to violence. My dad had to say this to me once: "Go get the belt." The walk upstairs to his room to get the belt, the stretch to get it down, the walk back downstairs holding the the time I got back to him, I was pleading and blubbering like, well, a baby. He leveled his gaze at me and said, "are you ever going to do it again?" I stammered no, the belt went back upstairs, and I was safe. But I didn't want to risk it. I never did it again. I'm pretty sure he would have hit me with the belt if I had. But I never got to find out, and that's the important part -- my dad managed to get the same effect as a spanking through only the threat of violence.
  • by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:51AM (#25273937)

    >>>licence-fee funded

    Which costs about $400 per year. Pass. No thanks Comrade. Nyet. Let the corporations fund these items out of their own pocket (FCC rules require two hours per day for children's programming). I like my television to be FREE, and not be forced into an annual fee that I cannot afford to pay.

  • by Dekker3D ( 989692 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:57AM (#25274007)

    aaaaand just a tinge of corruption :)
    but yeah, mostly hope and that kind of stuff.

    P.S.: cotton does grow on plants. linen... not so sure. wikipedia will have the answer.

  • Re:You're kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnWhitney ( 707445 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:22PM (#25274337)

    My other gripe is how we so feverishly protect our children. Hiding things from children doesn't help them. It hurts them.

    One thing you need to understand is that children don't have the experience and coping mechanisms in place to handle all of the content you or I could. There are things that I could watch or read that I would find mildly upsetting that would give my children nightmares for weeks. This is because they don't have the same risk-assessment capabilities that I do, because they don't have the experience.

    So yes, I do shield my children from things I think they can't handle yet. When I feel they have reached an age that they are mature enough to, I will gladly let them chose. Treating children as miniature adults, though, is just stupid.

  • by jbezorg ( 1263978 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:27PM (#25274405)

    Are you really that threatened by the child that you need to use physical violence to cower them? That's the ONLY kind of real power you view parents as having?

    I have no children of my own

    I remember my brothers and I building a ramp in the street for our bikes. I also remember them telling me what I needed to do when jumping so I didn't end up with a face full of concrete. I also remember being to stubborn to listen to them.

    You could say the face full of concrete made the lesson very clear.

    I see physical discipline as an extension of the lesson taught to me that day by the pavement. Not the first resort but a very effective last one where the the lesson is imperative. If you need to spank a child to make it clear that they should not play with a stove then the physical pain caused by the spanking is far less damaging than failure to make the lesson clear.

  • by Free the Cowards ( 1280296 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:35PM (#25274511)

    I have a similar approach with my kids. If you consistently say no, the kids stop asking. It's only when you start saying yes sometimes that they start. That's as true of advertising as it is of buying candy in the checkout aisles.

    What really gets me are the parents who say "no" until the kid gets unbearably annoying about it, then say "yes". Somehow they don't realize that they're only training the kid that being loud and obnoxious will get them what they want.

  • by Bones3D_mac ( 324952 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:47PM (#25274617)

    Although it's good to see our government stepping back and saying "enough!" when it comes to being forced into the roll of babysitter, it still encourages the idea that child-rearing should be convenient for the parents. Only now, this would at least place some responsibility on the parents to act when the child is doing something undesirable.

    Personally, I've never been a big fan of technology like the "V-Chip". It's one thing to put a child-proof lock on medications or guns, but seriously... a child-proof lock on a TV?

    With such technologies getting much more common, I wonder how long until we start seeing "reverse thought crime" laws. (Basically anything that entices a child's thought process to stray outside a parent's preferred baseline.)

    Right now, many of pissed off at our government for secretly tracking our everyday activity through all sorts of technological measures. Yet, we're more than happy to use similar measures on our own kids to make things easier for ourselves. In reality, what we're doing is breeding future generations to be tolerant of a world that constantly monitors your every move.

    How about instead of using technology as a leash, give the child the chance to choose to make a bad decision and then catch them in the act to scare the shit out of them? Under such a system of continual cat and mouse style games, you're child should either become much more trust-worthy or, at least, much better at deception (if you're going to lie, do it well...). Either path they take will help them adapt to life as they get older.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:51PM (#25274675)

    I'm glad that our wonderful government may actually give us permission to be parents. Oh wait, they want us to use technology to do the parenting, and not us taking control the way our grandparents/parents did.

    I agree with the novel concept of Turn it off, and go outside and play. In addition to sitting there with my children and explaining why we can't watch the blatent sexual content and offensive language on television/movies. Some of us with morals have no problem being parents, it's about time big brother learned that and quit legislating common sense.

  • by Kandenshi ( 832555 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:53PM (#25274691)

    Wait what?
    You were spanked with a belt as a child, and by self admission "sure as hell wasn't" respectful or well behaved. Told off nuns, no respect for authority...

    You have "never had to use physical discipline" with your daughter, and she's well behaved.

    That's purely anecdotal evidence of course, but how on earth does that support the thesis that physical discipline leads to better behaviour in the long run?

  • Re:You're kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zashi ( 992673 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @02:30PM (#25275823) Homepage Journal
    What you're doing is fine and what I expect of responsible parents. What isn't fine is keeping your child locked away until they are 18 and sent off to college. I don't think extremes one way or the other are good. Children should be eased into the world, with parents at the ready to help when they need to.
  • by MooUK ( 905450 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @02:36PM (#25275875)

    Not all plants are trees.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie