From the moment our kids are born, we launch into Protection Mode, purchasing steel-reinforced car seats, plugging the power outlets, and taking other precautions against the dangers we can see. As soon as a kid can hold a smartphone, though, it’s time to consider the dangers we can’t.
The story that dominated our discussions this week is this one about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal law which, despite its best intentions to protect our kids’ online data, has established 13 as the age of “Internet adulthood.” The Wall Street Journal’s Julie Jargon has written an interesting backstory of the legislation, which went into effect in 2000 (four years before “thefacebook” was launched), and despite a 2013 update (to include photos, videos, geolocation, and web cookies), the law still conjures more questions among parents and schools than it answers.
COPPA arose from a rare situation “where the interests of industry and the concerns of civil liberties groups aligned,” but its history of compromise has watered down its effectiveness, evidenced by complaints and lawsuits asserting the law is being circumvented or outright flouted.
As long as legislators dither over what’s best for our kids, the main line of defense remains with us parents. And that line is eroding quickly, due to pressures applied from both companies who want access to kids’ information, and kids who offer it up obliviously. It’s up to us to read the fine print about the services our kids use, because “kids who are too young to drive or vote can say and do things online that could haunt them forever.”
OUR $129 FATHER’S DAY SALE RUNS UNTIL JUNE 30
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IN THE NEWS
When you think about it, the idea of giving kids money to do chores around the house is really bizarre.
Men so dominated American society in the early 20th century that establishing a special day to honor fathers was a rather silly and wholly unnecessary idea.”
The man who started Fathers New Mexico wants teen dads to remember that a dad is the most important man on the planet to his child. “Nobody had made me feel that important ever in my life.”
A lesson from this viral video of a dad wearing Daisy Dukes: Don’t skip Leg Day.
When it comes to assessing a dad’s parenting, there’s a molecularly fine line between “constructive” and “insulting.”
Volunteers spent Father’s Day packing toiletries for migrant dads who had just been released from custody and will head north to wait for their day in immigration court.
- “When I was married, the ex-wife did a bulk of the vacation planning. She booked our Walt Disney World vacation down to the bowel movements.” – Chris Illuminati, Parenting Tip #606: The Road Not Yet Traveled
- “I write better because I am a father. I see the world clearer because I am a father. I am a better employee because I am a father. I love better because I am a father.” – Joel L. Daniels, Fatherhood Is A Privilege
- “My child has returned my optimism for him by idealizing me; my stepchild, on the other hand, seems to be constantly on the lookout for evidence of my faithlessness and ineptitude.” – Jeremy Adam Smith, What Being a Stepfather Taught Me About Love
- “My wife and I were trying to figure out what she was trying to communicate. We felt lost. You know, like all first-time parents do at some time. It’s normal.” – Jonathan Oliver, Turn ‘Disorders’ into Gifts that Create Stronger Children, Parents
- “Should, should, should. The shoulds never stop. For us parents, this is what causes us to project our self-disapproval and shame onto other parents on social media and across tables at school luncheons.” – Jonas Ellison, How I Botched Father’s Day
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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