Easy way to monitor your child on myspace

Myspace doesn't provide an RSS feed for its pages so many parents have it on their to do list to check their child's page daily. This can be frustrating. As I am researching my book about the New Internet, I came across a great way for parents to monitor their child on myspace. This only lets you subscribe to their blog, but, its a start!

1) Make sure you have the address of your child's myspace page. (I'd just ask them to show you. Most will, unless they have something to hide. Write down the URL or address that shows in the address box at the top of the web browser.
2) Go to their web page on your computer. On the blog click “View all blog entries.”
3) Right click on the address (URL) shown in the box at the top and click copy.
4) Go to http://makedatamakesense.com/myspace/, right click and paste in the URL.
5) Click “Create RSS”
6) You will go to a page with a lot of gibberish, do not worry. Right click in the address at the top of the page and copy it.
7) Go to your feed reader (Bloglines, NetVibes, etc.) and add it to the feeds you monitor.
8) You are now a subscriber to your child's myspace blog.

Remember as you monitor them, they can go back and edit their entries. You should scour their page for anything that makes them personally identifiable. I was looking through myspace at some of the teens I teach that had posted their full name, address, birthdate, and calendar for the week. Although it is summer time, I think I have some parents to talk to.

You will still need to go to your child's page and check what they are doing and who they are talking to. Some parents set up their own myspace so that they can comment just enough for their child to know that they are there. Most youth ministers and youth pastors I know have a myspace account so that they can minister where the kids are. I personally think it is important that they do because that is where kids communicate and live. Sometimes I've thought about going on there to communicate with the kids but am personally worried about being misunderstood. More to think on!

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7 thoughts on “Easy way to monitor your child on myspace

  1. Your idea of monitoring your children makes sense. However, I’m not sure that I agree with it in principle. Would you send a spy to monitor your child at a real party? I know that I wouldn’t. I really feel that I have to trust my children. If I don’t trust them then they will think they can’t trust me. Obviously children also have to earn the trust. But I don’t think that they should earn trust by not being trusted at first. Teach them common sense and instill a sense of values within them and you are doing the best that you can.

    Andy Pass

  2. Jen W – I e-mailed you offline. Thank you for the compliment, it is an excerpt from my new book.

    Andrew Pass –
    If pedophiles and potential employers can look at what my child is doing, I sure as heck better be watching. Kids are kids and they make mistakes but myspace is not myspace at all it is worldspace. If everyone in the world is watching, I’d better make sure that they are OK. I never would do it behind the scenes, they would know I’m watching. It is parents responsiblity to watch after their children. I think why we are getting in so much trouble is that parents are not doing their job!

    No, I wouldn’t send a spy to a party to monitor my child, but in a small town such as we live in, they can’t really “get away with anything” it does get back to me and I’m glad. However, if my child’s party was going to be broadcast on national TV, I sure would watch the show. That is what myspace is! It is not private at all.

  3. have you heard of Imsafer.com? its free. it doesn’t spy. it monitors content. you choose the content. it detects accounts. it brings up things like, exchanging phone numbers, meeting, etc. check it out.

  4. Parents should never completely trust their children as though they are saints. Sure, let them think you trust them most of the time, but always have that question mark at the back of your head and be aware of the world your child lives in so that you can be proactive rather than reactive. And if your child does something bad (bullies, steals, cheats), the most important thing is to punish with meaning (not physically, but taking a computer away for good and throwing the TV in the trash, for example), while letting your child know you still love them – even if they say they hate you. Sticking to your guns like this can be very effective and have a lasting positive impact.

  5. To my mind, the best way for a parent to keep tabs on a teen’s use of MySpace is for the parent to get their own MySpace account and become their teen’s MySpace friend. I created one and I can view everything that is publicly available on my kid’s MySpace site now. No doubt that we have to keep an eye on what my kid is doing and looking. So far really all that has happened is that a couple of the boys used a curse word on her comments page. We teach our kid to connect only with friends he has already met in person. I also limit my kid’s time spent on the Internet in whole. I set the scheduler to restrict Internet access while we aren’t at home with help of parental control tool called Ez Internet Timer.

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