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Technically Religious Catch Up: S1E10: Religious, Parent, & Geek – A Kid’s Worst Nightmare

Mom puts a filter on the router, and daughter Mary installs a VPN. Dad sets up cell phone monitoring software, and son Donny learns how to soft-boot Android to remove it. For households that strongly ascribe to a specific religious, moral, or ethical outlook, the standards for what is appropriate can be even more strict, and send those cat and mouse games spiraling to new levels. Unless Mom or Dad happen to work in tech. Then things get a whole lot more interesting. In this podcast, Leon, Josh, and guest Keith Townsend of CTO Advisor talk about parenting with a bible in one hand and a packet sniffer in the other. Listen or read the transcript below:

Leon: 00:25 Hey everyone. It’s Leon. Before we start this episode, I wanted to let you know about a book I wrote. It’s called The Four Questions Every Monitoring Engineer is Asked”, and if you like this podcast, you’re going to love this book. It combines 30 years of insight into the world of IT with wisdom gleaned from Torah, Talmud, and Passover. You can read more about it including where you can get a digital or print copy over on adatosystems.com. Thanks!

Josh: 00:25 Welcome to our podcast where we talk about the interesting, frustrating and inspiring experience we have as people with strongly held religious views working in corporate IT. We’re not here to preach or teach you our religion. We’re here to explore ways we make our career as IT professionals mesh – or at least not conflict – with our religious life. This is Technically Religious.

Leon: 00:48 Mom puts a filter on the router, and daughter Mary installs a VPN. Dad sets up a cell phone monitoring software and Donnie learns how to soft boot android into safe mode to remove it.

Keith: 00:57 The game of parental cat and mouse seems never ending for households that strongly ascribe to specific religious, moral, or ethical outlook. The standards for what is appropriate, can be even more strict and send those cat and mouse game spiraling to new levels.

Josh: 01:15 Unless mom and dad happened to work in tech. Then things get all whole lot more interesting. In today’s podcast we’re going to talk about exactly that situation. IT professionals with a Bible in one hand at a packet sniffer in the other and what it means to the kids who have to live with us. Joining in the conversation today and telling us the age of the kids in their house are Leon Adato

Leon: 01:41 Hello everyone. Okay, so I have a 27 and 24 year old daughter and then I have a 19 year old and 16 year old son and we also have my 27 year old daughter’s two kids, so my grandkids, who are three and two.

Josh: 01:55 All right, perfect. And Keith Townsend of CTO advisor.

Keith: 01:58 All right. I have a 31 year old daughter who has an 11 year old granddaughter that visits us every day after school. I have a 28 year old son, any 25 year old son,

Josh: 02:11 And I’m Josh Biggley, and in my house I’ve got kids ranging from the ages of 16 to 25 and everything in between, it feels like.

Leon: 02:19 All right. So the first thing in this podcast that I would like to clarify is that we’re not talking about VPNs, or that you should have a good password manager, or any of that stuff. That that’s all important, and we will definitely do a podcast episode about that later. But what we’re talking about is the fact that we as religious, moral, ethical parents have already decided that there’s things that we need to keep our kids away from. And that’s part of our job as a parent. So this is all about how we as IT professionals keep our kids away from the “nasty stuff.” So I think the first part of the conversation for the three of us is what’s the nasty stuff?

Josh: 03:00 Okay, “warez”? Do we know what…? Oh, I’m old, aren’t I. Warez? Pirated software? Sorry? Right? You know, I can’t… “ware-ez”? Aw man, I might be only one.

Leon: 03:15 Yes. Yes. You’re that old. We are all that old.

Keith: 03:17 Yeah. We’re all that old that we, the seeing that we have all have grandkids.

Leon: 03:25 Yeah, exactly. Um, okay, so warez, okay, so let, let’s extend that to let’s see. Napster? No, no, that’s still old. Uh, BitTorrent.

Josh: 03:37 Limewire?

Leon: 03:40 Fine. Okay. So we’re talking about, uh, illegally acquired stuff.

Keith: 03:47 That was very controversial in my home. The other thing is a porn. So we are in the US so, you know, we really hate, as religious folks, we hate porn.

Leon: 03:59 It’s challenging and I think we’re going to get into why it’s challenging in a minute. So how about specific types of music or a specific type? Not, not things that are flat out pornographic, but things that are in some way just the content is objectionable to us. So, whether that’s music with particular lyrics or movies with particular themes or things like that, is that, does that fit into the topic?

Keith: 04:25 I think that does.

Leon: 04:26 Okay. Um, one of the things that I was talk about because it’s actually not an issue for myself and especially in my kids, but what we call “metal on metal” violence. So you know, like Transformers, which we might consider that movie to be offensive artistically or in terms of the canon of the Transformers that we may have grown up with, but the idea that it’s violence, but it’s so clearly animated or non human violence that maybe we give that one a pass. I don’t know how you folks feel about it.

Keith: 04:59 Yeah. We, we had a rule in my family that you can play first shooter if it wasn’t people shooting people.

Leon: 05:06 Okay. So like doom where you’re shooting zombies and stuff.

Keith: 05:10 That was a little bit too, you know, the whole demon thing was a little bit too much for me. So you could do like robot shooting similar transformers or robots shooting other robots, etc.

Leon: 05:21 Okay. Or duck hunting or hunting. Okay. Got It. All right.

Josh: 05:25 Those poor defenseless ducks!

Leon: 05:28 Right! Except the thing, some versions of the ducks were armed too. But anyway, we’re off track as we do. How about like mature themes? Like what would we consider, what are we talking about when we say mature themes?

Keith: 05:42 So you don’t, we’re a getting in an area that, uh, you know, so, we’re in the US… So the concept of a same sex marriage is obviously a right that as Americans we respect, but as Christians or religious people in general, you know what, that’s, that’s a gray area. And what, what age do you want expose your child to. It is a pretty interesting debate these days.

Leon: 06:09 So when do you want to have the conversation about how, you know, Sally has a girlfriend or a Bobby has a boyfriend or stuff like that, whether or not as individuals and as adults we are okay with that idea. But to explain it to our kids, we might find that it’s difficult within the context, again of a religious conversation. “But wait a minute in Sunday school I just learned Xyz,” you know, we want to have a consistent message. I can see that in fact our last episode was specifically about how our religions are approaching same sex relationships and things like that. So it’s interesting that it comes up as a theme that we might still want to filter in the house.

Josh: 06:55 As a Canadian, right? Politics in some contexts can be touchy. Right? I’d really love to ban a certain individual from being able to be seen in my house. But you know, I think when it comes to…

Leon: 07:15 So… from the south. Government from the south is what you’re talking about like American, as a Canadian having to deal with American politics…

Josh: 07:20 That’s no way to talk about South America. Leon, you leave South America out of this.

Leon: 07:26 I wasn’t talking about Argentinian politics. Not for a second.

Keith: 07:29 Okay. I don’t know. I want to blog, but race is also a really tough conversation at a young age. And how much, you know, do you want to say, “This is the reality of what’s in the world, that even at a young age you may run into, but I still want to protect your ideal of what a wholesome relationship with other humans will look like.”

Leon: 07:54 So I think what we’re getting at here is that we’re not blocking things because necessarily we find it objectionable. It’s that we’re concerned that the viewer may not have the maturity to understand the context and therefore it’s going to cause them more confusion or frustration, than it’s going to… Than the material, whether it’s a song or a movie or a comic book or whatever is going to open their eyes to.

Josh: 08:20 Yeah. And you know, I love that you just mentioned comic books because I grew up in an era in the eighties and being being formerly Mormon I remember being counseled quite explicitly, “do not watch R-rated movies.” But that advice was given in the 80s. Well what was an R-rated movie in the 80s is maybe PG today, PG 13 if you really want to stretch it. So what does that mean? Does that mean that we need to – and I remember having this thought – if I’m going to sit down and watch a movie and it’s PG today, do I need to consider what it would have been rated in 1984? Or is it okay that I just accept it? And then I would then I would turn around and I would look at my comic book collection as like, you know, 12 or 13 or 14 year old a kid and I’d be like, “Oh, these comic books are rather racy. And the movie I just watched looked like, you know, it was Walt Disney.” So yes, today we’re arguing about, “oh, you know, the Internet gives our kids access to,” but now are we going to filter what they also can get from the library? I mean, I met read some racy books as a kid from the library. And my parents were like, “Yeah, go to the library, have a grand old time. It’s books. What could possibly go wrong?” Oh my goodness, mom and dad.

Leon: 09:46 Right. And the interesting part there is that they expected the library to do a certain task, to fill a certain role of filtering that, you weren’t going to be able to get pornographic – true pornographic – magazines from, but there was a lot of material that was at the very least titillating and certainly challenging from a political, again, Keith, to your point, racial social view. There’s a lot of things like that. So you’re right. It’s, I think two points. One is that a parent’s role hasn’t changed in the sense that we still need to be communicating with our kids and talking about what they’re consuming. However they’re consuming the internet just adds a particular modality. It doesn’t change the nature of our job. But I think also that what is objectionable really rests on our shoulders because it’s based on family values, religious community values, and also what we know about our kid. Some things that I would allow my 16 year old who has a much more solid footing in terms of, you know, “this is just beyond the pale and I don’t even want to deal with it”, aren’t things that I’m comfortable with my 19 year old seeing because his impulse control is a lot less strong. So you have to know your kid too.

Josh: 11:06 Yeah. And that’s a great point, right? Because there are some things that we want to shelter our kids from and things that we would have sheltered one child from that we’re not going to shelter another child from. For example I have a similar scenario. My youngest has a fairly broad scope of what we’re willing to allow him to watch. Now when it comes to music, he’s not allowed to listen to music on his portable speaker that has vulgar language and whatnot because I just don’t want to hear it. If I’m going to sit down, also rap, you’re not allowed to listen to, to filthy rap on your speaker. But if he wants to listen to what I was headphones, I’m giving him that latitude. Now. Part of that is my transition away from Mormonism over the last year, admittedly. But those views have been very much formed by having older children and watching how they struggled or didn’t struggle with certain things. And realizing that sometimes when I set the boundaries too close to the, or I guess too far away from the edge of “I want to approach this mom and dad”, that it really entices them to go forward. Versus, “Hey, you know what, look, this stuff is out there. I really don’t think that you should look at it. I don’t you should listen to it, read it, whatever. But if you do come and ask, let’s have a discussion about it.” And that’s the way we chose to approach it. When we get to talk about the security tips, I have a funny story, and I’ll bring it up later, but let’s just say sometimes your very best efforts as an IT professional parent are undermined by the most wily of children.

Keith: 12:46 Yeah.

Josh: 12:47 I’m going to put the, I to put it off to the side. We’ll, we’ll talk about that.

Keith: 12:50 Yeah. it’s a really interesting delta between my kids. Some of them, a couple of them embraced boundaries and, the oldest just… Boundaries were explicit signs to, “yes, I must go there. There’s a boundary there. Then there’s obviously something good behind that door!”

Leon: 13:13 Right? Sometimes the worst thing you can do is tell your child “you may never…”, and the sad part is when you figure it out and you try to tell your child, “you may never eat broccoli! Never!!” They figure that out real fast. So I, I think it’s worth asking why, what are we objecting to and why? I mean, we’ve talked about the topics, the categories, but you know, this stuff is in the world and are we doing our kids a disservice? This is, as an Orthodox Jew, I hear this a lot in conversations around the water cooler at work. “Are you really doing your kids a disservice by sheltering them from information so that when they finally get to it either it’s so enticing, they can’t stop themselves because they didn’t learn early?” And the other part of it is, are we not serving them because we’re making them so naive that they don’t know how to deal with things later. That’s at least those are things I’ve heard. So why are we objecting to this? Like what, what’s going on here?

Speaker 3: 14:15 So I have an interesting view on this. We all are older so we have the benefit of experience. So one of the things I’m morphed from was trying to always protect the oldest of the kids from seeing stuff, to saying, “You know what, our house (and we’ve extended this to the granddaughter now) our house is a Godly home. And in our home we want to maintain a Spirit. You’re going to see stuff out in the world that I can’t protect you against. But our home is where we make kind of a hedge around the world and we respect our religious views.” You know, kind of the whole Joshua “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” type of perspective. So the thing I can control is the spirit of my house. I can’t control the spirit of the world.

Leon: 15:14 Nice.

Josh: 15:15 I like it. And I also approve of the use of Joshua. You know, a good prophet name.

Leon: 15:22 You might be a little biased.

Josh: 15:24 I may be a little biased. You know, I think that this question is, this is a tough question, right? So the people who might say to us, “Hey, you should really let your child see X because your blocking them from understanding Y scenarios,” those discussions get really complicated. It’s like, and this is, this is really a straw man argument, but it’s like saying to somebody, “Hey, you should let your children watch child pornography because if not, they’re not going to know it when they see it.” Or “You should let your children watch a racially charged hate rant by somebody because you want them to have those discussions with them” or “hey you should smoke weed or do crack or…” You know, like those things are, are really challenging. And I think Keith, I love your idea of “hey, I’m going to make my house a place where people can be comfortable coming in, where they can feel the spirit of my home. They can feel the spirit of my family. That this is a sanctuary for my family. You come in, it’s just the rules of the household.” When my when my youngest has his friends over, we tell them like, look, I don’t care what you do outside. I don’t care what you do in your own, your own home. But when you come into our house and these are the rules, we expect you to abide by the rules. You’re a guest in our home. You’re welcome in our home anytime, but don’t break the rules.

Keith: 16:59 Yeah. One quick point on that whole household thing and our friend, our kids obviously are going to have friends that don’t share the same morals. So, you know, for those of you don’t know, I’m Black and I grew up in the inner city and for period of time, my family lived in the inner city, but our house was a gathering point for all of the young men, all of the boys to come and play basketball and hang out. And for me to mentor, and I had this one rule for when you played basketball – no one could curse. And if anyone cursed the game’s over, “We’ll see you guys. Please come back tomorrow, the next day.” And that was a very difficult thing for the kids to initially grasp. But over a period of a couple of weeks, they, they get it. And our home was, they came and they drank Gatorade. They cookies, they played basketball. They didn’t curse even if they did it at school.

Leon: 17:56 On a completely separate point, one of my friends is Lee Unkrich. He’s one of the directors, or was until just recently one of the directors at Pixar, he directed ‘Toy Story 3’. He’s been around since almost the very beginning. And I was talking with him one day about ‘Finding Nemo’. It had been out for a while. And I said, “What do your kids think about it?” And he says, “They’re actually not allowed to watch it.” Okay, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. It’s Finding Nemo. I mean, like, this is the quintessential Disney G-rated perfectly wholesome… Like, why would you not let your kids watch it? He said “They get too wrapped up in it. They are at that age where they identify with the characters so much that when the shark is chasing the dad, they’re terrified because they can’t disassociate their emotions of what’s happening to them and what’s happening to the character on the screen. So I can’t let them watch it until I know that they’re able to watch the movie, get excited about the themes or the ideas or the scene that’s going on there, but at the same time that they, they don’t feel actual terror.” And I thought that was an interesting perspective for a parent to have about their child. And I think it lends itself to hear that we have to understand the ability of our kids to… Keith, to your point, to understand that, “yep, my friends swear at school and, you know, but that’s not something that we do in our house.” And my kids knew they could code switch. They knew exactly what words were okay in the house and what words weren’t okay in the house. And we knew that they used other words, other places. And I think that as parents, we have to recognize when they have that sophistication and when they don’t. And that also goes into our decisions about what to filter, whether again, it’s library books or Internet and what we don’t

Josh: 19:55 Got down, sat on a bentch, cheese and rice, Leon!

Leon: 20:01 Shut the front door! Right?

Josh: 20:06 Yeah, those are, those are the interesting batteries that I don’t think we can control. Um, I’m really interested because, and this is a perfect time for me to tell my story. So my oldest son has autism. And one of his, one of the things he loves most in all the world is to watch movies, but he doesn’t like to watch movies like you and I like to watch movies. He likes to watch movies and then pause them and rewind them and then pause them and then go forward frame by frame. And of course, you know, youtube is just an awful thing for him because it allows him to indulge in those stimulations. So we tried to block it and I spent hours and hours trying to configure this blocking software without blocking the rest of my family because I wanted them to be able to use the computer. And I was like, “oh my goodness, this is, I think I’ve got it.” And we said, okay, come and sit down. And he came, he must’ve been, I don’t know, 14 or 15 at the time. And he came and he sat down. I thought, “okay, great clicking, wonderful…” I turned around and walked away. Came back and there he was on the internet watching Youtube. And I’m like, “Are you kidding? You just undid like hours of effort.” And I still don’t know what he did. I don’t know where he figured out how to turn it off. So I’m interested as an IT pro parent who quite honestly, I’ve really struggled with the best security practices for my family and myself, aside from, “Hey, I’m just taking away your Internet access.” What can I do? How do I handle this? And, you know, what are my options for “Oh my goodness I’m cutting the the cable from the house to the Internet.” And I’m like literally cutting it… to “All right. You know, you can have access to some things.” What can I do here guys?

Leon: 21:47 Right. So before we go into that, I think it’s important that our listeners, and we, as parents, have to answer one question, which you started to get at, which is “what is it that you’re trying to accomplish?” And, and that’s an IT question, that’s not a religious or moral or ethical or a parenting question because if you’re trying to block ‘oopsies’ – you know, once upon a time, my daughter was eight years old and she misspelled play House Disney, she got an eyeful, and that was at the time when there were popups and pop unders and it was, it was festive and she was eight. So she didn’t really know what she was seeing, but she knew it wasn’t what she wanted. Are we blocking that? Are we blocking momentary weakness? You know, it’s 10:30 at night and no one’s looking and you’re thinking, you know, and, and whoever it is at the computers, just thinking, “Why don’t I just check that out?” Are we blocking? And Josh said it like, “I just don’t want to hear that. I just, that does not need to be in my brain.” Or are we blocking, like, like you said, “I have a determined person in my house who is, you know, going full guns to go find this thing” and so I think that’s the first thing is that you need to define what you’re doing. Having said that, I don’t think we can answer that for all of our listeners right now, but I just want to be clear. You have to know what you’re trying to accomplish or else you’re going to get the wrong technology.

Keith: 23:17 So I tried a ton of things. Well my case when I was raising kids and I had this specific problem, MySpace was all the rage. So that dates me and my kids, and I tried a ton of things – going into the cache of my sons Windows XP thing. And he ended up finding a way to install shadow profiles, so I wouldn’t go under his profile to look at the cash. He got really good. So what I had to basically… for it to end – and I think this is specifically for teenagers – I had to basically lay down the law. Like, “You know, I am the god of the Internet when it leaves this house.” So I installed a key logger on his laptop. And I told him, “There’s nothing you can do on the Internet that I don’t know.” He said, “That’s, that’s not possible.” I said, “You know what? I know you’re your MySpace password.” He said, “no you don’t.” I said, “Yeah, it is. It’s ‘monkeybutt1234’.” “What?!? How’d you know that?” And so as you know, when his peers came over, they, he like, “No, no, no, don’t do anything. Because my dad, I’m telling you, I don’t know what he does in that room of his, but he can tell anything. He can, he even knew my, my space password.” Right. So for teenagers, you know, the fear that there’s nothing you can do that I can’t discover, kind of killed the cat and mouse in my house, my household.

Leon: 24:47 But that’s, that’s almost like security by obscurity, right? Like we’ve, instilled the fear of our technical prowess and until they’re much more sophisticated, they don’t get it. In terms of like things that people would, you know, can do today. Uh, I think one of the things that I use a lot is OpenDNS or any basically any DNS redirector. I think that’s a really powerful tool in a parent’s arsenal because not only does it block whole sites, but it also blocks the popups, the sidebars, the ads, you know, it may be fine the site that they’re on, but that site may be repeating ads that we would really prefer don’t show up both for ourselves and for others. There’s actually a Raspberry Pi How-to that is not about blocking things for your kids. It’s about speeding up your internet overall. Because what they do is they use an in-house DNS redirector. And so all those ads don’t take time to load because they all are redirected to 127.0.0.1 and that speeds up your browsing immensely. So there’s a secondary benefit. SO OpenDNS is one. What else do we got?

Keith: 26:00 So I use these Arrow Mesh network Wifi routers and you could subscribe to kind of the security plus and the security plus is also that basically OpenDSN type of a DNS protections. But also, you know, one of the practical – it’s not keeping my granddaughter away from bad stuff. She just won’t get off her iPad at 11 o’clock at night. So being able to control, by Mac address, who can access, creating these profiles, you know, I want my wife to be able to watch Game of Thrones at 11 o’clock, but I don’t want my granddaughter to be able to surf disney.com at 11 o’clock. She should be asleep.

Leon: 26:51 Right, right. Okay. So I’m same thing. I use a ubiquity. I like their gear. Now it’s considered prosumer. But it gives you a really high degree of control over the same thing, the Mac addresses, and the granularity that you can control devices. You can see devices, you can also see the other wifi systems that are around you to make sure that your kids aren’t hopping onto the neighbor’s Wifi and just completely busting out of the system. So you can see that going on as well. And the other thing that ubiquity gives is netflow insight, which is really good because it’s not just that my son’s laptop or his whatever is using 277 Gig per second of bandwidth. But this is the breakdown of where it’s going. So netflow by itself, however you get it. But also, again, Ubiquiti gear is the same thing as Arrow mesh. It’s that pro-sumer it gives you that deck granularity.

Josh: 27:54 So I’m really curious and I hope that our listeners will weigh in and let us know how many parents out there are getting the netflow, S-flow J-flow data off of their network gear and logging it. Like, I get it, you know, we’re geeks. That might be something that we’re going to do, but is anyone else out there doing this? Is Leon the only one? I don’t know. I think this is great. You know, hey, we can install this pro-sumer gear. Even OpenDNS for people who don’t practice or live in the IT world might seem a little daunting. Is there something that they can do that is straight-forward or are they just going to have to do the Keith Townsend parenting methodology, put the fear of God into them and be like, “If you, if you don’t, you know, I’m going to…”

Leon: 28:44 It’s a good question. So for the Orthodox community in Cleveland, myself, and there’s another association that actually will do some of this stuff for families. So, you know, I’ll do it for some of the people that are in my circle is to set up OpenDNS and I’ll manage their exceptions and things like that. That doesn’t scale particularly well. But there are a lot of services like that, that will help you out. And I think that for the nontechnical parent, that’s one of the things. One of the other things, one of the other technologies that I use is much more manageable for, I would say the mere mortal Qustodio, which is spelled with a Q – Qustodio is something that goes on both phones and also compute devices. So laptops, I think it goes on raspberry Pi, things like that. It blocks both applications and also browsing, and it has very specific controls for social media. But as a parent it’s much easier to manage than some of those pro-sumer tools that that are usable. And so there’s really… This market is a fantastic market right now because they really are reaching out to the less technical. The fact is you’re going to have to be somewhat technical. You’re going to have to be somewhat savvy in the same way that, you know, when, when rap and that really hard rap was just coming out. Parents were like, “But I don’t listen to my kids’ music.” Well, you’re going to need to start, you know, or you’re going to need to throw your hands up and say, what am I supposed to do? Like listening to your kids. Music is not the biggest challenge on earth, but you can’t say, “I don’t like what they’re listening to, but I refuse to actually listen with them in some way.” And to that point, I think that going back to netflow, it isn’t something that you need to have the “eye of prophecy” upon you to be able to do. There are some wonderful tools that will make netflow easy to install, easy to digest, and will even set up alerts so that you don’t have any traffic going to limewire or whatever, but if something starts, you’ll get an alert when that happens. You know, there’s stuff like that. And so I just want, again, even the non-technical parents to know netflow is one of those technologies that can give you a high degree of control.

Keith: 31:06 And then there’s some are like consumer grade, like friendly. I don’t know how well they are because I don’t have kids that young that I would install it. But you know, they have Disney. Disney has bought a, I think some companies or web protection companies and make it kind of disney-easy. I was trying to find the guy’s name. He does, “This Week in Tech” with Leo LaPorte sometimes, Larry.. I want to say it’s Magid, or… I can’t pronounce, I can’t remember the exact last name. I’ve tried to Google him and he runs something to the effect SafeKids.com. And he gives a lot of great tips on just protecting your kids online from, you know, kind of a kid friendly social media, to tools like this is, that’s how I remembered the Disney tool. Because if, and when I give my granddaughter a phone, which, you know, I’m kind of, you know, this, this conversation station scares me. The fact what happened is when she just has naked LTE and I, you know, I’m trying to protect her from naked LTE. How do I do that exactly. And that name and product kind of stood up in my mind.

Leon: 32:20 Got It. Yeah. And that’s a good point is when you control the Internet, it’s a simpler time, but once they have that cell phone in their hand and that cell phone can act as a hotspot or whatever, that was why I discovered Custodio honestly. And, and the person who turned me onto it was actually Destiny Bertucci, one of the other Technically Religious speakers. Because that works on the device regardless of where the Internet is coming from and you have control of it. Like, I literally, when my son is two states away, I can see that he’s on a site I don’t want and I can push a button and that site is no longer available to him. Period. End of sentence.

Keith: 33:02 So what happens, uh, going into a little bit more technical, so if your child does a VPN somewhere, is that an automatic conversation? Like how do we protect against that?

Josh: 33:13 Oh, you know, I’m just sitting here listening because I honestly have no sweet clue. I follow, I really, I honestly follow the Keith Townsend parenting model. I tell my kids, “Look, don’t do that. If you do I might have to sell you.” And so far so good.

Keith: 33:32 Yeah, know, I think that’s the thing. Once they get to that age, it becomes a conversation of… You guys, we have older kids, so you know, our kids have made life decisions sometimes that we don’t necessarily agree with and learning to balance between, okay, I’m a father that’s giving great advice, to I’m a father that’s trying to nag my child to live their life the way that I want them to live. There’s a balance and you know, once you get to that age that they can figure out VPN, they’re actively going after this stuff. And that’s a different conversation. You know, this People-Process-Technology… this is a people and process problem versus a technology problem.

Leon: 34:11 I 100% degree. That doesn’t mean that we necessarily throw our hands up because you know, one of the first things that my son went on youtube to find after we put Qustodio on was “how do you disable Qustodio” and the tutorials are all over the place and he was not particularly old or sophisticated. It was just, “you told me the name of the thing and I want to get rid of the thing and so I’m going to go find the…”, but it was a conversation like, “Look it, you can get rid of this, you can probably find a way to work around it. And I will know sooner or later I’m going to find out. And at that point, you know, I’m going to have to fix the problem some other way.” So Keith, to your question, I think that once your kids are starting to actively work around it, you’re right, you may not be Johnny on the spot. You won’t know it instantaneously. They’re going to say, “Well, you know, I have a window of hours or days or weeks before mom and dad are going to notice.” But I think that we have to impress upon them. We’re gonna notice. And at that point we’re going to have a really hard conversation about what that means. And my 19 year old who’s, you know, in school with younger kids, you know, and those kids have burner phones to get around these particular things and stuff like that. And he’s like, “You can do that, but they’re going to find out – your teacher’s going to find out and they’re going to tell your parents… Like, it’s not going to last that long. You’re not, you haven’t really fooled them. You’ve bought yourself maybe a day or two.” And then a world of hurt comes after that, not to mention loss of trust.

Keith: 35:46 And I think the key part is that world of hurt has to come. If the world of hurt doesn’t come then.

Leon: 35:53 Right, and not to say that it has to be punitive. I think that when your kids are at the age where they can install a VPN, unless they’re really, really sophisticated at young age, but it’s not about punitive, it’s about “now we’re going to talk about how you’ve broken my trust. Now we’re going to talk about the interpersonal consequences of what that means. That that was a grownup choice and there’s a grownup consequences about that.”

New Speaker: 36:20 Thanks for making time for us this week to hear more of technically religious visit our website, TechnicallyReligious.com where you can find our other episodes, leave us ideas for future discussions and connect to us on social media.

Josh: 36:32 Did you click on a link for Geeks gone wild last night?

Keith: 36:35 And don’t lie to me because I’ve already checked the log files!

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