me thinks STorpedo is either a teenager himself, or does not have kids of his own. I'm not saying hagar shouldn't give his kids a little heads up about the monitoring software, but to act like any kind of parental supervision is an assault on their privacy is absolutely retarded.
I do not mean to belittle your opinion, but, supervision of any kind is an infringement on a person's privacy (feel free to substitute 'assault' should you have a penchant for the dramatic). How such a notion is 'absolutely retarded' I cannot see, for it appears to be quite the opposite; logical. Theoretical even. It may not gather quite the same reaction as a police state monitoring every little detail of its citizens' lives, but that's just an extension of the same basic concept.
I merely thought that this kind of supervision will appear to be quite sinister in nature, since I assume that the OP has no plans of telling his (her?) kids of the software, waiting until they do something that qualifies as 'crossing the line' for him, and feeling justified with a mistake of it's caliber, confronts them. The freedom of browsing falls very much in the same category as the freedom of thinking; if one is thinking about a certain concept, or a group of ideas, why should (s)he not be allowed to 'feed' his/her interests using information others have gathered on the subject? It's an impedance on the thought process. The answer would be, because in principle, the group of ideas is founded on mistaken or biased logic. I assume the subjects in question are not aware of the flawed foundation however.
I felt the urge to remark upon the fact that teenagers tend to be emotional, biased, in other words, quite stupid, and that they will latch on to every justification availible to them, in this case closing off the verbal and introspective dialogue with relative ease, citing a breach of personal trust and privacy. The OP should tread with caution, and should atttempt to make the root of the problem be understood before the issue becomes closed off, lest he wishes to exacerbate the misunderstanding. If you found my argumentations to be to your disliking, for that I am sorry, my only intention was to help.
Sorry, but that liberal "teenagers should have their privacy" bullshit is just that, bullshit.
Here's a story for you:
My then young brother in law was brought up so that he had his room and no one could step into HIS room. In his room, he had his own, unrestricted computer that his parents "trusted in him" to do the right thing with. No one could monitor his online doings and no one could question him in certain ways without him getting pissed off and screaming and yelling at his parents, those parents being my mother and father in law. Eventually, at the age of 17, the kid took off to live his life of drugs, sex and living in slums due to his addictions. Online, he had met a horrid 25 year old woman who also had severe drugs addictions and was addicted to sex from her childhood of sexual abuse from her father. Once he hit rock bottom at the age of 20, he moved back in with his parents. In counseling, it was revealed that he was EXTREMELY sexually dysfunctional due to all the porn he watched as a kid. He was also diagnosed as having severe emotional entitlement issues that made him a VERY immature 20 year old. There were a lot of other diagnosis, but those two stand out in my mind. He was given everything, he was allowed complete and total privacy and he could come and go as he pleased.
One time when his computer had some issues, this was when he was 13, I found over 20 gigs of porn on his computer. His favorites had all kinds of porn sites listed. The porn had everything from soft-porn movies to horrific snuff sex films to people eating shit and drinking piss on over to kiddie porn. I've seen some disgusting things in my life, bodies blown apart, bodies mixed up in aircraft wreckage and so on, but some of the movies on this kids computer made me want to puke! They were so tremendously disgusting!! Especially the kiddie porn! I clicked on one movie and it showed a 7-9 year old little girl being sexually violated in every way imaginable. That is the only movie I've ever seen parts of that made me physically puke and cry at the same time. I brought his mother and father into his room, he wasn't home from school yet, to show them what he had on his computer. And they got PISSED AT ME for violating his privacy!!!! Fucking kiddie porn and shit eating porn right there and they're mad at ME! I told them the trouble they could get into if it was ever discovered by the authorities and they asked me to delete JUST the kiddie porn!!! I deleted everything and never did apologize to the kid or to them. I've not talked to my mother in law since that day although, she has admitted to my wife that I was right and that they gave him to much freedom and didn't monitor his life like they should have.
Now, the other side of the coin.
BOTH of my kids KNOW that I will look at any fucking thing that's under my roof. If you want your privacy as a teenager, tough shit! The ONLY computer they could get on was out in the main computer room which was in full view of us. I've used my router, software and hardware to keep track of where they go on the Internet, what they write and all of that. As time went by, if they continued to do the right thing, they could have a laptop in their room. But I still monitored everything they did. If they fucked up by going to porn sites, my son, or going to Myspace to plan an overnight drunken party, my daughter, they lost their privileges.
Now I wasn't the parental Nazi that I might appear to be in those statements. When my kids earned our trust through mature decisions and actions, they were given greater and greater freedoms. My kids come to me with ALL kinds of stuff seeking my and my wife's input and advice. Our kids know that we are their friend but that first and foremost, I am their father and she is their mother. Period. You will be respectful at all times just like we are respectful to you. You fuck up, you pay the price.
Now, my very mature 20 year old daughter has graduated from a Military Institute and is now a 2nd LT in the Army National Guard. She is an absolute joy to be around as she has this very open, confident demeanor yet not arrogant at all. She is one of the happiest people I know besides her mother! Her GPA allowed her to remain as a student and she is now going to The University of Alabama with a major in physical therapy and a minor in psychology. She is tracking very quickly to becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
My son is about to turn 17. He is a very respectful young man, an absolute joy to be around as well and he is also a very confident, outgoing kid. Raising our kids with great self confidence was one of my goals as their father. My son aspires to be a helicopter pilot in the Army and his grades, while not so great in 8th and 9th grades, are very good now. He is not only my friend, but the best son a man could ever ask for. He says Ma'am and Sir with true, heart-felt respect. I am so very proud of him! He's athletic, strong both physically and mentally and except for a few little issues every now and then, almost grown up enough to to live without us if needed.
Both of my kids have taken calculated risks. When they got busted, they owned up to it and rarely lie about things. They are both such strong, driven people that it's sometimes hard to keep up with them. They have friends like you wouldn't believe! We have a pool and it isn't unusual to have 20+ kids out there having a good time. And since my kids respect my house, their friends are quickly informed and corrected, by my kids, when things need to be corrected. We simply could not be more proud of both of our kids. Kids who had clear, black and white rules to live by. Supervised constantly by their parents. I'm sure they've both gotten away with stuff, but when you have a high school principal call you into his office so he can congratulate you on your kid doing the right thing by getting one of his friends some help for depression and drug addiction, you can't get too angry at them when they screw up. That kid, BTW, with the depression and drug problems came by my house to tell my wife and I that he had tried to get our son to smoke weed with him for months and that he wouldn't. In turn though, my son was constantly checking on his friend, constantly giving him advice about things and constantly trying to get him to get some help for things at his house that were leading to his severe depression and nearly about to take suicide seriously.
Children need and desperately desire, although they won't tell YOU that, structured environments with clear, concise rules and punishment based on the severity of their actions. What is wrong today is wrong two days from now no matter how tired we the parents may be. I've had my son and daughter's high school friends come by our house to talk to my wife and I about things in their lives. Seeking clear and concise advice about things and then, following that up with true love and acceptance. Our house has been that house where all the kids like to hang out. I have kids who write me on Facebook, who come by my house even though I've not seen them in a couple of years just to catch me up on what they've been doing. I've also had one young man who as a 16 year old got me so pissed off/worried at/about him that I became a part of his life even though he didn't want me to be. He was on a path of destruction due to his parents addictions and uncaring ways. Once he knew I actually DID care, we become like father and son. He is now proudly serving in the Navy and came by to stay a couple days with us last month.
The involvement of parents is NOT defined by "protecting a teenagers rights to privacy and actions." You find kids all the time that are just plain fucked the hell up by a liberal parenting environment like the one I described above and that you say is so needed. Meanwhile, a good, structured household with clear and concise rules and boundaries produces wonderfully confident, respectful children who go on to become adults with great ethics, mores and beliefs. They have been taught that by parents who aren't LAZY ASS PEOPLE. The laziness and selfish ways some parents raise their kids is producing adults with even worse selfishness. I'm NOT saying that a liberal home environment will always fail because I've seen quite a few that worked out well. But those happen because the parents aren't lazy as hell and are highly involved in their kids lives. By being highly involved, they KNOW what's going on in their kids lives. But most don't know what's going on because they think that once they get home from work, their day is done.
Raising good kids is hard work. But nothing in this world will give you greater satisfaction than doing the right thing by your kids.
So OP, you go right on ahead and monitor what your kids are up to. But in turn, be careful of monitoring what your wife is doing. That is an area you don't want to get into unless you know for sure she is doing something wrong. I've seen marriages be destroyed because the man of the house wanted to see what his kids were doing on the Internet and then, he also got interested in what his wife was saying. His wife bitched about him to one of her friends and turned around and confronted her about it. Within six months, they were divorced.