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A Father-Son Relationship Strengthened Through Accountability

Last Updated: June 12, 2014

Ron DeHaas

Ron DeHaas is the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes. Ron has a BS and an MS in Geology from The Ohio State University and attended the University of Michigan as a Ph.D. candidate. Ron pioneered the concept of Accountability Software and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000. Today, nearly half a million subscribers enjoy the Screen Accountability that Covenant Eyes provides. Ron also founded Nehemiah Ministries, a 160-acre retreat and counseling center in south-central Michigan for pastors and missionaries.

Recently, a Covenant Eyes member told me a story that has been repeated quite a few times over the years.It is a story of a father and a son.

The father (“Max”) and his 14-year old son (“Jeremy”) had drifted apart emotionally since Jeremy entered Junior High School. But they have Covenant Eyes’ Accountability on their computer.

Max emailed me, a little angry, because there was a highly rated site on Jeremy’s Accountability Log, and Jeremy denied ever going to the site. The name of the URL was so bad, I can’t even write it here. Max wanted to know how it showed up on Jeremy’s log. So I showed Max how to go to the Detailed Log to figure out what happened.

The Detailed Log showed the date and time that the site was accessed, and also the sites before and after the bad site. It was pretty evident what happened. First of all, there was a site that had an adult dating site ad on it, and it was obviously clicked on, and rated high as well. I checked the source code of the adult dating site, and sure enough, there was a link to the really bad site, so that link must have been clicked on. The Detailed Log also showed that it was more than 5 minutes before any other sites were viewed.

Max wrote me back the next day, and when he confronted Jeremy with the data, Jeremy admitted that he had indeed been trapped into going to the site.

Max handled it really well. He used it as an opportunity to train Jeremy on the dangers of the Internet, and how easy it is to be lured into pornography. According to Max, it was the first time they had had a sincere talk in a couple of years. Both Jeremy and Max decided that it was a good thing, and agreed to talk about Jeremy’s Accountability Report every week, even looking at the amount of time Jeremy spend on “good” sites. They also agreed that it was a good idea for Jeremy to have the Covenant Eyes filter added, just in case something popped up again.

Accountability is a tool, and hopefully only one among many tools that parents use to develop integrity in their children. One of the nice things about the Covenant Eyes tool is that it is an easy ice-breaker as a topic of discussion in maintaining an open and honest relationship.

In this case, Max’s original anger turned into thankfulness for the opportunity to build a relationship with his son.