Monday, January 16, 2012

Teens and the Social "Sights"

"I'm probably gonna make people mad with this but so what. my mom had to open an account for childsupport 7years ago. we have only gotten 6 dollars in it for support in all those years. my mom wants to shut it down but they wont let her cause its court ordered. so we pay the money into it to keep it opened. we paid more into that stupid account that the person who its set up for. WE paid ourselfs our OWN support! i thinkits funny but other people wont." I took this off my sons page. I took it OFF his page as well. As a parent with internet access to for my kids ONLY at home, I have the ability to check what they are writing, what they are sharing, and to make sure it is appropriate and there is no form of bulling. Are these thoughts I would write myself? Yes. Should he? Hmmm, in this particular case I decided no. I have to remember who he has on his page, and what problems it will cause him. I believe 100% he has the right to share his views, opinions and thoughts, and even though this post is all of those, in a way it singles out one person. Granted most people on his page are friends that don't know who he is talking about personally, some adults and family do. So it was my personal choice to have it removed. I can explain my reasoning, and he can be upset about it, but in the end he understands that as a parent I have to make these choices. He calls it micro managing, I call it safeguarding. Some people might see it as me limiting his views and opinions, I call it teaching him how to share those views appropriately. In two years I am sure he will be blasting his views all over the place and I won't be able to stop him...but I can hope that I taught him not to curse, not to bully, and not to name names. I honestly hope that I taught him to share his views in an adult manner with thought behind them. I thought I might allow him to have a blog. If you have seen the show Awkward, the teen has her own blog that helps her vent her thoughts and feelings, as well as get her through some tough times. That Blog is like her diary...but on line. On line means that ANYONE can read it. I don't believe a teen has the ability to understand that his personal diary can very well be made public. This could help him, but it could hurt him as well. For the time being, a blog is not an option for them. Do social sites rule my kids life? No. Because they know their mom, dad, aunts, uncles and grandparents are watching and reading. They don't have the freedom to spill out their guts. They are learning right away that there are social ramifications for dumping things on a social site. My rule for their FaceBook is that they must answer everyone that sends them a message. They must KNOW the person they are putting on their page and see them at least once a week (unless they are previous friends before we moved)and they are NEVER NEVER allowed to post any threatening remarks on their page or anyone else. Guess what? These rules are not just teaching them how to behave while networking, it shows them how to behave in REALITY. The friends on their page see them outside and in school more than on the computer. The friends they hang with don't just text, they meet up soon after. It's face to face life they have, and they don't let a computer tell them how to feel, what to do, and how to behave. They learned these basics in the real world, they practice them daily, and once and a while...they share on a networking site. They don't have a pull to hide behind a screen, and by limiting access I don't imagine they will ever find "screen sites" more appealing than "real life sights".

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