Parenting decision. Help needed.

  bta1 20:49 22 Sep 2006

I have a sixteen year old son, and recently i have restricted his use of our interent.
I am not concerened he is looking at pornography, frankly if he wasn't i would be slightly disturbed. It's the other content that i am worried about. Videos of teens smashing up houses and beating the hell out of old people.
Now no doubt he will find a way of looking at this stuff, but i felt as a responsilbe parent that i should put my foot down to it being looked at in the family home. (We also have a fourteen year old son and a nine year old daughter. They don't use it much but i have always restricted theirs and will do so until they are at least fiften.)
However, now i am in a sleepless quandry. I feel like i am treating him like a child, which would have annoyed me when i was sixteen. I want him to be responsible and have unsrestricted access, at the same time i don't want those videos in my house. And god bless him i bet he wants those pornography sites back. (Incidently i don't know if he is looking at adult sites, but well..he is sixteen.) Has anyone else had a similar situation, or indeed are there any sixteen year olds who have a restricted internet and aren't growing up weird? Any advice would be appreciated.

  Jackcoms 20:58 22 Sep 2006

"I feel like i am treating him like a child"

He's 16, thus he IS a child until he reaches his 18th birthday.

And, frankly, whilst he continues to live under your roof he should live by your rules

If he's watching "Videos of teens smashing up houses and beating the hell out of old people" he certainly has the mind of a rather puerile child.

  STREETWORK 21:01 22 Sep 2006

It is time for you to have a heart to heart talk about it. If he knows your concerns and the fact that you are monitoring his moves on the web it may curb such activities.

All we had as kids was page 3 of the sun...

In your talk you should mention that her has a resonsibility to other house members and the youngest one inparticular. Look into getting some filtering software that will not permit access to such sites without a password. discuss this with him and seek his views. If he does not like the idea then it stops there unless he continues this activity.

  mammak 21:22 22 Sep 2006

I have a son of 24 a daughter of 20 and like you my youngest a daughter as only nine my oldest two are now living away from home but on a recent visit from my 24 yr old son it was a nightmare to get it across to him that what ever he thought was appropriate to view on the net it most certainly wasn’t appropriate for his nine year old sister to stumble upon,
16 is still a child so yes you must have a stern word with him about the content he is viewing and what it might do if his 9yr old sister was to view such content this although not easy usually works, good luck to you it is hard being a parent these days with the dangers on the net.

ps. from a parent that understands your dilemma

  realist 21:34 22 Sep 2006

Have you considered the location of the computer?

If it is located in a family room, or a well trodden thoroughfare, it will be treated as a "public information portal" rather than a "private pleasure palace"!

  bta1 21:41 22 Sep 2006

Alas realist, in this day and age there are three computers in the house one of which is in his room.
You see i didn't want to start snooping around on his own computer worrying what he has. So i just cut if off at the source.

Mammack, thanks for that. I think Jackcoms told me off and i was feeling a little sensitive.

It does seem that everone thinks restricted access to under eighteens is a good idea. I was under the impression that this was not the thing to do these days and i was being a duddery old man.

  elchris 21:47 22 Sep 2006

Our pc is in a family room , but my son caused us a headache when he was younger with his use of the internet .
Husband logged on one morning to see a whole screen of er...naughty ladies cavorting around (just thanked our lucky stars that young daughter wasn`t in the dining room at the time) . We told him off, we threatened him , but he then got to deleting his way out of wherever he had been on the internet and merrily turning taking out software along with him .
It actually came to the crunch when he started turning off spy doctor because it kept throwing up warnings .
Oh, and then , in a master stroke , he turned off the virus software because one of his mates had told him that it slowed the pc down .
It cost us many hours to get up and running again .
We even thought about blocking his access , but he would have just gone on as one of us .
Oh the pleasures of parenthood eh

  mammak 21:48 22 Sep 2006

You are being a parent the hardest unpaid job on the planet and no matter how well we think we are doing it gets the better of the best of us.
good luck kindest regards.

  rdave13 21:54 22 Sep 2006

This is why I have soooo many anti this and that on my pc! Many a time I've warned my sixteen year old off these sites. I've warned him that I can monitor his every move on the net and he can't figure out how.

I can't really monitor him but just by running various antispyware progs (all free) they'll show up a lot of cookies etc. Lol.

Fileant is another program that'll show cookies although I don't use it now.
Warned him three times, no notice taken, so I put my ISP's parental lock on for three weeks.
Said he didn't care. Begged to go back to full administrator with prommises etc.. so allowed. Three times I had to go through this process and I think the penny finally dropped!
The pc is located downstairs to everybody's view but young people are very resourceful and find how to hide sites instantly.
Still keep a very beady eye on his internet activities though but he's getting there I hope :)

  elchris 22:07 22 Sep 2006

When ours turned off spy doctor , we got a nasty piece of spyware called net that took days to get rid of , it changed our search engine , and when we first thought we had got rid of it, it took our internet connection !
We finally fixed it , and then he did it again , I could have cheerfully brained him .
Of course he denied all knowledge of it , and that to me is the worst for there are four people using this pc . and the rule is that if you do something daft on it, write it down , let us know what happened and then we have a fighting chance of fixing it .

  PurplePenny 22:10 22 Sep 2006

Studies have shown that parts of the brain (for instance the bit of the brain that relates consequences to actions) function differently in children/youths and don't develop into adult brain functions/patterns until after twenty. (A study quoted in a BBC Science News report recently said that it could take until 30 to fully function as an adult brain!)

For this reason although kids may seem to be maturing earlier (and physically they may be) they still need the rules and boundaries laid down for them.

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