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Porn is not the worst thing - S/O Young Teens + Social Media


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My unsolicited advice, after reading the article but not the thread...

 

DO NOT respect your child's online privacy. I did, it and it was a mistake. Whatever you choose to do regarding computers and phones, tell your child you will snoop. And then do it. Regularly. If you don't know how to use a smart phone well, learn. Find out what apps are hidden in the back, not just what your child puts on their home screens. Don't let them have their phone in their rooms at night. And encourage real life friendships as much as possible. Go out of your way to make sure your teens can spend time face to face with friends.

 

I get it. I have a deeply depressed teen who seemed to need online friends. It was not good for her. I took her phone in January and now she gets it for one hour a day. When I drop her off somewhere, we make arrangements ahead of time for when she'll be picked it. It's so very 80s of us. ;) She's doing much better. She still video games a lot, and she is sometimes upset at her lack of online social interaction, but overall, it's been positive.

 

I have a four year old. She'll be getting a phone later in life than her sisters and with many more restrictions attached to it.

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This piece has been all over and it baffled me. A parent of a relatively young kid discovers that if she searches and follows up on the darkest tags she can think of, that the internet has lots of sca

And some of us had NO friends, close or otherwise, until we went online.   I won't ever say my kids can't spend time online because I know how important it was for my own development to finally, fin

I'm a little surprised that she thinks that this sort of behavior didn't exist prior to the internet. Kids being depressed and suicidal and bullying each other and being overly sexual at a young age?

For what it's worth, ds spends most of his time online actually talking to his friends - not typing.  But talking with his voice.  Into a mike.  So like a phone but without a cord.  And with a whole bunch of them at once so maybe like a party line.  It has allowed him to make friends in England, the Netherlands, the Ukraine as well as all over the US.  The boys from England and the Netherlands have attended my teen Sunday school class - via Skype.  They are real people who interact like real people. 

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I'm not really cool with reading my kids' texts after a certain age. However, if my kids had a specific issue that was endangering them - if they had used drugs or were dealing with very severe depression, for example, that might go out the window. More of a baseline for me if everything is normal.

 

Anything on social media that I can find anyone can find. There's no privacy there.

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I'm happy to drive my kids too. I like that they have IRL friends. But as young teens, they don't want me to make "playdates" anymore. They want to make their own plans and choose their own friends. And that's super appropriate. Without any access to text, they would be almost totally closed out of that world. The world of IRL friends. As I see it, them having phones - even if they have dumb phones (ds's is so old it refuses to run anything but super old apps so it may as well be dumb) is what allows them to access to IRL friends.

 

They're also starting high school and I simply can't teach everything anymore. I'm so lucky that they can take online classes. I just don't buy that the internet is overall hurting them.

I agree with you Farrar. For any teenager autonomy and some privacy is important. I see nothing wrong with texting friends and meeting up with them at that age. My grown boys both had phones at 14 yo. This time around it will be flip phones though. Atleast initially.

 

I also believe computers are necessary for writing, research, classes and so forth. We keep our computer in a family area and computers are not in bedrooms. It is a tool for these purposes though. We don't game on them or utilize any social networks and so forth. They can make those decisions for themselves once they are older.

Edited by nixpix5
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My rule for my 15+ aged kids wrt online activity is that it has to be open and social or academic.

 

Like Jean describes, they will long on after the younger kids go to sleep to play Xbox games with their brothers who are at college. They have a headset and are chatting while gaming together and it warms my heart greatly to see/hear that going on in the living room. My nearly 17 yr old dd can FaceTime with her best friend in another state.

 

While I might be very hard core low tech to some before 15/16 and still too strict to some after that, I’m not all or nothing and don’t think the Internet is evil. I for sure have no desire to do away with it entirely.

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Computers have been necessary once they take colleges classes but before that I’ve not needed it in my homeschooling. The semester before they start outside classes, I have them do the final draft of their writing assignments on a computer to get familiar with it. It’s not been a big deal.

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Yeahhh...because that is the difference between friends and no friends. Whether or not someone has a parent who will drive them places.

No, and your right, it isn't that simple. I was saying for my family I am fine hauling them around because we are lucky in the area we live that there is alot of homeschoolers my kids are friends with.

 

I didn't mean to upset you with that. I was talking about in our family. I know it isn't easy in areas with less access or with chidlren who struggle socially. It is that struggling socially that is concerning to me though as often kids want friends so badly they tend to make decisions they might not always make. One of my kids has ASD and I know for him I have to be doubly careful.

 

I know there isn't any easy answers. Before the internet kids survived with what they had in front of them and came out unscathed for the most part. I know most parents are shocked when they do stumble upon what their kids are saying, viewing, and subjected to. Since our kids cannot unsee or un-experience things I tend to err on the side of limiting until their brains can better digest those uglier parts of anonymous society. With brains still forming, exposure to some things too young will have lifelong ramifications but only be a blip for older teens and adults.

 

I am sorry sparkly unicorn for upsetting you. Never my intention. We all do what our gut tells us and hope for the best ;)

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I think that with anything, ANYTHING, there are risks and benefits. Whether we are talking about the internet or sports or school or clubs or whatever. I think our jobs as parents is to analyize what those risks and benefits are and determine how we want to handle it with our kids.

 

My sister has her son in football. It’s a risky sport. She believes this but also believes that the risks are worth the benefits for her kid, such as the physical activity, teamwork, etc. For other parents, football is not allowed because the risks are not with the benefits. The same concept applies to the smartphones and tablets and social media.

 

Which, by the way, are all different things. You can allow internet and social media without allowing smart phones. You can allow smartphones and internet without allowing particular social media sites. For us, we will be taking a very incremental and strict approach to these things. At the moment, our kids have NO devices. They do watch you tube....but we cast it from our phone apps to the Roku onto the tv. So we control the content, and there is no commenting and so on. As they get older, we will add more things they are allowed to access as we deem appropriate.

 

Being restrictive isn’t automatically a bad thing, but it also doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

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Yeah, it's part of what made me uncomfortable about the article... like, I don't think just because you have an older kid you know everything - this stuff is so in flux. It's a different landscape now than just five years ago. But also, the author of this piece has a pretty young kid - I think she was 9? She should be keeping her off all social media. She really probably doesn't need a smart phone. It changes.

 

 

I agree with this completely and it's what jumped out at me from the article.  My younger son is 9 and he has access to a tablet for the odd game, watching (supervised) videos and messaging his second cousin who is the same age and lives in a different state.  They are two peas in a pod and wanted to stay in touch after our family reunion last year.  He doesn't have his own phone or just now, even his own tablet.  However, treating my 14-year-old like he's my 9-year old is a recipe for disaster in my book.  

 

My nieces and nephew all had or now have phones and mobile devices at like 9 and 10.  I don't see it as a good thing and I can observe some negative impacts on each of them, mostly because very low-quality game time seems to have pushed out time for other things, like reading.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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No, and your right, it isn't that simple. I was saying for my family I am fine hauling them around because we are lucky in the area we live that there is alot of homeschoolers my kids are friends with.

 

I didn't mean to upset you with that. I was talking about in our family. I know it isn't easy in areas with less access or with chidlren who struggle socially. It is that struggling socially that is concerning to me though as often kids want friends so badly they tend to make decisions they might not always make. One of my kids has ASD and I know for him I have to be doubly careful.

 

I know there isn't any easy answers. Before the internet kids survived with what they had in front of them and came out unscathed for the most part. I know most parents are shocked when they do stumble upon what their kids are saying, viewing, and subjected to. Since our kids cannot unsee or un-experience things I tend to err on the side of limiting until their brains can better digest those uglier parts of anonymous society. With brains still forming, exposure to some things too young will have lifelong ramifications but only be a blip for older teens and adults.

 

I am sorry sparkly unicorn for upsetting you. Never my intention. We all do what our gut tells us and hope for the best ;)

 

I often wonder what on earth I did as a kid.  I think it was nothing.  Nothing at all.  Sit around and read a lot (which my mother constantly limited because she could not imagine how anyone would want to read that much..it was ok if I sat and did nothing, but reading a lot was not ok). 

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I agree with this completely and it's what jumped out at me from the article.  My younger son is 9 and he has access to a tablet for the odd game, watching (supervised) videos and messaging his second cousin who is the same age and lives in a different state.  They are two peas in a pod and wanted to stay in touch after our family reunion last year.  He doesn't have his own phone or just now, even his own tablet.  However, treating my 14-year-old like he's my 9-year old is a recipe for disaster in my book.  

 

My nieces and nephew all had or now have phones and mobile devices at like 9 and 10.  I don't see it as a good thing and I can observe some negative impacts on each of them, mostly because very low-quality game time seems to have pushed out time for other things, like reading.  

 

I agree with all of this.  My younger kids still living at home are 5, 7, and 9.  They don't have any devices.  But, that doesn't mean that DD9 won't have one when she is 14....and that doesn't mean that DS5 will have one when he is 10.

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I agree with all of this.  My younger kids still living at home are 5, 7, and 9.  They don't have any devices.  But, that doesn't mean that DD9 won't have one when she is 14....and that doesn't mean that DS5 will have one when he is 10.

 

I was talking to someone who said that once they get something for the older kid, they "have to get it" for the younger kids.  That idea makes literally no sense to me because in my book older kids get increasing levels of privileges to pair with their increasing responsibilities.  My younger son gets that when he gets older, he will have more responsibilities and more privileges.  

 

We don't let 11-year-olds drive just because their 16-year-old brother can.  And even if it wasn't a matter of the law, I am guessing that would still be the case.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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I agree with you Farrar. For any teenager autonomy and some privacy is important. I see nothing wrong with texting friends and meeting up with them at that age. My grown boys both had phones at 14 yo. This time around it will be flip phones though. Atleast initially.

 

I also believe computers are necessary for writing, research, classes and so forth. We keep our computer in a family area and computers are not in bedrooms. It is a tool for these purposes though. We don't game on them or utilize any social networks and so forth. They can make those decisions for themselves once they are older.

 

I think texting in itself is different than through social media - they can have the same problems, but social media adds layers of potential problems.

 

But I also think a big element of the issue is the portability of phones and other devices.  

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I often wonder what on earth I did as a kid.  I think it was nothing.  Nothing at all.  Sit around and read a lot (which my mother constantly limited because she could not imagine how anyone would want to read that much..it was ok if I sat and did nothing, but reading a lot was not ok). 

 

 

I think there are benefits to really doing nothing though.  

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Here's the thing with allowing and then restricting if there is trouble-- it's a lot harder to backtrack when you have a depressed teen. Restricting social media at that point is another loss. So you find yourself in a situation where your child has access to a lot of disturbing pictures and information that won't help his or her situation, but cutting the dc off may make the situation worse.

 

A child who makes good decisions and only uses the internet for good purposes may be thrown about by hormones.

 

I am now firmly in the young teens get very limited social media time camp. My older teens are now making better decisions. I am also in the check regularly and monitor all texts and personal messaging until at least 16 camp.

 

This isn't like danger at the mall. It is much more pervasive and common. It is bad and young teens just don't have the maturity to navigate it and, as a pp said--you can have a great relationship and be very attached and, as a result of the drive for autonomy, your child may not come to you for help.

 

And mamas, the mother I know who says her ds tells her everything, has the boy who has seen the most disturbing things and is the biggest online bully. He only tells her part of the story, but enough to make her feel like she doesn't need to worry or supervise.

 

But I too don't like articles written by mothers of 9 year olds. Now that I am navigating the teen years I realize that there are no absolutes. Everything is more complicated and nuanced than I thought it would be. I know that we have made decisions that look crazy from the outside, but we're actually the best thing to do in our situation.

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I often wonder what on earth I did as a kid.  I think it was nothing.  Nothing at all.  Sit around and read a lot (which my mother constantly limited because she could not imagine how anyone would want to read that much..it was ok if I sat and did nothing, but reading a lot was not ok). 

 

 

That sounds tough. Grew up pre-internet and cell phones as well and in a fairly small town with 6-7 months of winter. There was TV but not always very interesting programming. I had friends but winter evenings are long and weekends can be boring when you got all your academic work done.

I would have lost my mind without books.

Edited by Liz CA
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Here's the thing with allowing and then restricting if there is trouble-- it's a lot harder to backtrack when you have a depressed teen. Restricting social media at that point is another loss. So you find yourself in a situation where your child has access to a lot of disturbing pictures and information that won't help his or her situation, but cutting the dc off may make the situation worse.

 

A child who makes good decisions and only uses the internet for good purposes may be thrown about by hormones.

 

I am now firmly in the young teens get very limited social media time camp. My older teens are now making better decisions. I am also in the check regularly and monitor all texts and personal messaging until at least 16 camp.

 

This isn't like danger at the mall. It is much more pervasive and common. It is bad and young teens just don't have the maturity to navigate it and, as a pp said--you can have a great relationship and be very attached and, as a result of the drive for autonomy, your child may not come to you for help.

 

And mamas, the mother I know who says her ds tells her everything, has the boy who has seen the most disturbing things and is the biggest online bully. He only tells her part of the story, but enough to make her feel like she doesn't need to worry or supervise.

 

But I too don't like articles written by mothers of 9 year olds. Now that I am navigating the teen years I realize that there are no absolutes. Everything is more complicated and nuanced than I thought it would be. I know that we have made decisions that look crazy from the outside, but we're actually the best thing to do in our situation.

This is a great post and you are right, pulling back after the fact us much more complicated than initial control that is slowly loosened as maturity is gained.

 

I always think my own ways of viewing this are so colored by my odd experiences. Working in brain research and then having teens of my own, then becoming a therapist and now doing it all over with little ones. I get this unique opportunity to go in with more insight then I had the first time. I also get two 20 somethings giving me information about their adolescent brains at the time. They are such great humans who share their wisdom about what worked with my parenting and what I should tweak. I kind of love that :)

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I think there are benefits to really doing nothing though.  

 

not all the time though

 

Doing nothing all the time I guess is like doing anything all the time. 

 

Being the brunt of the whim of parents with bizarro ideas...even worse.  My mother did not like to read and never read anything.  So therefore I should not like it either.

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not all the time though

 

Doing nothing all the time I guess is like doing anything all the time.

 

Being the brunt of the whim of parents with bizarro ideas...even worse. My mother did not like to read and never read anything. So therefore I should not like it either.

Wow, that is awful :( I had a book in my face from the time I could read. I still carry my cherished childhood books with me so my children can read them. I couldn't imagine living in a book impoverished family.

 

I met a woman once who wouldn't let her kids read any fiction and some non fiction. Her argument was that reading a book was allowing the author's ideas to hijack your brain and infiltrate it. I found that to be just bizarre. Isn't that literally what life is? Books, tv, conversations, cultures, we are continually morphing via other people's ideas. I just felt like I had no grasp of what that argument even meant.

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For what it's worth, ds spends most of his time online actually talking to his friends - not typing.  But talking with his voice.  Into a mike.  So like a phone but without a cord.  And with a whole bunch of them at once so maybe like a party line.  It has allowed him to make friends in England, the Netherlands, the Ukraine as well as all over the US.  The boys from England and the Netherlands have attended my teen Sunday school class - via Skype.  They are real people who interact like real people. 

 

My son does this too, more than he texts or uses other media. 

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I think there are benefits to really doing nothing though.

I agree.

 

Eta - I don’t think doing “nothing†is really nothing. If it is, I’m not sure what to call that, but it’s not healthy.

 

I was bored and lonely most of my childhood. Free range was more just neglect in my case.

Edited by Murphy101
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Here's the thing with allowing and then restricting if there is trouble-- it's a lot harder to backtrack when you have a depressed teen. Restricting social media at that point is another loss. So you find yourself in a situation where your child has access to a lot of disturbing pictures and information that won't help his or her situation, but cutting the dc off may make the situation worse.

 

A child who makes good decisions and only uses the internet for good purposes may be thrown about by hormones.

 

I am now firmly in the young teens get very limited social media time camp. My older teens are now making better decisions. I am also in the check regularly and monitor all texts and personal messaging until at least 16 camp.

 

This isn't like danger at the mall. It is much more pervasive and common. It is bad and young teens just don't have the maturity to navigate it and, as a pp said--you can have a great relationship and be very attached and, as a result of the drive for autonomy, your child may not come to you for help.

 

And mamas, the mother I know who says her ds tells her everything, has the boy who has seen the most disturbing things and is the biggest online bully. He only tells her part of the story, but enough to make her feel like she doesn't need to worry or supervise.

 

But I too don't like articles written by mothers of 9 year olds. Now that I am navigating the teen years I realize that there are no absolutes. Everything is more complicated and nuanced than I thought it would be. I know that we have made decisions that look crazy from the outside, but we're actually the best thing to do in our situation.

:iagree:

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Some stuff does not have a silver lining.  It's rather weird to say doing nothing is good for a person in response to someone who said they spent most of their time doing nothing.  It's like if I said I spent years in solitary confinement and someone responded with, "Oh well spending time alone is beneficial." 

 

I think as a result I've gone in the complete opposite direction with my kids.  I let them do whatever they want so long as I don't think it's dangerous to them.  If they want to spend all day on Saturdays watching My Little Pony, whatever.  This seems to work out.  They have a wide variety of interests and they don't spend all day all the time glued to any one thing.   

 

Maybe I have it all wrong, but that's where I'm coming from on that issue. 

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Oh yeah I knew a lot about parenting when my kids were babies.  I was an expert.  I could have written all sorts of articles.  The truth is though I'm not any smarter than when I started.  I have absolutely no idea what I"m doing most of the time.  I have no good upbringing to draw from.  I have no family to call up and ask.  I probably get most of my support from strangers off the internet truth be told.  At least I think I'm usually able to understand good advice verses bad advice.  I just do the best I can.  Growing up I was told I'd be damaged if I spent too much time talking on the telephone.  That was the devil.  I don't buy it.  I do think it's hard to navigate when we aren't entirely sure if it's great or not great.  Either way it seems difficult to escape.  I'm the weirdo because I'm not glued to my phone when I'm around other people.  No joke.  I am the only one NOT doing that anywhere I go.  Adults barely talk to each other anymore because they are glued to a smart phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After thinking through the last thread and this one with all of you, maybe the general wisdom that should be in circulation is to treat independence and devices similarly to driver's ed. Our province has a graduated licensing program, with a one year learner's license and a two year restricted license.The first few years of any social media use should be done with as much parental oversight as possible. We all know that maybe, but the specifics need to be ramped up - all texts, etc are copied to the parent's device, or they have access to the icloud or whatever technological solution makes sense. And it should be viewed in much the same way that new parents are not allowed to leave the hospital without a properly fitted car seat - it's just a safety standard for society. Period.

 

The same way that rethinking positive parenting can mean some parents swing too far and end up unparenting, so too much focus on privacy, not differentiating between younger teens and older teens, can swing too far into dangerous territory, and it's time to find the middle ground.

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Except the honest truth is parental controls don't work very well.  A lot of parents don't know how to keep their kids from circumventing them.  A smart kid can circumvent nearly all of them.  Then it becomes a major battle with extreme reactions.  My extreme reaction has been I can't control this every second of the day so I'm not going to.  This is a reality of life and I'm going to just keep talking to my kids about what's good and bad out there.  I talk to my kids a lot.  Is this a perfect response and way to deal with it?  No, but it works for us and for my situation.

 

 

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Oh absolutely, yes, honest discussion is what we should all be shooting for in every situation. I'm just ruminating on some standard that, even if circumnavigated, would be the line in the sand said child would *know* they are crossing. Like how we all know shoplifting or cheating on a test is wrong. Families usually discuss this. It is very common for kids to take a crack at it anyway. That's the sort of thing I mean. Big generalities.

Edited by KathyBC
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Except the honest truth is parental controls don't work very well.  A lot of parents don't know how to keep their kids from circumventing them.  A smart kid can circumvent nearly all of them.  Then it becomes a major battle with extreme reactions.  My extreme reaction has been I can't control this every second of the day so I'm not going to.  This is a reality of life and I'm going to just keep talking to my kids about what's good and bad out there.  I talk to my kids a lot.  Is this a perfect response and way to deal with it?  No, but it works for us and for my situation.

 

I don't really want to control it every second of the day.  I just feel that as a parent, I want to provide graduated ability fail and handle. 

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Doing nothing is good for you - there's a lot of value to boredom, in that it spurs (imo) brain development and creativity.  

 

But too much of anything is not good for you.  Obviously solitary confinement is not good for you, but a little more boredom would not hurt most modern kids or adults, imo.  There is of course a balance.

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Doing nothing is good for you - there's a lot of value to boredom, in that it spurs (imo) brain development and creativity.  

 

But too much of anything is not good for you.  Obviously solitary confinement is not good for you, but a little more boredom would not hurt most modern kids or adults, imo.  There is of course a balance.

 

This is true of everything.  Too much exercise, too much cake, too much milk, too much sunshine....even too much water.

 

And, too much internet, too much social media, too much smart phone time, etc etc.  And I think each parent has to decide how much of those things is too much for their kids.  The answer isn't going to be the same for everyone. 

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not all the time though

 

Doing nothing all the time I guess is like doing anything all the time. 

 

Being the brunt of the whim of parents with bizarro ideas...even worse.  My mother did not like to read and never read anything.  So therefore I should not like it either.

 

Yeah, it's good to have some occupation.  One of the things though that strikes me about the smartphone era is that I see a lot of kids who seem to really lack the ability to just be.

 

I remember as a kid and teen having some balance although I was introverted.  But I had some girl friends from school  - and they didn't live close by as I was bussed, but I hung out with them sometimes.  I played D&D and spent a lot of time at home preparing.  Reading, drawing and painting.  I tried cooking different times which didn't work out all that well in many cases but my parents ate it anyway.

 

I also remember being bored to tears when I was not yet a teen in places where I couldn't easily find ways to entertain myself, like waiting in line with my mom at the bank or grocery store.  That's the kind of boredom though where I think it's not actually a bad thing generally speaking.  It gives you time to contemplate, or to learn how to do it if you are a kid.  I remember making a very close examination of those weird vertical blinds banks used to have, and wondering why they only seemed to be in banks.

 

Now it seems like both kids and adults, as soon as they have to wait for something, are distracted by their phones.  So even those little spaces in the day outside of the house are filled up.  I'm sure some people are doing something important or useful, but a lot are surfing the web, and the kids seem to all be playing games.  I think even those little spaces outside the home are something you can bring into your home with you.  

 

I always remember reading in a biography about Beatrix potter how awful her life was, her parents pretty much kept her locked up and alone.  It struck me as so closed in and lonely.  Which I would not suggest was a good thing, but it was out of that  loneliness and boredom that her really original work came - she had time to devote to thinking and imagining and perfecting her craft.  I'm not sure that a lot of kids now get that far, and the satisfaction of creation or perfecting something is a lot easier to come out of Minecraft than actually gaining a real-world skill.

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Wow, that is awful :( I had a book in my face from the time I could read. I still carry my cherished childhood books with me so my children can read them. I couldn't imagine living in a book impoverished family.

 

I met a woman once who wouldn't let her kids read any fiction and some non fiction. Her argument was that reading a book was allowing the author's ideas to hijack your brain and infiltrate it. I found that to be just bizarre. Isn't that literally what life is? Books, tv, conversations, cultures, we are continually morphing via other people's ideas. I just felt like I had no grasp of what that argument even meant.

 

I heard someone say something like this the other day - it was a comment on a review of the new Wrinkle In Time movie.  This person thought that authors should not write kids books that had ideas in them that might be enticing to kids.

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Neither of my kids has a phone really.  I say "really" because I have a phone for each of them that they use only when they are out and about and it would be the only way they could call me.  So maybe they take the phone once a month.  Nobody here is attracted to phones for some reason.  All of our phones sit uncharged in a drawer about 90% of the time.  I hate that I even have to have one at all, but I have been in situations where there would be zero way for me to make a phone call and it was necessary that I make a phone call. 

 

But I dunno.  I do not see a lot of kids glued to phones (like I see the adults glued to phones).  My kids do dance, drama, choir, etc. and at each of those activities there are lots of kids and nobody really has a phone.  Schools generally allow them to have them, but not use them except to contact a parent or that sort of thing. 

 

Adults..that's another story.  I find this kind of annoying.  I suppose they are "talking" to someone if they are texting. 

 

 

Yeah, it's good to have some occupation.  One of the things though that strikes me about the smartphone era is that I see a lot of kids who seem to really lack the ability to just be.

 

I remember as a kid and teen having some balance although I was introverted.  But I had some girl friends from school  - and they didn't live close by as I was bussed, but I hung out with them sometimes.  I played D&D and spent a lot of time at home preparing.  Reading, drawing and painting.  I tried cooking different times which didn't work out all that well in many cases but my parents ate it anyway.

 

I also remember being bored to tears when I was not yet a teen in places where I couldn't easily find ways to entertain myself, like waiting in line with my mom at the bank or grocery store.  That's the kind of boredom though where I think it's not actually a bad thing generally speaking.  It gives you time to contemplate, or to learn how to do it if you are a kid.  I remember making a very close examination of those weird vertical blinds banks used to have, and wondering why they only seemed to be in banks.

 

Now it seems like both kids and adults, as soon as they have to wait for something, are distracted by their phones.  So even those little spaces in the day outside of the house are filled up.  I'm sure some people are doing something important or useful, but a lot are surfing the web, and the kids seem to all be playing games.  I think even those little spaces outside the home are something you can bring into your home with you.  

 

I always remember reading in a biography about Beatrix potter how awful her life was, her parents pretty much kept her locked up and alone.  It struck me as so closed in and lonely.  Which I would not suggest was a good thing, but it was out of that  loneliness and boredom that her really original work came - she had time to devote to thinking and imagining and perfecting her craft.  I'm not sure that a lot of kids now get that far, and the satisfaction of creation or perfecting something is a lot easier to come out of Minecraft than actually gaining a real-world skill.

 

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Neither of my kids has a phone really.  I say "really" because I have a phone for each of them that they use only when they are out and about and it would be the only way they could call me.  So maybe they take the phone once a month.  Nobody here is attracted to phones for some reason.  All of our phones sit uncharged in a drawer about 90% of the time.  I hate that I even have to have one at all, but I have been in situations where there would be zero way for me to make a phone call and it was necessary that I make a phone call. 

 

But I dunno.  I do not see a lot of kids glued to phones (like I see the adults glued to phones).  My kids do dance, drama, choir, etc. and at each of those activities there are lots of kids and nobody really has a phone.  Schools generally allow them to have them, but not use them except to contact a parent or that sort of thing. 

 

Adults..that's another story.  I find this kind of annoying.  I suppose they are "talking" to someone if they are texting. 

 

you never talk on the phone with your family, friends, etc? Text a friend? Talk to arrange something? I don't talk on the phone much, but to say it's almost always uncharged??? Or do you have a house phone and voicemail or something? (we don't have a house phone...all phone communication is on cell phones.)

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I don't really feel comfortable reading my kids' texts, any more than I would feel comfortable listening in on their phone conversations.  And for what it's worth, a lot of their time on devices is actually TALKING, via skype or facetime.  I believe kids deserve privacy.  Even children deserve privacy.  I felt uncomfortable with baby monitors after age two.  I just....really believe in privacy.  

 

Social media absolutely should be monitored.  That's not in any way private, if they're posting on instagram and what not.  But texts feel to me more like listening in on phone conversations.  If there's not a good reason, it just doesn't feel good to me.  Maybe I'm super naive.  Maybe I'm going to be majorly bit in the butt.  I don't know.  We're all doing the best we can.  I feel okay letting my kids pretty much self-regulate with technology, just like I let them self-regulate with most things.  There are times where I'm all, "Okay, phone away and go to sleep."  But my kids have always been pretty good about self-regulating.  Not perfect, but I think there's a learning process, just like I had to learn if I stayed up till 3 am reading a book, I felt crummy the next day.  I still did it sometimes.  But some things we have to experience to learn.  So far we seem to have a lot of open and honest conversations.  Or at least it appears that way.  I may be wrong.  But my kids seem to be doing well.  We talk a lot about what they see online.  I have one kid who watches a lot of youtube, especially cooking videos and videos about animal/ vet care.  I have one that reads web comics obsessively.  But they both go to school, do homework, read books, play a LOT of D&D, do artwork, sing in a choir, one is in a play, one goes to tutoring.  They could both use  more physical activity in their lives, but so could I.  

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you never talk on the phone with your family, friends, etc? Text a friend? Talk to arrange something? I don't talk on the phone much, but to say it's almost always uncharged??? Or do you have a house phone and voicemail or something? (we don't have a house phone...all phone communication is on cell phones.)

 

No, who would I call?  I live with my only family and friends.  The one relative still alive in my family that I have contact with I talk to maybe once a month from my home phone.  I find cell phones extremely annoying to have an actual conversation on.

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Neither of my kids has a phone really. I say "really" because I have a phone for each of them that they use only when they are out and about and it would be the only way they could call me. So maybe they take the phone once a month. Nobody here is attracted to phones for some reason. All of our phones sit uncharged in a drawer about 90% of the time. I hate that I even have to have one at all, but I have been in situations where there would be zero way for me to make a phone call and it was necessary that I make a phone call.

 

But I dunno. I do not see a lot of kids glued to phones (like I see the adults glued to phones). My kids do dance, drama, choir, etc. and at each of those activities there are lots of kids and nobody really has a phone. Schools generally allow them to have them, but not use them except to contact a parent or that sort of thing.

 

Adults..that's another story. I find this kind of annoying. I suppose they are "talking" to someone if they are texting.

Yeah, in my world it's the adults who can't take their eyes off their phones, not the kids. The teens I know are too busy! But the adults...ugh. It's hard to find someone who will have a conversation without glancing at their phone now and again, or worse, text while talking. Seriously??!!

 

Of course it's not new behaviour. They are the same sort who would answer the phone and have a long conversation while you're sitting in their kitchen watching their coffee get cold.

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Yeah, in my world it's the adults who can't take their eyes off their phones, not the kids. The teens I know are too busy! But the adults...ugh. It's hard to find someone who will have a conversation without glancing at their phone now and again, or worse, text while talking. Seriously??!!

 

Of course it's not new behaviour. They are the same sort who would answer the phone and have a long conversation while you're sitting in their kitchen watching their coffee get cold.

 

Yup.

 

I bring homework or a book because 99% of the time people just look at their phones.  And I spend a large percentage of my life waiting with other parents for their kids to be done with some activity. 

 

It's ok.  If they'd rather look at their phone than talk to me, whatever.  But it's not the kids who are doing this.  So when parents go on and on about the evils of this stuff that's kinda the pot calling the kettle black is it not?

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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you never talk on the phone with your family, friends, etc? Text a friend? Talk to arrange something? I don't talk on the phone much, but to say it's almost always uncharged??? Or do you have a house phone and voicemail or something? (we don't have a house phone...all phone communication is on cell phones.)

 

 

I'm not Sparkly (obviously) but I don't have a cell phone except for emergencies, and the only thing we use our main phone for (the land line) is the maybe 3x a year that an extended family member calls or to make a doctor's appt (and we almost never go to the doctor).  Most communication is between us in person, some (especially business communication or talking to family or whatever) is through email.

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My son, who is majoring in computer security, has been able to hack any parental controls since he was 12. Relying on parental controls would have been naive of me. It doesn’t mean that I let him go wild. (And as I said in the other thread, we did deal with gaming addiction for a couple of years). But like pretty much everything in parenting I have to parent my particular kids. I personally find these kinds of articles only helpful in a generic “raising consciousness “ sort of way. I don’t cook with a lot of cookbooks and I don’t parent by following a “cookbook “.

 

 

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My son, who is majoring in computer security, has been able to hack any parental controls since he was 12. Relying on parental controls would have been naive of me. It doesn’t mean that I let him go wild. (And as I said in the other thread, we did deal with gaming addiction for a couple of years). But like pretty much everything in parenting I have to parent my particular kids. I personally find these kinds of articles only helpful in a generic “raising consciousness “ sort of way. I don’t cook with a lot of cookbooks and I don’t parent by following a “cookbook “.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Exactly.  Kids are individuals.  Different kids will make different mistakes and have different errors in judgement.  

 

I imagine some people on here would be horrified at how we handle SM/phones/tablets/computers/etc.  But that's okay, because I'm parenting the children in my house.  And I parent each of them somewhat differently, even though the end goal is  the same for each, because each has their own set of character strengths and weaknesses.

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Exactly.  Kids are individuals.  Different kids will make different mistakes and have different errors in judgement.  

 

I imagine some people on here would be horrified at how we handle SM/phones/tablets/computers/etc.  But that's okay, because I'm parenting the children in my house.  And I parent each of them somewhat differently, even though the end goal is  the same for each, because each has their own set of character strengths and weaknesses.

 

Yes and some people are very into this stuff.  This is in large part a family hobby.  My spouse makes a living on it.  If it weren't for weirdos like my family members who want to spend a lot of time on learning about this stuff and creating stuff, this stuff would not exist. 

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No, who would I call?  I live with my only family and friends.  The one relative still alive in my family that I have contact with I talk to maybe once a month from my home phone.  I find cell phones extremely annoying to have an actual conversation on.

 

Oh, okay.  I guess I'm lucky in that I talk/text/message with my mom several times a week at least, and with my sister a few times a month. With my best friend who lives many hours away in my home town I message often several times a day, with local friends a few times a week at least. 

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I'm really trying to get my head around just not using a phone or other communication device. Even before cell phones we used regular phones a lot. Before that, mail I imagine :)

 

Just off the top of my head I've called my son today to ask him to be ready and waiting outside when I got home with groceries so he could help me (wanted to give him warning so he wasn't in the middle of cooking lunch or something), talked about editing a book with a friend, discussed labor signs with another friend who is very pregnant, looked up where the nearest restaurants were to the garden tour we were at, took photos of my son handling a red tailed hawk at that even, checked the menu of the restaurant to be sure there were things there we could all eat, talked to my sister to explain how the local ropes course works and to assure her yes, my daughter did like it and I bet her's will too, looked up a recipe at the store to find one that would work with an ingredient I found on sale, tried (and failed) to set up a get together with a local friend but at least got to touch base so we both know we miss each other, and that's in the last 12-24 hours. I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting. 

 

 

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I'm really trying to get my head around just not using a phone or other communication device. Even before cell phones we used regular phones a lot. Before that, mail I imagine :)

 

Just off the top of my head I've called my son today to ask him to be ready and waiting outside when I got home with groceries so he could help me (wanted to give him warning so he wasn't in the middle of cooking lunch or something), talked about editing a book with a friend, discussed labor signs with another friend who is very pregnant, looked up where the nearest restaurants were to the garden tour we were at, took photos of my son handling a red tailed hawk at that even, checked the menu of the restaurant to be sure there were things there we could all eat, talked to my sister to explain how the local ropes course works and to assure her yes, my daughter did like it and I bet her's will too, looked up a recipe at the store to find one that would work with an ingredient I found on sale, tried (and failed) to set up a get together with a local friend but at least got to touch base so we both know we miss each other, and that's in the last 12-24 hours. I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting.

I think the thing for me is...communication is good. It nearly always is. But the content of the communication, isn’t always good. Communicating inappropriate images of kids, bad. Communicating images of criminal activity, bad.

 

And, as I said in a previous thread, the method of communication can change the content. Communicating child p*** is bad. Communicating child p*** faster and easier is very bad. The method of communicating child p*** can make communicating is faster and easier, therefore, the method can make the communication worse.

 

Now, child p*** is really just the example. In reality, internet, social media, apps, all of that and more, can be very bad. It can also be very good. Collective knowledge can be a great thing. We, as parent have to prep our children to handle the collective.....and that prep depends on the kids.

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I'm really trying to get my head around just not using a phone or other communication device. Even before cell phones we used regular phones a lot. Before that, mail I imagine :)

 

Just off the top of my head I've called my son today to ask him to be ready and waiting outside when I got home with groceries so he could help me (wanted to give him warning so he wasn't in the middle of cooking lunch or something), talked about editing a book with a friend, discussed labor signs with another friend who is very pregnant, looked up where the nearest restaurants were to the garden tour we were at, took photos of my son handling a red tailed hawk at that even, checked the menu of the restaurant to be sure there were things there we could all eat, talked to my sister to explain how the local ropes course works and to assure her yes, my daughter did like it and I bet her's will too, looked up a recipe at the store to find one that would work with an ingredient I found on sale, tried (and failed) to set up a get together with a local friend but at least got to touch base so we both know we miss each other, and that's in the last 12-24 hours. I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting. 

 

Some of us are more introverted I think :)  The people I have regular contact with, I am physically with all day long.  I don't call my sister or my mother or my friends or my kids or my husband.  I do look things up on the internet, though - on a desktop.  I appreciate the freedom of information that the internet provides, but my kids don't really need it much, or use it to find information - the information they need is largely information I have.  But mine are smallish, the oldest is 12.  None of the 9 and under crowd needs the internet for anything at all, really.  The 12 year old uses it for her online Latin class and it's been great for her but if there were local options she'd be fine.  She gets recipes from cookbooks at home; we don't go out to eat so we don't read menus; I don't take a lot of photos of the kids (or really any at all, except on vacation a couple of times a year, and for those we use disposable cameras and get the film developed at wal-mart).  

 

I dunno, people are just different I guess.

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I'm really trying to get my head around just not using a phone or other communication device. Even before cell phones we used regular phones a lot. Before that, mail I imagine :)

 

Just off the top of my head I've called my son today to ask him to be ready and waiting outside when I got home with groceries so he could help me (wanted to give him warning so he wasn't in the middle of cooking lunch or something), talked about editing a book with a friend, discussed labor signs with another friend who is very pregnant, looked up where the nearest restaurants were to the garden tour we were at, took photos of my son handling a red tailed hawk at that even, checked the menu of the restaurant to be sure there were things there we could all eat, talked to my sister to explain how the local ropes course works and to assure her yes, my daughter did like it and I bet her's will too, looked up a recipe at the store to find one that would work with an ingredient I found on sale, tried (and failed) to set up a get together with a local friend but at least got to touch base so we both know we miss each other, and that's in the last 12-24 hours. I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting. 

 

I am very introverted.  I live with the people I communicate with most (all of them are introverted).  I don't talk to too many people outside of the internet.  I talk to people every day...on the internet.  I talk to people here, other message boards, Facebook, and e-mail. 

 

I have about 10,000 hobbies and pretty much all of them are solitary.  So it's not like I have no life and nobody needs to feel sorry for me that I don't have a lot of friends.  I'm busy all the time.  Today I did gee like 100 things.  In between all the stuff, I pop on-line and chat with people.  Like right now. 

 

I enjoy this mode of communication most. 

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I’m on my phone a lot. I’m on my phone right now. I don’t really care if strangers think that I am on it too much. It keeps me occupied during “time confetti “. So I am often on it in places like waiting rooms. I am also on it in the grocery store where I am looking up ingredients for a recipe. Or I am looking at my list. I text my Fitbit group to cheer them on for our daily challenges. A couple of WTMers and I text throughout the day daily.

 

I have healthy relationships with friends and family. Today we went out to eat after church. There were times when all four of us were on our phones. We showed each other funny things. We also had conversations. And we had moments when we weren’t focused on each other. It was all good.

 

 

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Yeah I hate talking on the phone.  I talk to my dad, but mostly because I have zero choice because he does not live nearby.  We wait about 3 weeks in between calls because otherwise it would be dead air between the two of us.  He's the same way so he understands.

 

I have no other family.

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