When are parents gonna start raising their own kids?

(44 Posts)
TheOnlyNemesis Thu 28-Jul-11 21:13:47

Now, i'm not gonna lie, i'm a 20 year old and not a parent but i have some questions i want some answers for.

First i am sick of reading in the news parents wanting this that and the other done on the internet to help protect their kids. I understand we need to help protect kids but why do most parents expect others to do it for them. You always read that they want facebook to change this or google to add this, why can't you raise your own children, there are more than enough child filters out there, both server side and client side. Why aren't you buying one of these filters and installing it instead of expecting other people to filter it for you?

Second thing annoying me is video games. Everytime there is a new violent video game or shooting in a country the blame always points to the video game industry. Now i own an xbox and in 30 seconds you can set a parental filter to only allow your child to play games they are old enough for. I have read other posts on this forum about Black ops and people are saying i think 13, 14, 15 is old enough to play it...NO, the game is rated 18, unless your child is 18 they should not be playing it. I am sick of being on xbox live and having to listen to some high pitched kid playing an 18 rated game, why can't parents seem to follow this very simple LAW?

So in general why are parents always looking at others to blame for thier own failings in raising their children?

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 21:17:01

At the start, I was going to post something sarcastic; but found I couldn't agree more with your second point.

Thingsfallapart Thu 28-Jul-11 21:30:23

Because alot of us parents were not bought up with the internet or games consoles, often children understand them better than their parents.

There is also a lot more to parenting than parental controls.

Jux Thu 28-Jul-11 21:30:54

Thought I was going to say something rude too, or at least give you a biscuit, but I too found myself agreeing.

TheCrackFox Thu 28-Jul-11 21:38:09

You have a point.

You can also set time limits for the computer as well which I find very handy. If only I knew how to set time limits on the TV.

I am pretty strict about age guidelines regarding computer games but TBH nobody else around here seems to bother which makes me, sometimes, the most unpopular mother on the planet.

TheOnlyNemesis Thu 28-Jul-11 21:41:48

@Thingsfallapart I understand your point but a lot of these tools are set up with as friendly a layout as they can and come with extensive guides on how to set them up, as i said the one on xbox can be set up in 1 minute and you can ban games with ratings, content on xbox live, voice chat, messaging and kinect video.

I agree that there is more to parenting than just parental controls but having set one up allows you to control the content instead of relying on someone else to control the content.

Portofino Thu 28-Jul-11 21:50:40

It's a fair point. I work for a technology company but am 42 and struggle to keep up. When I was my dd's age I think they had just invented those LED calculators and it was a highlight to type some numbers, turn it upside down and realise you had written "BOOBLESS" <<titters>>

My 7 yo is a whizz with the iPod touch, DS, Wii and digital tv and internet. Even at 12, I never mastered the Atari, and at 23 struggled with Sonic the Hedgehog. It is a whole different world these days. I completely understand that there are parents who probably have NO CLUE what is available these days. We need to get more switched on.

TheCrackFox Thu 28-Jul-11 21:54:33

Actually I do have a lot of sympathy for parents who are struggling with all this technology but most of them probably know someone who is quite savvy with all this stuff and could be persuaded to help.

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 21:56:06

Yes - once you're out of your depth, borrow a teenager!

Thingsfallapart Thu 28-Jul-11 22:04:56

I realise that and personally don't find it difficult, and don't let my 12 year old access any inappropriate content. Though he assures me that he is the ONLY person in his class not allowed to play Black Ops.

But I think it looks easy when you know how IYSWIM. My Mum for example would have a panic attack if I asked her to have anything to do with an Xbox, and shes not that old.

I think its a joint responsibility between parents and industry.

TheOnlyNemesis Thu 28-Jul-11 22:09:59

I feel industy is always used as a scapegoat. It does need to be a partnership but the industyr has done it's best by making the filters have a very basic interface and simple commands. As stated before, nearly everyone will know someone who is confident with computers, for me practically every family member rings me when their computer breaks and also my cousin calls me for help with her filter. the industry has done all that it can to help parents minus setting it up for them but this isn't viable as more consoles/pc's need to be sold without filters than with

PirateDinosaur Thu 28-Jul-11 22:17:44

You have a point, but by and large an average intelligent teenager is going to be able to be one step ahead of average intelligent parents where technology is concerned (for example, I'm reasonably technology-literate, but I'm not sure how I would use a server-side (as opposed to client-side) child filter as referenced in your OP; and by the time I am old enough to have teenagers <wilfully ignoring fact that I am manifestly old enough to have teenagers, I just don't grin> I shall probably be further out of touch). And while there are extensive guides available for parents on how to set up parental controls there are also extensive guides available for teenagers on how to circumvent them.

Also, do you think that your parents' "raising" of you should extend to standing over you every moment of every day, or perhaps just never letting you out of the house? Because there are an awful lot of computers out there, and generally it's only the one in the family home that the parents have any control over. Unless they can guarantee that every computer in every home you enter, and every mobile phone accessed by you and every one of your friends and associates, is thoroughly locked down, then parental controls on the home PC are not going to make a whole heap of difference. If you've been lurking on MN for a while you'll probably have seen all the threads where a child has been shown porn on a friend's mobile, or gone to a friend's house and been shown an 18 movie with the full support of the other parents who see nothing wrong with it.

And there isn't, actually, a law saying that an under-18 can't be allowed to play an 18 game. They can't buy it, and I entirely agree with you that they shouldn't be playing it, but there's no law against playing it.

To an extent I am quibbling, though. Your general point I agree with -- that parents should take some responsibility for what their children can access in their own home and should try to instil solid values that give the children the right attitude to accessing it outside. But at the same time, teenagers are often... resistant to attempts to instil parental values (you clearly recognise this yourself or there wouldn't be much of a need for the filters you advocate).

PirateDinosaur Thu 28-Jul-11 22:21:04

Re my first point: you are 20, so only just out of your teens yourself, and (as per your post of 22:09) you know more about computers and child filters than any other family member you know . Three years ago, if you'd deliberately and determinedly set out to get around your parents' child filter, would you have put your money on yourself or on them to come out ahead?

usualsuspect Thu 28-Jul-11 22:26:25

I think my DS at 14/15 could quite easily have got round any filters that were in place

I felt it was more important to teach him how to stay safe on the internet

Portofino Thu 28-Jul-11 22:26:47

Actually, thinking about it, it is also illegal to buy drinks, cigarettes and have sex under the age of 16/18 but my friends and I managed to circumvent that one without getting caught. Teenagers will do what they will do. The ONLY answer is to put controls in place in your house and hope you have instilled enough of the correct values that they will resist elsewhere.

Of course, there are many parents that don't give a fuck.

Acekicker Mon 01-Aug-11 15:25:10

I absolutely agree with Portofino, especially the post at 22:26.

The trouble in part is that a lot of the time those who grab the 'soundbites' on this kind of thing are amongst the worst informed - see eg here which is slightly at a tangent but I'd put it in the same kind of category. Actually having dug out that thread now I'm wondering where Helen Goodman MP is...presumably because we didn't fall over ourselves to cheer 'hurrah for helping us poor feeble mums out with this difficult technology' she scuttled away...

If half the effort was devoted to educating parents that currently goes on these roundtables, forums and lobbying then the parents would be a lot better informed and thus able to do the two things which are really needed: 1) put in effective controls at home 2) understand the risks and educate their children appropriately.

TheOnlyNemesis Thu 04-Aug-11 14:37:46

@PirateDinosaur you say

"And there isn't, actually, a law saying that an under-18 can't be allowed to play an 18 game. They can't buy it, and I entirely agree with you that they shouldn't be playing it, but there's no law against playing it."

But, i'd like to point out that if you go into the home of a 14 year old and ask him who owns that copy of Call Of Duty: Black Ops, his response would be i do. It is illegal to buy 18 rated games for anyone under the age of 18 now as parents buy these games for their children that means they are breaking the law.

The same applies to Portofino and about cigarettes, kids can't buy 18 rated games and so in order to get them they need others, weather that is a parent or relative or friend they still need someone else and that someone else should be saying no. I have watched parents buying children games not meant for them and when i raise it with them, they take it as some big insult to their parenting that a 20 year old is criticising them.

colditz Thu 04-Aug-11 14:42:48

You're 20.

You have grown up with the internet, and you have grown up with games consoles, and you have grown up with mobile phones. They are normal to you.

I was 9 before I ever saw acomputer.

I was 14 before I touched one.

I was 23 before I know how to switch one on.

I was 19 when I got my first mobile phone.

And I'm 31, relatively young to have children who want 18 rated games and to platy on the internet.

Most people with children that age will now be in their late 30s, and 40s.

I agree with your points, but you have to remember that you got taught ICT at school. Nobody older than me did.

PirateDinosaur Thu 04-Aug-11 15:54:57

"It is illegal to buy 18 rated games for anyone under the age of 18 now as parents buy these games for their children that means they are breaking the law."

Do you have a reference for that? The Video Recordings Act 1984 states that if a supply is neither for reward nor related to a business then it's exempt, which would cover "supply" by a parent to a child (or by one friend to another). Has there been subsequent legislation that changes that?

And teenagers don't need "someone else" to buy cigarettes, alcohol or video games for them. I was a very virtuous and non-troublemaking teenager and I certainly went to plenty of parties where the oldest-looking teenager there went out to the off-licence (sometimes after a few others had tried and been rebuffed on age grounds, but there was never a case where no one managed to buy alcohol), and others where plenty of people were getting served under-age at bars. And this was with shop owners/bartenders who were at least trying to be scrupulous and turn away those who were obviously underage, whereas there are plenty who aren't and less-virtuous teenagers know precisely who they are (my MIL works with trading standards on this and it's one of her bugbears). It's possible that buying video games underage is vastly more difficult than buying alcohol underage, but that seems unlikely. Yes, still someone somewhere is doing something illegal/that they shouldn't be, but it's quite possible to be a shop assistant rather than a parent.

One of the scary things about being a parent is bringing your child up, holding their hands crossing the road, cutting up grapes in case they choke, insisting on "please" and "thank you" and washing hands, while realising that as soon as they start to acquire independence and go out into the world you have very little control over what they do and are just one of a whole range of competing influences. You can hope that you have struck the right tone throughout their early childhood to set them up to make the right choices (and are lucky enough to have a child who doesn't feel the need to consciously rebel against that for a few years), but you have no guarantees.

(coldit, I am in my late 30s and did do ICT at school (although it was "computer studies" then) -- but only for a year and it consisted of being told about punch tape and writing BASIC programs that said 10 PRINT "HELLO" / 20 GOTO 10, so your basic point stands)

TheOnlyNemesis Thu 04-Aug-11 17:20:26

Where you are right most games are classified by the PEGI system which is not a legal requirement but actually a guideline, some games are so violent that instead they are classified by the BBFC, the same people that rate DVD's, this classification is a legal requirement.

There is a European-wide voluntary rating system in operation for video games that do not need to be classified. This is called the PEGI system and it is administered in the UK by the Video Standards Council, that is the non legal system.

Here is black ops no the BBFC


and here is the law regarding young people

It is an offence to supply a classified DVD or videogame to someone who is below the age specified in the classification.

TheOnlyNemesis Thu 04-Aug-11 17:29:15

On an extra note, here is it from the legal documents.

Offences, Defences & Penalties:

Sections 9 - 15 0f the Act

The offences established by the Act relate to the illegal supply of video recordings of video works. There are certain circumstances which do not constitute an offence under the Act, such as supplies not in the course of business and exports (see the section dealing with exempt supplies) but generally the following offences are created by the Act:

1. Supplying or offering to supply an uncertificated video or game.
2. Possessing an uncertificated video or game for the purpose of supply.
3. Supplying or offering to supply a video or game to a person below the age specified in its classification.
4. Supplying or offering to supply a "Restricted 18" video or game on premises other than a licensed sex shop.
5. Supplying or offering to supply a video or game which is not labelled with its classification in accordance with the regulations (eg. symbol does not appear in colour).
6. Supplying or offering to supply a falsely labelled video or game (eg. where a work which has an 18 classification is labelled as 15).

Conviction on the first two of these offences, which are regarded as more serious than the others, can result in the imposition of unlimited fines and imprisonment for up to two years. For the fifth offence it can result in a fine of up to £5,000. On all the others the penalty is a fine of up to £5,000 and imprisonment for up to six months. The penalties were significantly increased by the 1994 Act.

The Act provides the authorities with special powers of search, seizure and arrest. The videos or games in respect of which anyone is convicted under the Act and other associated illicit videos or games are liable to forfeiture.

It is a defence to a prosecution if the video or game is exempt from classification (see section 2 of the Act) or the supply is an exempted supply (see section 3). Beyond this there are certain other defences.

It is a defence to a prosecution for supplying an age-restricted title (those currently granted a 12, 15 or 18 classification) if the accused did not know or believe that the title was an age-restricted title or did not know or believe that the person to whom the title had been supplied had not attained the specified age. The 1993 Act amended the 1984 Act (sub-section 14A) and provided for the defence of 'due diligence' to become available in prosecutions. In effect this defence means that the courts can recognise efforts made to comply with the law even though a mistake may have been made. The amendment became law in September 1993.

PirateDinosaur Thu 04-Aug-11 18:25:24

No, where I am right is that the supply of an age-restricted game by a parent to a child under the specified age will generally not be an offence.

As your own cut-and-paste says, There are certain circumstances which do not constitute an offence under the Act, such as supplies not in the course of business and exports

which is what I said -- under section 3(2) of the Act supply that is not "for reward" or "in the course or furtherance of a business" is specifically exempted. So a parent giving a game to a child, so long as not for reward or in the course or furtherance of a business, is not an offence. It's likely to be a bloody stupid idea, and it's not exactly responsible parenting, but it's not an offence.

That's entirely separate from the PEGI/BBFC point (less relevant anyway as it strikes me that a lot of games are getting BBFC rather than PEGI certification now anyway, although that's just an impression).

NormanTebbit Thu 04-Aug-11 18:33:41

Did anyone have The School Computer? We were allowed to look Nd sometimes push a button at primary school. I learnt MS Dos at school. I was 25 when someone in my office got a mobile. I remember company concern over whether to get email. I remember Netscape's interminable dial-ups using a phone line meaning no one could phone you.

Op I'm with you. But most parents don't know where to begin.

HerdOfTinyElephants Thu 04-Aug-11 18:41:19

I met DH just as I turned 24 and he was literally the only person I knew with a mobile phone (he had it for work). Oh, and I can remember getting Mosaic on the computers at work in around 1995 and how incredibly exciting that was (actually, plain-text email on mainframes in the early 90s had been pretty darn exciting, but Mosaic was pretty too...)

scaryfairy28 Sun 07-Aug-11 13:00:49

If you can use mumsnet you can keep your kids safe! http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ if you ever think you don't need to try and keep up with your kids watch the think you know ceop video.

aquos Sun 07-Aug-11 13:16:58

I remember being at High school and Ceefax being introduced. We were led into a darkened room off the library to witness this technological wonder. I was 29 before I personally knew anyone who had a mobile phone (size of a house brick it was).

Anyway despite my great age (or perhaps because of it) I am quite strict with my kids and technology. Age 10 and 11 they had their first mobiles this summer, bog standard mobile for calls and texts only. They have a Wii and a PS and I limit them to an hours play a day. They have no age inappropriate games. They have no computer or Internet access at home, we own a computer but it is 10 years old and so slow I think it must be steam powered.

So I think that makes me a parent that raises my own kids technology wise. But it doesn't stop my dd going to the park and spending time with her 11 yo friend on her friends phone surfing the Internet, You Tube and Facebook. It doesn't stop my ds from going to his friends house and playing cop killing games on the Xbox. Unless you are prepared to lock your kids up and not let them out of your sight, I am finding it is a losing battle. But I personally will not be part of it.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 08-Aug-11 11:41:38

So, scaryfairy, if you can use a simple text-based messaging system on your home PC you can keep your children safe on any computer or mobile device, belonging to anyone, anywhere in the world, even if they are technology whizzes and trying to evade your restrictions?

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 08-Aug-11 11:45:51

(And that's before even considering the number of MN posters who cheerfully say "oh, I can never get the hang of links". Getting the hang of links, let's remember, involves either taking off the http:// and putting double square brackets round it (following the simple instructions right underneath the message box) or ticking the "Convert links automatically" box.)

TheOnlyNemesis Mon 08-Aug-11 15:51:30

As said above most parents aren't quite as bad people think but back to the point as we have gone a little off topic.

An 18 rated game isn't technical at all, it is a plastic case with a disc inside, so why are parents still allowing them to have the game, they have to know they are playing it so why not just take the game off them?

TheOnlyNemesis Mon 08-Aug-11 15:54:12

And people saying about other parents etc. Yes you can't stop them from doing that but you can talk to the other parent or limit their exposure at home in the environment you do control. You all seem to be mentioning other kids can do it with my child like that is the reason why you don't do it at your own home. Your child getting an hour at a friends house is still not as bad as getting 5 hours in your home.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 08-Aug-11 16:02:49

I think you are misunderstanding. We are all saying (at least, I think we are all saying) that we don't allow it in our own home, but that we are aware that our own home isn't the start and end of what children can access. That's why (a) sometimes some parents get uptight about material being easily available at all (very recent thread as an example -- a seven-year-old was shown clips of a horror film on YouTube by another child at a council-run play club) and (b) you are still going to get "high pitched kids" interfering with your precious xbox live sessions.

heliz Fri 02-Mar-12 18:32:53

I think there is only a certain amount of contol a parent can have over content that is viewed by their children. Especially as children get older, they have other options than computers at home to access inapropriate material.

I know when I was growing up (i am 23) it was extremly easy to access things that shouldnt have been as not all parents were strict or even knew of the dangers of the internet etc.

I do agree with most of what the OP says but i dont beleive that it is realistic to assume that ALL parents know how to use filters and that their children wont figure out how to get past them if they are used.

As for 18 rated games, I totally agree that children under 18 should not be able to play these games. Many children will play these games at their friends houses which you have no control over. IMO 1 hour is just as bad as 5 hours if something is inapropriate once you have seen and experienced the violence of some of these games not to mention the bad language used over xbox live and such. But then dont beleive that teenagers will only spend 1 hour on a game even if it is at their friends house. How do parents know what their children are up to while out of their sight?

Joiningthegang Mon 30-Apr-12 23:24:39

Ahhhhh always lovely to have a 20 year old lecturing.

Would love to see the long list of things "my kids will never do...", everyone with children has had one!

FoofyShmooffer Mon 30-Apr-12 23:33:19

I agree whole heatedly with your first and subsequent few post.

You're hectoring now. What more do you want? Everybody has informed you what they do. As nobody can speak for all parents as an entire group what do you want?

FoofyShmooffer Mon 30-Apr-12 23:33:49

FFS. heartedly

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 30-Apr-12 23:36:16

Aaaaargh Zombie thread!!!!

<<hands OFRS out>>


FoofyShmooffer Tue 01-May-12 00:11:50


Emmielu Tue 08-May-12 06:52:57

Ok op. How much will it cost to get maximum protection on pc's? Not all parents are rich. Some parents allow their kids to play black ops. Since you don't have children you will never realise how other parents will react to a comment such as: "you do realise that's an 18 & your child is only 10?" parent would feel either ashamed, angry you said that, think you wrap your kid in cotton wool or be worried social services will be called.

I'm a 20 year old mother with a 5 year old child. Until you have kids you'll never understand how confusing it can be & frustrating to do what's best to make your child happy & safe but not get nasty comments from others.

TheOldestCat Tue 08-May-12 07:04:04

I think you've spotted a niche oportunity, OP.

Technilogical illiterates could hire you to set up child controls on their computers, give internet safety advice etc. I have no idea about computer games as DH has banned them forever from the house (fine now the DC are 5 and 2 but I see trouble ahead!).

sashh Tue 08-May-12 07:12:24

What an arogant little sod you are. Parentling is about much more than games and you not hearing squeaky voices.

Yes you read those things, but how many of them are true? About as many that say people your age are lazy arrogant twits.

Go away and grow up a bit.

12thmonkey Mon 14-May-12 14:20:13

First time poster long time reader grin

I think the original posters frustration has respectable foundation. Many parents do not understand technology probably because they do not have the time to understand it and are not exposed to it daily and all they see is their kids lives being taken over by something they have little understanding of. So most parents , justifiably so, make a war cry to have the 'internet companies' better police themselves for the sake of their kids.

There are laws to make sure these companies behave but they are private and ultimately about the money they can make from your kids. So they will do what they can to keep the 'law' happy and make cash. The same goes with real world stores like the well known fast food chains for example.

There are some who will not be happy to hear this but its up to parents to do this policing themselves. Its obvious what sites like Facebook are about and how much information Google will keep on you or the type of videos that are available on you tube or how violent call of duty is. But this is the way of the world now. Mobile telecoms and quasi - virtual existence is the norm. If you do not embrace it will leave you behind, and this is where most parents will fall down.

Its not unknown that your ability to learn through play diminishes as you get older and this i "just dont understand this technology" fear stems from this. A child will button bash a pc or game controler just to see what happens, an older parent will fearfully push a single button wait and probably be glad nothing has does happen. As parents you have to let go of this. You cannot purchase a games console or a computer / hand held device then hand it over to your kids and wonder what they are doing or how its affecting them. If you are not tech savvy sit with them and make them show you how it works, even play a game yourself, but the less you understand about these things the more harm you believe them to be doing. A little understanding can go a long way.

I think its a shame that mumsnet does not have a dedicated technology section.

Carrymecarrie Tue 15-May-12 15:10:26

The problem is with games is if they don't have it at home then they go to a mates house and play it. My son is 13 and I put a ban on 18 games, that was until I realised he was going out to play it every day after school at one of his many friends houses. I can't stop what goes on in their house and no matter how much I told him it made no difference.
I don't much like being told off by a 20 year old that hasn't thought her opinions through properly.
It's not easy keeping these things from them you know, especially when they are so heavily targeted by the companies that make them.
I set parental controls on his iPod too, but it only blocked rated websites. What happens when a site isn't rated? Then he can access it, how is THAT a parents fault?
I only let him save and buy one under the condition he is responsible and he gets checked up on, as with the laptop which also has parental control. These unrated sites continue to let us down and puts our kids at risk.
Please don't lecture me!

mysweetie Sun 03-Mar-13 11:24:55

I also agree with this post :D

lljkk Sun 03-Mar-13 11:57:59


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