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To Take All My Sons Tech Away?

(25 Posts)
Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 17:06:13

DS who just turned 12 got a laptop from my father for Christmas. A fairly expensive present that he gulped a bit about when my EW told him that's what DS wanted. Laptop is presently not usable.
I've spent all day trying to get past extremely stubborn and obstructive Malware to make it possible to rescue personal files before I do a total Windows re-install. He came to me a few weeks ago to say that it wouldn't start up. I found that it was starting but the LCD screen was shattered, probably from being mishandled. The laptop barely boots up now and then every little action, click or command takes minutes to have effect, most freeze it completely. I am competent enough to fix it myself - If I can get into the bloody thing! He had started playing RoBlox on it, going online with a friend in the evenings and downloading some dubious apps from what I can see. I think that's where the Virus or Malware has come from.
I have now seen his browsing history and am not a happy man. I had a word about inappropriate images I found on it a few months ago and it looks like he's looking at the same graphic comic stuff on his tablet some shadowy arty-type websites (Deviantart). NSFW or school stuff for sure, not exactly sure where he got the link from - an older girl he had a crush on, I think. Not age-appropriate either.
I'm angry that he ignored me and that he hasn't respected the present he was given. We won the tablet in a raffle and I allowed him sole use of it.
Only Gilles Peterson Funk & Soul show on BBC Radio 6 Music keeping me sane this evening!
AIBU to take all tech off him and only allow return under stricter rules?

ElspethFlashman Sat 23-Jul-16 17:13:21

Well I'd definitely take it off him as he's ruined the bloody thing.

However I'm not sure what stricter rules you could apply. Would parental controls even block Deviantart stuff? I suppose you could try to block it manually. It sounds like he's getting fairly deep in there so you'd have to manually block 4chan and Reddit and places like that too. And let's not forget the dodgy stuff you can find on Tumblr. And God let's not even get into the whole Hentai area which is basically porny cartoons.

Basically it's either block everything you can think of, or don't give it back.

Problem is he'll certainty then start going round his mates houses more to look at the stuff they've found. Hard to know.

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 17:27:14

I got into a bit of a cyber-battle with my EP's DS when he was this age. If I set up a block (K9 -type security) he'd try and find a surreptitious way round it and get angry with me if I directly told him to stop it. His AS didn't help in that situation and God knows what happened after his Mum & I split, she had no clue with the tech stuff and left it to me. My DS has searched for the dreaded Hentai. I've asked him not to and to think what his grandparents would think of their gift being used this way and how friends would react if they saw what he's saving.
He's a sensitive person and has only relatively recently come to live with me full time so I'm wary of driving his use further underground and upsetting him too much.

malin100 Sat 23-Jul-16 17:31:59

I'd certainly take it off him - looks like he can't be trusted. If I ever gave it back to him, it would be on the basis that my computer use was when I lived with my parents - only used where the screen can be seen by the parents. In our case it was easy to enforce as it was a desktop, but you could give him supervised use of it for school work etc to start, then for social media etc, but he has to stay in the living room or wherever where you could see if you walked past so no hiding stuff, and it's returned to you afterwards. I'd then build it up from there if he respected that for at least a few months. If he still didn't seem mature enough to respect the rules, I'd stay on that basis for longer. (The tablet would come off him as well or he'd just be using that instead). He needs to remember it's a privilege, not an entitlement.

NellyMelly Sat 23-Jul-16 17:33:00

You need a week of no wifi - say it's broken and let him go through the no internet experience. When the wifi is 'fixed' then let him back on but with him promising to be responsible. Do your checks and see if this holds. If not then no wifi at all.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-Jul-16 17:35:58

Hold on. He's getting dodgy age-inappropriate stuff sent to him by an older girl. How old and how inappropriate?

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 17:42:51

Malin100 I totally agree that it's a privilege and not an entitlement, but it plays a bigger part in their lives than it did in ours and removal's not a step to be taken lightly. I'm definitely leaning to this action though...

NellyMelly Could work but it may need a longer "soak" to let the lesson take effect. My use of Wifi's pretty all-encompassing so switching it off will affect both of us for the duration. Saying that, I don't need the internet for work at home so I probably just need to man up!

FretYeNotAllIsShiny Sat 23-Jul-16 17:47:10

Could you insist the laptop is used in the living room only, so you can keep an eye on the screen (or say the screen is buggered and connect it to a monitor in the lounge?). Hopefully parental presence will curb the inappropriate googling.

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 17:49:26

MrsTerry I think she's a year above DS. Graphic Comic(SheVenom)/Hentai type of images. Not HCP. She may have told him a link, she hasn't sent him anything directly. You still wouldn't want your 12-14 DS or DD saving it on their laptop [cringe]shock

NellyMelly Sat 23-Jul-16 17:49:43

No wifi would be tough, but if he saw that it just didn't effect you and you didn't care on the wifi in that you were only going to fix it when you had the time - he might think to take the responsibility of using it. You could say - I don't agree with what you are looking at online so I will only be fixing the wifi when I have the time and that might be next week or the one after. You then continue as normal and look like you don't care on this 'minor' annoyance smile I bet he agrees to follow your rules about being on line right there and then.

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 17:52:59

Fretyenot The laptops screen's trashed, can only use it through an HDMI cable to a TV so that device isn't going out of the main rooms. Thinking I need to make the tablet a living/dining room-only use now. As ElspethFlashman pointed out above, the problem may then be that he just does it at mates houses instead, Driving it underground and completely out of my supervision sad

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 17:53:31

When you let him back on, if you think it' a good idea to block things, you could get him a mobile plan without data and block sites at router level, which is harder to get round (unless you use a proxy?). Or just block his devices from the router.

londonmummy1966 Sat 23-Jul-16 17:58:10

YANBU - access to IT is not a right but a privilege that is earned by not abusing it - if they overstep the boundaries they need to be reined in. Good for you OP. Be prepared for a lot of bad temper and bad behaviour - and perhaps offer a carrot - read a couple of books during the ban and you can have a treat/ extra pocket money for making more constructive use of your time? I do speak from bitter experience though as DD1 was misbehaving at school so I took her ipad , phone and laptop away. She could have laptop back for homework - done in the kitchen. I also went to Currys and bought a "brick" phone. Assistant thought it was hilarious when I said I wanted the worst phone they'd got as a punishment. Misbehaviour disappeared over night but I made her do 2 weeks (and she was grounded). My life was pretty miserable for most of that time. It worked thought - just the threat of it is usually enough to nip her nonsense in the bud these days.

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 17:59:27

On Windows 10, set yourself up as administrator account and give him a child account, which should be sufficiently embarrassing for him, and heavily restrict permissions.

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 18:00:21

@AYD2MI I've been trying to explore my Router's blocking software while waiting for laptop to respond. There doesn't seem to be any local parental control options so I need to contact my B/band company to activate some settings for it.

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:03:30

It should be under domain blocking?

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 18:06:08

AYD2 The Win 10 laptop's not going to be an issue as much as the Android tablet, that hardly works without a personal Google account , I can't run that on my logon.
LondonMummy I can see DS & I having a bit of evening bonding time again with some favourite board/card games and a re-reading of Harry Potter. He's more likely to be upset and sad emotionally rather than angry - I hope!
Now have Craig Charles' radio show to cheer me up smile

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:16:46

You can still set up restricted user accounts on Android, and should be able to lock it down pretty severely, with strict content filtering (but sure it would cover deviantart, but if you can find out how to block the domain in the router, that shouldn't be a problem) - depending on the version.

The trouble is that setting up all the restrictions and blocks in the world won't make him trustworthy.

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 18:17:18

Screenshot attached of my "Parental Controls" no Domain Block option unfortunately.

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:17:52

NOT sure it would cover deviantart!

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:20:28

According to Google search you can do address based filtering but it isn't perfect (someone says it doesn't cover https sites (confused).

Pilotguy Sat 23-Jul-16 18:23:24

I think we'll have some tea then have a strong talk to him about it, then I'll block his tablet until I can lock it down and see where that takes us! Entertainment this evening will a board game he asked me to play with him earlier with a bit of TV thrown in.

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:24:56

Or you could change your DNS server to something restricted like this although that will mean you can't look at adult content either(!), like with domain blocking (unless you want to faff around with changing the router settings every time you want to look at adult content).

Hope your router at least supports that! This guy isn't too impressed by the model you have!

AYD2MITalkTalk Sat 23-Jul-16 18:26:30

I think TBH strong talk and board games is the way to go grin (tho I don't have kids so have no idea of the practicalities and of the lessons you want to teach, obviously). But I just wanted to mention some options. Good luck smile

malin100 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:30:54

Re the WiFi, you could also just change the password on it so you can use it when you need/want to but his devices will no longer work on it until you give that privilege back (or "fix" it).

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