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Monitoring use of internet

(20 Posts)
Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 09:37:25

Hi,

I'm new to all of this! Having prematurely congratulated myself on doing a ( fairly) good job of bringing up my 2 boys, my eldest has now hit 13! Any thoughts that I had on them needing me more as pre school children have been dispelled ... Preschool was nothing compared to teens and we're only just getting started!

I just wonder how/if other parents keep tabs on their kids' use of social media and game related chat?

My 13 yr old is reasonably sensible and level-headed, or so I thought. However, during the past few months we've had issues with his use of Instagram where he had had a fall out with some friends and ended up using some foul language (I know kids are kids but it was the c-word on this occasion, which is a complete no no in my book). It was actually another parent who let me know, so I sat my son down and we had a talk about it, he knew what he'd done was totally wrong and we deleted Instagram until I felt he could use it responsibly.

Yesterday I needed the I-pad for something and Clash of Clans chat happened to be up, and there were again, some comments that he'd written which were completely inappropriate. Silly and highly immature, but inappropriate.

I was cross and deleted all the clash of clan, boom beach etc games from the I-psd and asked him to unlock his I-pod as my intention was to delete the games from it as well. He refused and burst into tears, this continued for the next 10 minutes with him still refusing to put the code in to unlock it. He was sobbing that there was nothing in it, and that he'd just been joking about with his friends.

The upshot is, the I-pod remains locked, he refuses to open it and now I'm completely worried about what on earth is on it. I've taken it off him along with his phone and have grounded him 'for the rest of the holidays' ( yes, who knows how I'm going to see that one through but I was furious!!) I told him (whilst still furious!) I'm going to take his I-pod to the apple shop for them to access it.

Now I've slept on it and calmed down, really I just want him to open it and delete the game apps and then take the pass code off it so I can check it from time to time. However, I also feel I now can't trust him and the fact he would rather face the consequences of not showing me what's on there rather than doing it makes me worry what he's been saying/doing?

Any thoughts would be really appreciated!! confusedhmm

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 09:51:19

*I was cross and deleted all the clash of clan, boom beach etc games from the I-psd and asked him to unlock his I-pod as my intention was to delete the games from it as well. He refused and burst into tears, this continued for the next 10 minutes with him still refusing to put the code in to unlock it. He was sobbing that there was nothing in it, and that he'd just been joking about with his friends.

The upshot is, the I-pod remains locked, he refuses to open it and now I'm completely worried about what on earth is on it. I've taken it off him along with his phone and have grounded him 'for the rest of the holidays' ( yes, who knows how I'm going to see that one through but I was furious!!) I told him (whilst still furious!) I'm going to take his I-pod to the apple shop for them to access it.*

All this because he wrote the word cunt!

Massive overreaction IMO. You sound extremely controlling.

INeedAnEspresso Tue 09-Aug-16 10:05:05

I agree a massive overreaction.

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 10:50:47

I completely agree that I over reacted but I'm certainly not controlling!! I've just always said to my kids that if they wouldn't say it to someone's face then don't write it in a message because once it's out there then there's no taking it back. I think I was just disappointed in him.

However, I stick by the fact that I don't expect him to use certain words, whether spoken or written in a message and that would be one of the few words that I wouldn't want him to be using.

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 10:57:51

I'm sorry but if you really think that a 13 year old boy doesn't swear when he is with his friends you are wrong. Mine didn't swear in front of me or other adults out of respect but they certainly did with their friends. You cannot control what he says when he is with his friends.

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 11:25:50

I don't have an issue him swearing with his friends and I've always said that to him, there's a time and a place and it's about being mature enough to make that judgement. It's more that it's very easy for him to dig himself into a hole when making comments online that he wouldn't say to someone's face.

Or perhaps it's just me who needs to lighten up which is why I asked for other people's opinions!!

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 11:26:57

Still won't negotiate on the c-word though! wink

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 11:40:09

And you did indeed get themwink

In an attempt to prevent much more difficult battles in the future Op could you admit to him you overreacted?

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 12:22:14

I did - and can take it on the chin, otherwise wouldn't have asked!! I appreciate your brutal honesty!! wink

We have just had a chat about it now as he came to apologise - I told him that I had over reacted because I was disappointed but I understand and accept that he talks to his friends differently to the way he talks to us. We've agreed that I will keep his things for today and then he says he will delete any silly comments. I've also said if he tidies his bedroom today then that will cancel being grounded for the rest of the holiday!

Finally I have told him that I will leave it to him to explain to his younger brother that boys actually do not have vaginas seeing as his parting shot in clash of clans yesterday was 'do you want to see my vagina?!' I suppose I should be grateful he didn't use the dreaded c-word shouldn't I?!!! grin

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 13:33:56

I'm glad all is well againsmile

Apologies for bluntness😉

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 13:56:09

Thank you!

Bluntness never a problem - married to a Yorkshireman so I'm used to it 😉

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 14:05:44

Snap grin
I've got a Yorkshireman too.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Tue 09-Aug-16 14:07:45

While I agree that use of the C word is unacceptable Christmas really is a foul word before November at the earliest , I don't think it warranted deleting all of his games. Maybe a week ban on them and the threat of weekly checks on his messaging would have been enough.

In terms of what he is using his devices for, teenagers are curious. Maybe only let him use the Internet when he is in the lounge with you around, rather than his bedroom. Turn off the wifi when he should be going to bed, etc. And make sure your internet has parent controls in place to restrict the inappropriate stuff comes up.

It's good to see that you have both apologised to each other though. Grounded for the rest of summer would have probably driven you more insane than him. grin

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:47:50

Think it would have driven us both insane! One of those ridiculous situations where mouth engaged before brain in the heat of the moment!

I think i find it hard knowing where to pitch it - when I was in my teens I was given no boundaries at all, my mum's style of parenting was to leave us to do as we pleased in the hope we'd learn from our mistakes. There were no deadlines, curfews or consequences which actually I hated as it felt like she wasn't bothered ( which to be fair, she wasn't!!)

Because of that I probably go too far the other way, not because I want to control my kids but because I don't want them to feel like I'm not bothered. Most of the time it works as we normally talk things through to try to see each others point of view ... I think yesterday I was just disappointed and needed to step back before going OTT!!

I'm sure there'll be plenty of worse things happen along the way and I'll look back and wish the problem was as simple as some silly comments on a game chat room!! 😊

PaintedDrivesAndPolishedGrass Tue 09-Aug-16 15:05:38

Just think Op, you've got the teens having sex in your house to look forward to in a few years, that's a particularly lovely onegrin

I probably slip easily into the 'very liberal parent' camp. It works for us because we are very open about everything, no taboo subjects and it works very well for us ( I did struggle a bit with the phone call I had from one of the DCs whilst I was in Tesco asking for lube and me having to go through the prices/brands etc of what was on the shelf).

For the record, I take back the controlling comment. You sound like you a reet good Mum.

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 15:29:33

I can only try, but thank you, means a lot.🙂

I also try to be totally honest with them, and to answer their questions. We did all have a bit of a giggle at Joel's vagina comment after we'd sorted it all out - it was s friend of mine who taught his sex ed lessons at school so I asked him if I needed her to explain the difference between male and female anatomy to him again!!

I'd like to think I'd buy them what they needed in that department but would have to make a point of telling the checkout person it wasn't for me!! Or perhaps I'd just let them think I was in for a fun night!! 😂

BeingATwatItsABingThing Tue 09-Aug-16 15:40:58

I don't think your DS will ever think that you didn't care. You being so disappointed with his use of language shows how much you care. Don't be too hard on yourself.

pasanda Tue 09-Aug-16 15:42:24

Just wait 'til he's 15!!!

shock

Grausse Tue 09-Aug-16 16:02:47

Ah didn't we all over react when they were toddlers. The trick is to admit it and apologise for it. Then discuss why you were angry which is what you have done.
So well done!

For what it's worth my approach at 13 (though not later) was to let them have these things providing that I had all the passwords. There was a possibility I would do a spot check, which I seldom did.
The big rule to hammer home is never to post anything online which might come back to bite. To have high privacy settings and be aware of the difference between social media and anonymous gaming chat (which can be nasty).
They understood from an early age that language must be appropriate depending who can hear.

Melly1973 Tue 09-Aug-16 16:34:34

Good advice!

Yes, very naively I thought the most challenging times would be when they were toddlers! How wrong was I - and we've only just begun!! Hopefully by the time he hits 15 and the fun really begins I'll be a little more clued up. 🙄

Really appreciate all the advice here, most of my friends either have grown up children or children under 10!

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