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Son, coding, hacking and progamming

(16 Posts)
MsLovegood Tue 04-Aug-09 00:50:22

My son is only 10 but the antics he gets up to are more suited to the teenage board I think.

Basically from a very early age he has been teaching himself computer language. HTML, PHP, XHTML etc.

He has made his own website, been banned from a few others and has programmed a few things.

At the weekend, his father's website went down. We knew DS was annoyed with his dad so we asked him first if he knew anything. To cut a long story short, DS had hacked into his dad's website, messed up all the files, corrupted the forums and basically wrecked it.

I'm worried he will use his computer skills to seek revenge on anyone who pisses him off or to engage in criminal activity. I'm not saying he's a prodigy, he isn't. This isn't a thread saying "look what my 10 year old can do" because in all truth, he is behind with everything other than english and ICT but his ICT skills are way beyond that of a normal adult.

He speaks to another kid (12) in los angeleas and they plot stuff together. DS never tells me what he's up to. He's managed to completely over-ride my parent controls once, get into the system files and put passwords on my own PC to stop me putting them back on. I feel I am losing control. My family think it;s trivial computer stuff but I'm worried it could get serious. Am I over-reacting?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 04-Aug-09 00:53:29

Oh dear. Have you not heard about the UK bloke who's been extradited to the US because he hacked into NASA and the pentagon looking for UFO's? He's looking at a 70 year (seriously) jail sentence.

Take the computers off him.

MsLovegood Tue 04-Aug-09 00:56:14

yes I have been following that closely. Especially as DS is VERY interested in nasa and ufo's.

If I take the PC off him, he has a total meltdown. The computer means everything to him, he's making money off it and everything. It;s so difficult knowing what to do.

hobbgoblin Tue 04-Aug-09 00:58:21

You are the parent, helloooooo??!!!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 04-Aug-09 00:59:19

Is there a doctor/therapist/psychiatrist that could help?

Has he been assessed for aspergers/Autism spectrum disorder?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 04-Aug-09 01:03:07

You have to take control. It's no good wringing your hands and saying he'll go mental if you take the computer off him. He is 10. What do you mean he is making money off it? You need to know what he is doing before he gets into serious trouble.

sandcastles Tue 04-Aug-09 01:17:35

Take back control & the computer!

So what if he goes mental! I'm sorry but a 10yr old shouldn't have unsupervised access to a computer, regardless of what they use it for!!

I wold have taken it away as soon as he showed any signs of using his knowledge against the family!

Take it away & tell him he can have it back in X time, but only as part of a supervised plan. If he doesn't like it, tough...he doesn't get it back at all!

mumeeee Tue 04-Aug-09 11:19:04

No you are not over-reacting. He is 10 ban him from the computer cpmpletly unless he is closely supervised by your or his Dad.

Buda Tue 04-Aug-09 11:22:12

You have to ban him. Esp if he will have a melt down. If he has no diagnosis of any disorder which may mean that the computer is a lifeline or something then you need to take control. He is 10 now. Imagine what he will be like at 14/15 if you and his dad don't take control now.

SammyK Tue 04-Aug-09 11:28:25


As he sounds very gifted in this area and can't seem to control his urges to wreak revenge and 'plot' (being only 10 and not emotionally mature), I do think you need to seriously clamp down on this now. Maybe limit to 1 hour a day with an adult sat next to him. He is old enough o know that actions = consequences and if you clamp down strongly now he may realise that.

Is his dad able to sort out his website himself or will DS have to repair the damage? I would be asking for assessments also.

How much time a day does he currently send online? Do you think he is just obsessed? Or addicted also?

mumblechum Tue 04-Aug-09 12:33:21

You definitely need to take the pc away from him. If he can't be trusted, you'll have to keep the pc in a room with a lock on the door.

10 year olds should be out doing stuff with their mates imo.

SomeGuy Tue 04-Aug-09 19:34:14

he wil make loads of money when he is older.

SomeGuy Tue 04-Aug-09 19:35:51

I would encourage him, try to get him to program something useful, Visual Studio .NET is a better tool than PHP, you can get a free copy here.

frimblypoo Tue 04-Aug-09 19:41:15

Always site the computer in the main family room in a lockable cabinet.
Yes you do need to take control.

On a more positive note, you say your DH has a web site. Can he 'ask'for DS input to make it better. Do you know 'interesting' IT guys that could help you channel his talent better? Have you spoken to the school to see if he can have positive input into their own web site?

Good luck

margotfonteyn Wed 05-Aug-09 10:03:53

I think banning outright is going to be counterproductive. I'm with the others here. He needs to have his undoubted programming ability tuned into something else!

Could he take some kind of formal qualification which would be demanding and push his abilities to the limit??

You also need to speak to him sensibly about the legal implications involved. I am sure at 10 if he is intelligent enough to be doing all this stuff, he is intelligent enough to understand the legalities as well.

Tortington Wed 05-Aug-09 10:09:14

i think a bit of both is needed

i think the lockable cabinet - is a genius idea

i think getting him involved ina qualification is a great idea

i do think that with badbehaviour comes negative sanctions with good behaviour comes positive sanctions

he needs to lern that what he is adoing is wrong and unacceptable - he is 10 and he is not the alpha male of the house - you need to take the computer away (for a day) if he does something wrong

whilst he sounds like he is brilliant at this stuff i would be worried that he doesn't play out with friends.

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