April 28, 2006

Computing What Matters

Ah, an eventful day in blog world. Last night's appearance on CH sparked some high fives, and some ire. Keeping kids safe on the Internet is not a party you should be showing up fashionably late for. I will never ever understand parents that take their lead from their preteens and young teens when it comes to rules and regulations.

My kids know they do not live in a democracy. They are heard, they are respected, and they are expected to adhere to the rules I set out for their safety and well-being. I'm the first to admit I'm not hugely strict about some things - nobody has to make their bed - but you'd better believe I'm an ogre about what goes into their stomachs and their minds. My job is to make sure they're ready to be thinking, independent young men when the time comes.

But the real issue is that you can't start implementing all this when they turn 12 or 13. If your kids already know they can end run you, it's already game over. They push and push and push because they want you to stand firm.

Children want to be heard. So listen to them. They want attention. So give it to them. I wish I could tell every father to spend as much time with his daughter as he can, and give her all the male attention she's craving. No matter how ornery she may become, you have the chance to be the most important man in her life. Set the standard of treatment high for her.

Sigh. The Internet is only another factor in parenting. I say forget about the cooking and cleaning once in a while, and just sit with the kids and live in their world a little. What matters to them should matter to you.

As the late Gilda Radner said, "it's always something".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Lorraine,
Funny, half a country away, and yet I firmly support your opinions on this internet stuff...(must have something to do with the stuff we learned in our Glenview/
Tecumseh days!!)...I have a daughter almost 18, so my days of monitoring and limiting her internet access are quickly coming to a close, but hopefully I have taught her the safe way of surfing and using MSN, Nexopia, etc...
An old classmate (check your email)

April 29, 2006 4:30 AM  

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