Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    On teen privacy: Should parents cross the line?

    Hi everyone,

    I have a ten year old son who often locks the study room when he is using my computer. When asked why, he only tells me that he accidentally locked it. The door knob does not actually get "accidentally" locked because you need to intentionally lock it up. SO, it is quite obvious that he did it on purpose.

    My friends say that this is the age when children or pre-teens ask for private time or seek it. Do you think that I should give him his private time, whether he ask it or not? or should I still let him know that I still have every right to know everything he does or everything about him?

    Need some advices.

    Mum O'Three

  2. #2
    What a tough one. I do think that you should give your children private time, but not with a computer, and especially not a ten-year-old. There is just too much adult material on the Internet, and though he may be experimenting with this part of his development, I think some of the stuff on the net is just too much for a child his age. You may also want to invest in parental control software if you have not already.

    In this case I think I would say, you can have alone time in the bedroom without the computer, but not in the study room. The study room/computer are communal, family property.

    -Angela

  3. #3
    That was very helpful Angela.

    I do believe that one of the differences between my son and I is that I am still his parent and should be followed; and he needs to heed my orders. I can give him his private time only when I can be sure that he is responsible enough to be given the privilege of privacy. I did promise him that I will give him more privacy if he knows how to clean his room on his own. That was quite an impossible task knowing I still do clean his room everyday and so giving him the privacy he wants would also be as impossible.

    For now mum will have to be the woman of the house and her orders would have to be followed..even by the real master.

    Thanks,

    Mum O'Three

  4. #4
    Angela - great point! A 10 year old should not need private time with a computer, and the adult content so widely available now is so easy to stumble upon even if the child isn't "looking" for it.

    Mum O'Three - you are wise to recognize that you are the one to guide your children's development and knowing that "alone time" with a computer can be detrimental to those who are not responsible or mature enough to avoid the "bad" that's on the internet.

    In our household, our daughter was given internet access before our son was, simply because she is a girl and the temptations of the "adult content" are not as much (any?) of a temptation to her as they are to our son. We have kept a very close reign on computer access for all of our children.

    The only computer we have in a bedroom is our daughter's. She is 20 years old, very responsible and has an iPhone. She proved to us that she was responsible before we gave her full internet access.

    Aside from that, and my husband's computer which is in his office, all "family use" computers are in communal living spaces like the homeschool area, living room and family room. This was done on purpose as we want to be sure that anyone can walk through a room at anytime which helps those who are on computers to not go "straying". We have certain lock-down measures in place as well. Some computers don't have internet access, other computer do, but it is limited to only websites which we approve. A child can ask for a website at anytime. We review the content of the site and decide from there. This has worked VERY well for our family because almost all of what has been requested has been approved.

    We purchase computer games for the children to use, so their "play time" is not internet based. We do have one child now, who is playing an internet based game, but he is 18 years old, and we have approved that particular site for him. But for the other children, they have computer games they can play that don't require internet access.

    We homeschool and our 18 year old son has just completed his first year of college. We recognize that there are times when internet is needed for research and we have navigated this very well. Where there's a will, there's a way, and our biggest concern with the internet is protecting our children from damaging content. Pornography not only affects the person viewing it, but affects his family and future wife (people who are addicted to pornography tend to have anger problems and intimacy problems, and women need intimacy. Women need to be valued, and pornography devalues women, making them "sex objects" that can be "used" rather than valuable individuals whom God created to fulfill their husband's sex drive in a healthy, mutually satisfying way. Pornography can be a huge contributor to strained marriages and eventually divorce if the wife is not feeling like she is a valuable part of the marriage and is not having her emotional needs met.

    You mentioned that you are still picking up your son's room for him. I would encourage you to not make "a clean room" the condition on which he can have privacy. At 10 years of age he doesn't need any privacy unless he simply wants some quiet time to read or write. I have a 10 year old and I can't remember the last time she "needed" privacy. If she wants to read on her own, she just goes to her bedroom, gets a book and reads. She shares a room with her sister, but her sister is usually in another part of the house so it's easy for my 10 year old to have some quiet time. But again, that doesn't happen very often. She loves to be with the rest of the family, and she loves to play with her siblings (they all enjoy playing with each other). My 14 year old son has done a lot of reading on his own - and I'm sure he was doing this when he was 10. He shared a bedroom with his brother, but again - if he wanted quiet time to read, he would just go and get a book and lay on his bed. No need to have the door closed.

    As for cleaning the room... Right now you invest a certain amount of time each day cleaning his room. Rather than doing this, take that same amount of time to CHECK his room, but give him the responsibility to clean it.

    You could tell him that he needs to clean his room before he comes out in the morning for breakfast. The room must be clean before he has breakfast. Let him know that he needs to ask you to check it before he comes to breakfast. If you notice him at the breakfast table before you have checked his room, go check it. This only takes less than one minute. You may have to stop preparing breakfast or stop what you're doing, but you're training him to do something he should have been doing since he was 3, so it's going to seem like an inconvenience now, but it will be well worth it. You are transitioning him to being more responsible.

    Take him with you to check the room. When you notice something that needs to be done better, or something he didn't do, point it out and ask him to do it. Then you'll need to follow-up and check again until it's done to your satisfaction.

    I used to make a checklist for each of my children. They could check off each item as they did it, or they could just read the list each morning and do each thing. Then I used the checklist to be sure everything was done properly, when I followed-up. This is often times very helpful for a child who is just learning how to do something (like clean is room to your satisfaction).

    And if your child simply refuses to clean his room, then you'll have to move to the next step of not allowing "fun things" until the chores are done. No TV, no computer games, no reading (if this is an enjoyable activity for him), no playing games... he may figure that this is fine for a few days, but eventually he will realize that the "fun things" are earned as he does what you request of him (with a good attitude).

    Let me know your thoughts on this. Hope there's something helpful for you here.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  5. #5
    Hi Kate,

    Thank you very much for the advice. I know I am good at taking care of my kids yet admit I still have a lot to learn with regards to parenting.

    I believe in what people say that there is no perfect parent nor is there a term called perfect parenting but doing everything you can to achieve perfection is a job well done.

    It is helpful to know that there should be a certain age when you as a parent can say or decide that your son/daughter can be given responsibility no matter how big or small this responsibility is. Also, I understood that my ten year old son is not a little kid anymore who is helpless and could not move without me telling him what to do or what not to do. With regards to his chores, I assigned him to clean up his own room before going out or preparing for school. I do check his room while he is still around. If he does something like do the dishes or even water the plants, I give him a certain "reward" but make it a point that it is not because I want to bribe him but because I am happy to know he did it without me having to tell him to.

    Anyway, again thank you all so much for the advices.

    Mum O'Three

  6. #6
    Hello to All,

    Thank you very much for the advices. I know I am good at taking care of my kids yet admit I still have a lot to learn with regards to parenting.

    I believe in what people say that there is no perfect parent nor is there a term called perfect parenting but doing everything you can to achieve perfection is a job well done.

    It is helpful to know that there should be a certain age when you as a parent can say or decide that your son/daughter can be given responsibility no matter how big or small this responsibility is. Also, I understood that my ten year old son is not a little kid anymore who is helpless and could not move without me telling him what to do or what not to do. With regards to his chores, I assigned him to clean up his own room before going out or preparing for school. I do check his room while he is still around. If he does something like do the dishes or even water the plants, I give him a certain "reward" but make it a point that it is not because I want to bribe him but because I am happy to know he did it without me having to tell him to.

    Anyway, again thank you all so much for the advices.

    Mum O'Three

  7. #7
    Hi MumO'Three,

    Sounds like you are definitely on the right track. Would love an update. How are things going?

    Warm regards,

    Kate

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •