Saturday, January 31, 2009

Politically Incorrect Parenting

Knitters and Conservatives can skip this. Recently a friend discovered their 13 year old son looking at skin online. You know what kind. The kind that I can't type the word or I'll get scurvy on my blog. My friend grounded the boy and restricted him from the computer. I started thinking about how best to be pro-active with this whole new set of stuff. I feel like we are cresting a wave that we need to learn to surf together. Thank god the kid is just starting to use Axe bodywash, and still streaks through the house bare-ass. I still have a little time. So this morning he told me about some video he listened to on youtube from buckethead called creepy songs. Serial killer crap. Although stuff like that gives me the skeeves, I pulled it up. Not as good as MY serial killer music, of course, but definately creepy.

So I sat him down and gave him a politically incorrect lesson that I like to call "How to surf for p8rn without infecting your computer"
I told him that he was at an age when serial killers, crazy violent stuff and possibly sex would be in his face a lot. I told him that there is an underbelly of humanity, a sick part that people can get sucked into, and that its always there just like the regular parts and the good parts. I told him that it is normal to be interested in things that are weird or unknown.

I told him to be careful because too much violence, or skin, will rot his brain. Then I showed him how to google the pictures, and set the filters, and how not to click on the teen and kiddie links and how not to go to the sites themselves, how to avoid the viruses, and just see the images. We went over the rules about questions, how he could ask me or his Dad about things he doesn't understand and that if is not comfortable doing that he could ask the following friends... etc.

Then I listened to Puddle of Mud a few times. Ok ten times. And decided to post. I think my parenting style is definately not normal, but its a new and scarier world, and normal might be broken. I go with what works in my head.


Fru said...

Snaps for openness about sexuality and sexual curiousness. Snaps for being open enough and human enough to make it SAFE for your boys to ask you questions and explore without CTD (geek speak for Crashing the Desktop). If only meh Mom had been as freakin' awesome and open as you!!!

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I think you are ahead of the curve on this one. It IS a new and much scarier world. And politically correct ain't gonna make your kiddos savvy - the truth will.

BTW, my DD sez she only survived her teen years becuz I was very busy in grad school. She had to make a lot of her own decisions. And at 30, she's still a keeper.

Kudos to you!!


Anonymous said...

as usual pugger I think you did the right thing. you went with your gut. you know your boys best. I think at all ages it is best to be up front and honest with our kids. Like when they're very little teaching the correct names for their body parts. Obviously at certain ages (when they're very young) you don't tell them the WHOLE truth cause they're not ready. But whatever you tell them should be TRUE, should be real. So much of teenage permiscuity and misbehavior is usually because they are not given real answers, because things are made to be exotic and tantalizing because the info is not given to them, it is kept/hidden/forbidden....we all want the forbidden fruit. Better to show them the fruit, what it's really all about, how to be safe, how to protect themselves. You should check out Debra Hafner's website (she's a UU minister who deals awesomely with sexuality stuff). The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice & Healing:

and here's her blog:

love ya, lizabee

Anonymous said...

It's funny you should be blogging about this now because a fellow I work with brought me his laptop on Friday. He said it needed to be fixed because his son (age 15) was at porn sites and the computer won't work now. They don't their children use the computer at all but he left it on before going to bed one night and guess what happened? Suffice it to say, it was full of crap but it's back to normal now. This whole issue got me thinking. How do you lock your kids out of life in general? You can't password everything. I am a firm believer in giving your kids a leg up. I believe that by the time they are 10yrs old, you've done about all you can. At this point they should have a thought process that will tell them what are doing is right or wrong. Before they do anything they have this little birdie in their head saying, "would mum or dad be okay with this".
A leg up means you provide them with a means to explore, reach and grow safely and morally. One of my favourite parts of Buddhism is to remember to strive for "right thought", "right speech" and "right action". Really hard to do but a child who is shown the world and not had it hidden from him will do this on autopilot.
You are a supermum Puppers.