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Old 06-29-2007, 08:42 AM   #61
auburnchick
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Interesting thoughts that y'all presented since I last looked here. I appreciate the different opinions as well.

I want y'all to know that we have NOT taken away soccer. I'm not exactly sure how that came to be understood during this thread. I mentioned that it was something we considered the LAST time she did this, but we wound up deciding against it. It's also something we considered when doing her summer restriction. Well, actually we did curtail her soccer activities, but that decision was mostly made for us since she has been rehabbing her knee. We do NOT plan to take soccer away from her either. That is not even being considered this time around.

Now, I have to respectfully disagree with the post about putting yourself online. I think you made great points, but I think those are more applicable to someone who is older. My dd is only 15. She has plenty of time for that when she is more mature. And I know for a fact that the things we post online can come back to bite us. Future employers do search for what we may have put online, and some of it, done with bad judgement, can adversely affect us if discovered by the wrong person. Yes, this has become a world of the internet, but she has plenty of time to learn netiquette.

That is why I do not think that my posting online is a double standard. There is a time for everything. I don't believe this is the right time for her to be doing the online pages.

I do not think that kids should be posting information like where they go to school and other things that can lead someone to their doorstep...which is what my dd and all of her friends are doing on their pages. The last time this happened, we told her the kind of information that was dangerous to post. One would think that if she was going to make another page (which she did) that she would at least have considered our caution and omitted that information. She either chose not to or it went over her head. When she gets older and a bit wiser, she can do what she wants. I am responsible, overall, for her safety now.

Hmmm...it's almost like sex. We're equipped with the parts, but that doesn't mean we should use them until we're mature enough (or in the right time of our lives to -- i.e. IMO, marriage). Just because technology has provided these "tools," doesn't mean that people should use them. At least not until they understand the ramifications.

Thanks again for the understanding words.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:43 AM   #62
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I couldn't agree more with pretty much all of that. It's important to strike a balance between protecting your child and allowing her to learn some of life's lessons for herself - as scary as it is.

Most kids have one thing, one interest, that keeps them grounded - taking it away can be a lot more damaging than it seems.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:47 AM   #63
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I've been reading these posts for a while now, and I have a few things to say. They are not intended to anger, just express an alternate view.

Re: Christianity. I think that it is great that people find something that fulfills them. However, many children of very religious parents do not believe the same thing as their parents. It's not a bad thing, it's how it is, and I think when children become older (yes, before they are 18) they are old enough to make their own decisions. I went to Jewish religious school until I graduated high school because my parents made me. It wasn't something I rebelled against because I was a "good kid" who did what I was supposed to do. However, it was not what I wanted to do or who I am. I believe in a lot of the tenets and traditions of the Jewish faith (please do not compare all of the tenets to Christianity-they can be very different and they are not the same in every way even though there are similarities). I just don't think the Christian counselor is the way to go, personally. It seems like Christianity will be part of her counseling sessions (prayer, etc) and that could be part of the problem. Whether parents like it or not, the teenage time in life is a time for children to find out who they are, and it isn't always who their parents want them to be. People need to make certain mistakes to learn and grow and it seems as if your daughter is being somewhat over-protected from making little mistakes. I think the basic tenets and beliefs of being a good person are way more important than the forms and habits of religion in general, so letting her know that you still love her and think she can be a good person is way more important than her conforming to your religious beliefs.

Re: Myspace. I think her use is rebellion. I think it's pretty understandable however. It seems as if she is pretty restricted. I understand you don't want to give in, but by not being flexible with your daughter, you are risking a lot. The world is very different even from when I was her age (11 years ago) and the norms for teenagers are very different. People sensationalize the use of these sites, and many of the uses are not what I would want for teenagers, but you can restrict that. I understand you wouldn't want to let her have one right away, but if you set a timeframe for her, such as in three months, if she has followed your rules, and gone to a counselor (who she needs to feel comfortable with, and a Christian one might not be the best for that) then she can have a page on a site of your choosing, such as facebook, with the restrictions you use, such as blocked viewing from anyone not her friend and the same for messaging, and only friends she actually knows, will help her learn responsibility. You can have the password, and view the site, etc.

I understand you are conservative and worried about her, but at some point teenagers have to be able to make small mistakes and learn lessons from those mistakes, and it seems as if you are trying to prevent her from making any.

Parents do have the right to raise their children in ways they see fit, but there is also freedom of expression, of association and of religion in this country as well.

P.S. This is not meant to be an attack or anything, so please do not take it that way. It's just my point of view.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:49 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by debinoz View Post
My oldest DD has a Bebo account which I check regularly. I also check all of her "friends" pages to see if they aren't giving out too much info.

Her argument was that she was an American and that America had a little thing called The Constitution, and according to the first amendment, she had a right to express herself if she caused no one else any harm. I could not argue with her because I can't tell her she has to be 18 to enjoy the rights and freedoms of all Amercans.

All I can do is keep a close watch on her account to try and keep her safe.

Maybe so, but you also have the right to keep her out of harms way. Untill she is 18..she really cant say squat.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #65
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I'm finding this discussion interesting. It's interesting because there are many parts of my life that you don't know about. There are many aspects of my parenting that you don't see. It's hard to include all of the details about my parenting in the post. Actually, it's impossible. It seems that what I have shared has led you to believe that I do not allow my children (namely dd since she's currently the topic) to make mistakes.

Here's what I believe our job as parents is (with my Christian bent, of course): To raise our kids to be responsible adults (in my case...who will hopefully love and serve the Lord).

Everything I do is geared toward that goal. My dd has a small job. I took her to the bank yesterday to cash her check. While there, I inquired about getting her a checking account next year when she starts driving so she can get a bank card so she can 1) be able to pay for gas quickly, 2) to learn how to handle a credit card, and 3) have something easier to carry with her when she's shopping at the mall with friends.

I will also probably get my daughter a regular credit card at some point in the next couple of years. She needs to learn how to charge things (that's the easy part) and pay for them when the bill comes in. I have her saving a portion of her paychecks, and she tithes a portion to church as well.

I'm also teaching my kids to eat healthy and the "why's" behind it. My kids do not drink caffeinated beverages or eat things with artificial sweetners. We try to limit the sugar. They understand why. They don't always like it, but it's what I feel is best for them. We eat organic and they drink raw milk (you ought to read up on this). Who cares of people think we're weird. What I'm teaching my children is not bad. We're developing good, life-long habits.

My kids are responsible for doing chores around the house, and my dd plans and cooks many of our meals. She handles her school business (with me overseeing, of course). She makes the choice (because I do not force her) to attend church. We pray together, do devotions together, and all that.

She makes plenty of mistakes, regardless of whether I let her. Sometimes the best way to learn is through mistakes.

However, we all have to draw lines somewhere. My dh and I have chosen to draw the line at NO web spaces. The news media does not sensationalize stories of kids meeting up with older men that they met because of their web pages. This happens every single day to people right on your street. You just don't hear about all of them. My husband has had to go find kids that have gone missing because they snuck out of their house to meet up in the middle of the night -- from meeting through the pages kids posted online.

This rule is not an option in our house. My daughter may not like this rule, but it will continue to be a firm one.

People can be very wishy-washy. We need to be firm in our convictions. You may not believe this, but our kids look to us to draw lines. They need guidance in drawing their own boundaries. They are not mature enough to set them on their own.

I do not believe in letting your kids "find their way" in a religious sense. They need guidance. There is nothing bad about Christianity. What's so bad about choosing not to watch a sex-filled movie? What is so bad about praying? Only good can come from it.

I hope this has not come across wrong. I just felt like I needed to defend myself.

I know it seems like I'm overprotective. Maybe I am in some ways. However, I believe that we are making the right decision. I don't consider myself overprotective. I consider myself pro-active and involved.

I don't know if any of you saw a recent episode of wife swap. I normally don't watch stuff like this, but there wasn't anything else on. This particular episode had one mom who let her kids do anything they wanted, and another who had very tight control to the point where they installed cameras in the bedrooms.

The second mom was way over the top, and the first was too lax. It was interesting to see them find a more balanced approach. And that is where I am.

That's it for now. Whew.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #66
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I don't really have any wise words of wisdom but just wanted to say i have been keeping up with this post ... and i hope you guys can find a compromise~
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:11 AM   #67
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auburnchick..

Try to look at it from your daughter's perspective. When you *made* her come and read a previous thread, what did she see? YOU wanted her to see an array of opinions and I assume many backing your point of view and so on. All SHE might have seen was her and her life outlined, online, for a whole bunch of people she didn't know, without her permission.

I can honestly say, if my partner or son or similar had done this to me I would have felt very betrayed and upset - and I'm used to online and am an adult. Even while I may have accepted that person's need to connect with others and to talk, I would have been upset.

I absolutely..without any reservation..agree with your concerns and distress about your daughter creating a site (yet again) when you've warned her off this HOWEVER, in the process of telling her not to do this, you drag her to this forum where HER life and person IS put on the net, by you. You don't see how this may be confusing and may have led to a lot of resentment and anger on her part? YOU don't see it as a double standard but perhaps you may need to accept that she does...

Aside from some very strict usage - for homework or for knitting advice or to answer business/family emails etc - it might pay you all to step away collectively from the computer for a while - simply in the sense of Christian fellowship and preparedness to all do without for the sake of the person in crisis. Removing a mouse or keyboard should not be seen as an inconvenience but perhaps a Christian act of assistance to a family member in crisis. Perhaps be heartful there are things you can do and be glad that you can share the burden in different ways. Computers are wonderful wonderful tools but by gosh they can stop some families from talking to each other at times also. Some get into the rut of argument/somewhat silent (with the silence attributed to people being on a computer).

I won't post again on this topic as I am concerned about hurting feelings but I did feel strongly about this as equally. Many years ago my own offspring took me to task about my own computer use and, for a while, I was absolutely resistant to changing my behaviour and, actually, resentful I had been questioned. In the end it did me good to review, but golly I was deeply angry for a time.

debinoz... If YOU are paying for the account etc and the offspring is not yet autonomous financially, you have every right to proscribe certain rules and obligations. It can always pay to talk to young people about all the OTHER issues to do with age rights. For example, why is there an age of consent. Why are there child labour laws..and so on.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:20 AM   #68
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Poor Nathalie! I hope everything works itself out soon.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:48 AM   #69
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Perhaps I missed something...but to my knowledge there wasn't any indication that auburnchick's daughter was going through a religious identity crisis.

Even kids who agree with their parent's religious beliefs will disobey them. Shock of all shocks, Christians mess up. And Christian teens aren't so different than other teens. They want the same things: to be popular, to have lots of friends, and for others to not think they are weird. Quite honestly, she created the myspace and facebook accounts for those reasons...not because she was questioning her belief in God. She lied to her parents because of developmental age, not because she doesn't believe in the Bible.

It was just interesting that this became very much about religion and God, when really, it's a teenager rebelling against her parents and trying to establish her own independence. Kids break rules...Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist...they all do it. This isn't about auburnchick's religious beliefs. It's about a teenager who lied and went behind her parent's backs because she wanted to do something "cool" that her "uncool" (her words, not mine) parents wouldn't ler her do. She lied because she didn't want to get in trouble, not because she is striving to find her religious identity (by the way there are many, many Christian kids on those websites!).

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Old 06-29-2007, 11:49 AM   #70
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You're absolutely right Nathalie. For sure we don't know the whole story, context and we don't know your DD's side of the story either! The cause of your DD's "rebellion" could be religion-related, but it could also not. It's important to keep that in mind.

However it's important that you ask yourself why you need a counselor. Is it for you or for your DD? I think people's concern with a Christian counselor is that this person could be good for you, but will it be for your DD? If your daughter doesn't believe in Christianity, and that this is part of the problem, it won't do anything for her!

It's important you keep an open mind before going to a counselor, may he/she be Christian or not. A good counselor will not "fix your daughter" so that she finally does what you want. The counselor will probably fix your family. The work will not be entirely on your DD's shoulders, there are chances the counselor will make you change some things as well. That's what I meant in my first post. My mom is a counselor, and the families she work with are sometimes very surprised. A lot of families come in with problems with a teenager. But sometimes the problem isn't the teenager at all...

I think you are doing the right thing by getting some help. It's important you keep things in perspective though, your daughter is probably the way she is because she's smart and wants some independence. It might be difficult now, but in many ways it's also a good sign.
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