We have all her seen her around the Gosselin blogging world politely weighing in on the different controversial issues regarding the filming of the Gosselin family. Many of us have grown to respect and admire her style of respectful debate and discussion and her occasional sharing of day to day parenting and “mom” type concerns. We here at Imperfect Women are proud to welcome Momsby as the newest member of our team. She will write about and examine issues involving parenting by dishing on her experiences and learning from yours.
Meditations on Mothering and Other Matters
Et Tu Momsby?
Recently, there has been discussion about kids on the internet…especially about kids using social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. I have a confession to make, I let my tween use Facebook. Perhaps, some of you, especially if you have younger kids or adult children may be shaking your heads in disapproval. However, this was a decision that was debated and researched at great lengths in my home and it seems to be working, for us.
When my daughter first started begging for FB, she was told NO. Cries of “everyone has it” were heard for months. I stood my ground, even when I started getting friend requests from her friends. When her Nana joined I realized, yes, everyone she knew did have FB. I’d also noticed that the phone was ringing less and most of the kids were now talking and making “hangout“ plans online. The fact that it might be hurting her socially had never crossed my mind, but it bothered me. So, I discussed it with my husband, who still had concerns, internet safety being the biggest. I decided to ask some of the other moms to see what their reasons were and was surprised to discover some valid points that helped us make our final decision.
What convinced us? One justification is the fact that kids are reading, writing and developing their computer skills. At first glance probably not the strongest argument, but we’ve struggled to get my daughter interested in reading and writing for years. In this day and age computer skills are an absolute must! I liked that she could keep in contact with family and friends, especially her dad and was able to reconnect with friends she still missed, from her previous school. We decided it would be earned, a reward for respectful and responsible behavior. I also realized that she had already been using a form of social networking when she was younger on her Webkins and Barbie Girl sites.
One mom I talked to had no idea her daughter even had an account! She did some investigating and discovered her daughter had made the account at a friend’s house and had been using her IPOD, DSI and Wii for months.
There are rules and I monitor her use and the safety features carefully. The only adults on her account are blood relatives. I have the password and check it often. She is allowed one hour a day during the week, only friends sites are permitted, no games or fan sites and she is only allowed to use it at our house and her dad‘s. Any violations and her account is suspended.
My husband is still not convinced, he wishes every toy did not come with a plug in or encourage online activities. He openly longs for the days of one family computer in a central location that is only used for school projects. He is less than thrilled that the use of laptops and Ipods are strongly encouraged at school and was surprised, to say the least, when our 4-year-old came home from JK with a list of recommended websites.
When you see a teen on these sites do you think negligent parents? Or young people participating in a forum created by other young people? Or are you somewhere in the middle? What are your family’s rules about online usage? How have they evolved as your child ages? Do you think we adults will ever really be able to catch up to these children of technology?