March 11, 2007,
K.W. asks from Madison Heights, MI on March 08, 2007
12 Yr Old on Computer
I caught my 12 1/2 yr old looking at things he shouldn't have been looking at on the computer yesterday. He was supposed to be typing his report for school I was cooking dinner and tending to my sick 8 yr old when this happened. I came downstairs to check on his progress and he only had 3 sentances typed. I noticed a second open window on the screen and pulled it up only too see a bunch of naked girls on the screen doing things teenagers shouldn't be doing. I was mortified! Long story short he said the boys at school were talking about this website. Well after he went to bed I checked the online history and this started about a month ago around the time he spent the night at his cousins house who is also 12 and has a computer in his room in the basement. That same night his 14 yr old cousin from his mom's side spent the night too. I don't know if I should bring this up to my brother-in-law and have him check his sons computer too or what I should do? Maybe just not let him spend the night anymore. I don't know what to say to my son with out him getting embarrased and I don't want him to shut us out either. HELP! I am not ready for the big talk, but it has to be done asap before things start to happen. He is not very social outside of school and never goes over anyone's house. I don't know if I should be worried or is this just a boy growing up? We put on all of the parental locks on the computer so this kind of material cannot be brought up anymore and it is now password protected.
D.M. answers from Detroit on March 10, 2007
Sorry to say it sounds to me like your son is growning up and unfortunately (as much as we'd like to) we just can't stop it. I wish I actually had some advice, but I regret that I don't. I do know one thing, he's a boy and if he wants to look at it he is going to find it somewhere to look at. As far as the talk goes, I agree that's has to happen ASAP because it's pretty obvious that he's taken an interest. As far as his being embarrased, I think that's going to be pretty hard to avoid for you both. Let's face it, nobody looks forward to giving it anymore than we looked forward to when WE got it. But don't keep thing's hidden and remember, the forbiden fruit is always the most appealing and if you make a big deal of it, so will he. But that's just my two cents worth.
Y.M. answers from Lansing on March 11, 2007
My name is Y.. I have 3 children. Boy who is 11, and 2 girls 9, and 3. I think your on track with the locks and Passwords. But I think you need to speak with the parents of the children involved because if it has happen once it has happen before. To me if this had happened to my son. I would want to know. Because there just getting curious about the girls/ women. But Good luck on your decision and I know as a mom u will make the right one.
T.C. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
I have a 15 year old boy that has done the same things in the past. One thing I have done is be very open with him from a young age when it comes to conversations about sex. He is now comfortable to ask me just about anything. Yes...sometimes it turns my face red when he asks but I would much rather he have accurate information. There have been times that he asked me about something he heard at school that was totally off the wall. I think our relationship is stronger because he knows I will not lie to him about this stuff. He now has a girlfriend and I talk to him all the time about abstinance but what other precautions should be taken if that is not the route they choose. (I have no interest in becoming a grandmother yet) I still keep a close eye on them though and I try not to let them have any alone time to experiment. Oh...and I would definitely let the other parents know what is going on so they are aware and can handle it in their own way.
M.W. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
I think it's grand that you took the time and researched what your son has been doing on the computer. But I don't think you should be overly alarmed or over react. You know the saying, boy's will be boy's. What I think you have hear is a real opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with your son. Afterall, he is turning into a young man.
C.G. answers from Detroit on March 08, 2007
Many of the advices out here are good ones,I have a 16 year old and just caught him doing this. The internet these days replaces the old "store the magazines under the bed" idea. Sigh sad to say it is something even the most Christian parents run into(I am just as religious but not as much so as my sister who's three boys all went through this stage) Mostly it is curiosity and one person said that was true...having the talk these days,he probably knows already about that if he is viewing this webpage. I gave that talk to my 16 year old when he was 10 and also my 11 year old daughter last year. My parents even in the days before internet gave me the "talk" at age 10...,but it wouldn't hurt for you to tell him your view of it. He will remember that more then his buddies and cousins sneaking around trying to find out the allure of naked girls.
T.H. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
Tell your brother-in-law what you have learned. He will have to deside what he wants to do about it in his home. If he chooses to just let it go then I would limit the time the boys spend together and stop the sleep overs. Have your husband have a discussion about the birds and bees. Your son will most likely be less embarrassed and more likely ask questions. This can help a great deal by giving him the correct info as opposed to what he can learn from the internet. I would also use the time to advise him on safe sex. We can't always be there to stop our children so the best we can do is teach them safety. When I learned my oldest had sex I set all of my children down with a cucumber and a condom. Most people don't even know that there are directions in the box on the proper use. If a child desides to have sex then he/she isn't going to take the time to read the directions. Young boys need to learn the proper respect for females so help him as a family. The worst you can do is not face this now. Education is always the best way to prevent sex at too early of an age. This is how my children were raised at the advise of professionals. Our girls were about 18 when they had sex the first time and our son was just a bit older then them his first time. Educate him on diseases that he can get and if you can get graphic pictures and go over the info in detail. Young boys and girls think they know more than they do. Alot of the info they get is wrong and you are the only one that will give it to him straight. Dialogue that is age appropiate is the best. He should also be educated on the male and female anatomy and the proper use (breast are for feeding babies, etc.). I'm an RN and know that young boys are at a greater danger for getting testicular cancer. He must be able to examine himself and not be shy about coming to his parents if he finds something abnormal. Males from their early teens into their forties are at the greatest risk. Good luck!
A.L. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
Uhhh, yes, I would have to put a stop to that real quick and not let my child on the computer unless he/she was supervised and only for schoolwork.
As far as letting the brother in law know about this. ABSOLUTLEY.....I am sure if it was the other way around you would want someone telling you. That would just be common sence.
They do have parental controls on the computers. I don't know who you are signed up with as far as internet service, but I would be contacting them also.
A.M. answers from Jackson on March 09, 2007
Hi Keri. I have also encountered the exact same problem with my 13 yr old son. I caught him sneaking online after he was told his hour is up for the day (he only gets 1 hr a night a little extra on weekends). His comp is in his room which was a x-mas gift. Well my husband and I did not take the comp away but he can only use it with his door open and I check the history everytime he is done with it and we unplug the internet from the comp after every use and the only way to plug it back in is too come out to the dining room and pull out the comp desk. We sat and talked with him why it is wrong for him to be on these sites and you are darn straight I would notify the other family about this. We have also had the fun sex talk awhile back and my husband and I are completely honest with our son and he comes to us with any questions also. So far it is working great and he hated it at first which was good b/c that meant it was working. Now he is just used to it. If he shuts his door at all during comp time he is off the comp and its unplugged, whether he has homework or not. I bought him a notebook to use just in case. Also if he gets caught again on sites like this his comp will be gone indefinetly. As a parent I feel kids are losing their innocense too soon w/out the help of sites like this and they nned to learn to be kids as long as possible. Good Luck to you and I hope this helped even a little.
I AM A MOTHER OF THREE- AGES 13, 10, 8. MARRIED 10 YRS AND AM 30 YRS OLD.
D.H. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
I'll be honest and give you my very strong opinion on this matter. The talk needs to happen. My son is 10 and has asked questions. I am very open with him, and though I don't go into detail about everything, he knows the basics, and he also knows alot of the risks. THe way I see it, if they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to know. But you are the one who can judge on what to elaborate on. I wasn't taught anything, I never had the talk, even though my mom thought I did. Her talk to me was "DON'T do it!" And that was it. I was pregnant at 14. I didnt' know anything about anything and was told "don't", so as a teenager, I rebelled and found out for myself, the hard way. So I am very open with my kids and because of that, my son is very open with me and comes to me with any questions he may have about anything at all. As he gets older, he'll want to more details of coarse and I'll try to be as decent as I can but I'd prefer him finding out all the truths from me, and my husband than from learning on his own. Your son is 12 and is in that very curious stage, so I suggest getting a couple books, I have a few, and reading thru them and then sitting down and asking him what thinks about it all and let him ask you a bunch of questions. And you shouldn't feel uncomfortable about it, you want him to be comfortable talking with you too. It's natural for boys to be curious at that age, we just have to learn as parent how to guide them. Tricky stuff, lol. I wish you all the best luck. I must say, this sounds very similar to what's going on with my 14 year old brother and my cousin's 15 year old son. They also sneak on the computers too. But my mom doesn't talk to my brother the same way she didn't talk to me. Ya can't tell her anything, I swear.
L. answers from Detroit on March 09, 2007
You need to have the 'big talk'. It should've been done years ago. He needs to respect girls and women. These pictures are disrespectful. I would want to know if my son were to see this stuff so tell the parents today!! This is huge.
K.C. answers from Benton Harbor on March 08, 2007
As far as the "big talk" goes, he probably already knows way more than you think he does. I learned everything I know about the birds and the bees from my friends at school. As far as the parental lock on the computer. I have heard those don't work, as kids are very computer savvy and can figure out how to get around them. If you want to stop him from looking up that kind of stuff, put the computer in a community room, like the kitchen or dining room and that way you or his father is right there when he is using the computer. Don't let him be in a room with just him and the computer. I think he is just probably curious and this is just a natural boy thing. Just remember, he is almost a teenager, I know that is hard for parents to realize sometimes, hope this helps.
M.H. answers from Detroit on March 08, 2007
I don't have any children that old yet, but I do have two boys and so this is something my husband and I have already discussed. You have to absolutely have locks and passwords on your computer so he cannot pull this stuff up in your home, however his friends may be able to pull this up at their houses so I WOULD mention it to your son's friends parents if you still want him to go over their houses. I mean I'm sure there are always gonna be ways boys will get their hands on something of that sort, but at least you can now be aware that he is at that age and keep a good eye on him and put passwords on the tv and computer.. Its terrible how there is so much of that out there and within such little reach for these children to see these days.. It really does worry me and that is why my husband and I are already discussing it now. Good luck!