Sunday, February 27, 2011

mothering in the new millenium

being a mom in 2011 is a complicated business. maybe it's always been complicated forever & always, but with technology comes this whole new world of stuff to figure out.

i've got a youtube account where i'll post things sometimes, mainly so that i can share our lives with the family members far away, and sometimes i let brooke post one of her own silly little videos of her playing with toys or one of her kitties. but i also posted some videos of when the stray outside cat gave birth last spring. brooke was in some of them & she was clearly very excited & nervous, sometimes crying as she gave the cat pep talks to help her through the birthing process. i just checked & since i posted it in may, it's had 5,497 views, which seems insane to me because i figured no one but my mom & maybe a couple friends would ever watch that.

that's all fine & dandy, but sometimes i get comments from dumbasses who feel the need to comment on my videos saying things like, "that brat needs to shut the f#*k up." or "why don't you just smack the kid already & get her the hell away from that cat?" the first time that happened, i think smoke blew out of my ears & i started breathing rapidly, adrenaline racing, and wanting to throw down with the rude trash who would dare to say such things about my baby. i figured out how to delete the comments & block the rudies so they can't comment on me & mine again, but it leaves me perplexed about how to deal with some of this stuff in the brave new online world.

brooke has been begging for her own youtube account for months, but we've been very hesitant to allow that since there are so many nuts & undesirables lurking around the interwebs. but then again, she's got her own blog & she & i both post pictures of us online. so we recently decided to let her have her own account, with certain stipulations, in order to keep it as safe as possible. i've got comment moderation on & she can't post anything without one of her parents viewing it first. i think she actually likes that part because i have to sit & watch all her goofy little videos of littlest pet shops and zhu zhu pets playing and acting out scenarios.

another thing is helping her deal with getting hacked. she's got a webkinz account where (don't judge me) i play games to earn her money (stopit, i see you mocking me with your eyes) so that she can buy anything webkinz land could possibly offer. i can't give her all of her heart's desires in real life, but darn i'm a fantastic provider online. if only i could get paid real money to play silly games rather just kinz cash. last week her account got hacked & someone played with her animals and spent all her money. it was distressing to her to feel like her own private space had been invaded, even though it was only online. maybe this will be a good lesson on not giving out passwords & always remembering to lock doors.

and we've also had a couple times lately when someone sent me a chat msg & she was the one at the computer. brooke likes to reply to them, but she's not much of a speller yet. one friend wrote back after brooke's second or third weird response & wrote, "are you drunk?!" brooke thought that was about the funniest thing she'd ever read & is now determined to impersonate me online, any opportunity she gets. she once even hacked my facebook account & told the world that i had SBD's (silent but deadly farts) which i didn't, i might add. not that day, anyway.

i'm open to any thoughts or suggestions you guys might have about online safety or parental policing. we're only just cracking the surface on all the ways that parenting has changed in the age of technology and it seems like it's all a big pile of trial and error. God help us!


  1. I tried parental controls once, but Kiddo couldn't go anywhere.
    Not even Primary Games unless I OKed it.
    She used to do Webkinz. I think that's the site that has chat and safe chat. I had safe chat on.
    One of her friends got her started doing forums on WOW when she was Brooke's age. I put a stop to that.
    Maybe I was being overprotective, but everyone can read those and who knows where all the creepers are online.
    I preached to her about what not to tell people online.

  2. i agree about the parental controls. it makes it so that they can't do anything if you crank it up. and if you don't, the garbage is still there.
    i'm definitely not wanting brooke on WOW at this point. and i'm always reminding her about what she can and can't say online. but almost everything she does on here goes through me anyway, so it feels like i'm being as safe as i can without completely cutting it all off.

  3. All that stuff is so creepy. I don't have any advice. I tell my kids that I have secret codes to go into my computer to see where they've surfed, hoping to deter them from navigating the porn sites. I'm not sure they believe me, and honestly, I have no way of knowing where they are going. I just hope they aren't any of the weirdos saying your kid should stay away from the cat in the Youtube video!
    As for Webkins, why didn't i think of that myself! I so could have gotten my youngest some good coin!
    You're a genius!

  4. Sandra, you can check the history and find out where they have been.

  5. It is hard. When my kids were younger I always checked their histories. Now though, not so much. We have had some bad experiences with chat on Facebook when our kids were younger. Just gossip related bullying. It's a new world. We take a similar approach as Sandra so our kids think we can view much more than we really can but my teens are both in high school now so it's a little different.

  6. When my girls were younger, I only allowed them acces to our desktop which I placed in the living room so I could see what they were doing and locked down the computer when I wasn't home. Later, they had MySpace accounts but used fake information to help with security and I had their passwords so I could oversee their accounts. Now they're 18 & 19 and the only thing I have left is to make them watch and read stories about internet stalkers and bullying and trolling and just hope for the best.

  7. You may want to try It's a free internet filter that you can use to be very specific about what you and yours can view online. That's pretty much all I've got.

  8. It's scary! I refused to have internet access in my house when my kids were that age, but back then 70s and early 80s computers weren't such an integral part of everything!

    You really need to do something about those SBD's! LOL

  9. Brutal. I've long hated the rationale that just because you're "anonymous" on the net, it gives you the right to be a douche. If you're not a total douche in the real world, don't be one online. Or maybe the greater majority of humans are as rancid as I don't want to believe...

    No suggestions yet. Jack is a youtube searching fiend.

  10. I worry about my nieces and nephews in cyberspace too, I don't want any scary people ever contacting them. I really like your new template for your blog, I just changed mine today to all green for St. Patrick's Day/Spring. I also tagged you in my post today since it was a story that you reminded me of :)

  11. Oh my gosh, that is all so scary. People are so crazy! I would have also been livid at someone posting mean comments about the web videos. They need to get a life! I wish I had advice but I guess my parents just educated us on the dangers and checked the computer history!

    SBD- HA!

  12. Sherilin - I agree with most of the others on this issue. I think it is important to limit the exposure of your children on the internet. Not so much on the Webkinz game sites you understand; but the pictures and videos.
    As you have provided examples of the creeps posting rude comments; this world is full of predators. They are on the news everyday. Just my 'now that I am a Dad' soapbox opinion...

  13. wish I could help... but Kid #1 is 5 and kid #2 is 2... we haven't gotten there yet. Pray for me when we do... both are girls.

  14. Too much hate and negativity on youtube and you cannot compete with digital natives, they'll find a way around any "parental control".

  15. I grew up in a semi-computerised world, I was about 10, and we had that screechy dial-up... good old days. I guess there weren't many traps for kids back then, but nevertheless this internet thing was new, and my folks were like watch-dogs over my shoulder all the time. I don't know how I will work this when I have my own children...

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  17. Our 6YO came out with freshly printed coloring pages one day. When I asked her where she got them, she told me she googled "princess coloring pages" and opened some links until she found them! After that, I was in freak out mode. Now, they have to have one of us there when they're searching. Not quite sure what to do after that! I'll be learning from you!

  18. I let my kids on Webkinz world and those type of kid sites. They have there own blogs, which I should share with you! and that is it. Through Kelsey's online school she has an email. Her school really teaches online safety, even better than I do. I don't know. We lean more on the side of not letting them have everything, do everything...keep them young. How much should they be online anyways. I think they should be outside playing. I worry about where this will all go with this generation.


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