Tuesday, October 8, 2013

www.kickme.com

Looking through my sons IG account, I always run into kids that take my breath away... and not in a good way. In a "Holy shit! How old is she?"

Lets be real. Everyone at this age wants to be older. It is a ridiculous ride, the coming of age stage, no one seems to be happy where they are. My son who should be AVERAGE 12 but lets be real, he is a young 12, is finding it increasingly hard to stay true to who he is. He is finding himself pulled between what feels right and what "looks" right. Meaning, what everyone else is doing... I have fought the long hard battle of "be yourself". That is our motto. Like, no shit. It is what I write on his notes, I write it in his room, I tag his desk... we live by it. All of us and he agrees and embraces it. It's tough though. There are less things for 12 year old to do that is kid like, they get lost in the mix and are all but forced into being a teenager.

News flash! They are not fucking teenagers. If they fall off their skateboards, they still cry. When they go to camp, they still miss us. When their friends are assholes, they still tell us... they are kids.
But they have nothing of their own.

No one wants to play anymore, but why? Do you know 12 yo kids don't get recess? What the shit is that? Why don't they get to run around and blow off some steam? They get a long lunch break but you know what they look like (when I walk by, yes kids, I walk by the school at lunch but it is on the way to the park) they look like a bunch of teenagers! And not unlike a bunch of bums sitting on the benches. Laying on the ground, half on their phones, the other half just sitting. I'd like to think that there are a good number of kids that given the right (and maybe some encouragement) would actually like to be doing something.

GASP!

It is seemingly overnight that our kids, the ones that were hiding teeth under their pillow (who started that weird thing?) are now telling their friends they "look high", that they stole a beer and that they have had sex. Yes boys and girls. Your kids are having sex. Not all of them but some of them. So when they want to come downstairs to their Easter basket or open presents from Santa, I'd like you to think about it, once you pull your head out of the sand.
Because it is easier to say "kids will be kids" and "they are good kids" or "they will grow out of it"- it is easier and you know maybe that is just how it works out most of the time, but not here. Not with me. I could not be any less "cool" of a Mom. I am raising a man but god damn if I am not going to help him enjoy his youth. It is my greatest work being a Mom and I don't think that letting him slip off into the land of social media is an option- it's a choice and I choose no. I choose to keep parenting. Even though I have little ones that need me, he needs me more.
I wish I could have had more opportunities to stay young. I grew up real fast. Real fast. And it is not fair and it sucks and I am not a better person because of it. I also know that my childhood was mine, it made me me and I know that my kids get to have their own, it gets to be better, different, stronger and less... grown up.



Seems with every new generation kids are getting into more trouble, sooner. Or at least looking for it.

It is not cool to check your child's internet life.

It is not cool to look at their text messages.

It is not cool to tell your child they are too young for a Facebook page or that they can live their whole lives without a Kik www.kik.com account or the disaster that is http://www.ask.fm
(AKA ask.gofuckyourself.com)

Go look it up. Look for your child by name, most are under their given name, some have their IG nickname. And if you are not privy to their IG www.instagram.com account (which I personally believe you should have access to their password and all of that noise) and they are set on private and they won't accept you as a "friend"- there is a reason for that. If that reason is "you will embarrass me!" just tell them they have no idea and call me because I have some ideas.


Do you know about this ask.fm? That there has been a website created (my guess is by a 47 year old pervert with a white van and "pink lemonade" scribbled on the outside) for our kids to log onto and then get obliterated by the internet version of a "kick me" sign.

Although it is so much worse. In fact, lets bring back the kick me sign. That shit was like sniffing markers versus this, which is like bath salts.


So our children (yeah kids, you are children still) are on this page, they have their information so we know who they are and then anyone (usually kids that they know that are complete assholes) can write them asking them anything.

ANYTHING!

They can say "what's your cats name?" or "you are a fucking ugly slut".

Our kids are dying for attention, people. They are not getting it and because we don't watch them like a hawk anymore, they are going elsewhere. They are getting online and playing with their innocence with a bunch of other kids that hang out in their rooms alone too long and have too much time on their hands.

Our children don't realize that when you call someone a "bitch" it is out there. You're name is on that (well unless you are "ANON" which is even more ridiculous that our kids would solicit questions from people that can remain anonymous, why? WHY??)

It is not fair that a few kids can ruin what I have worked my child's life on. But that is the simple truth, it is NOT fair and I know that. At least the kids that make fun of my son (yeah, you little bastards, I know who you are) calling him a lesbian (which in my book is not an insult because lesbians rule) do it to his face but man, if he was on this stupid POS site, it would get ugly. Kids are mean to him and if you have ever met him you would know he is sweet and honest and smart and bossy and just the most amazing guy EVER! Jealousy is an ugly thing. We have talked long and hard about how these sites are created to get in the press and make money off of sad things. They are there to create drama and that it doesn't have to be a part of your life. IG is a fantastic way to express yourself and show people who you are (and yet I have seen some lame shit there too) but pages that let you text anything and everything and it "disappears". Do they honestly believe that some sick fuck isn't collecting all their half naked pictures and stringing them up with clumps of hair he collects off the back of movie theatre seats? I mean, if you want to show someone your tits, flash them. It will disappear, FOR REAL! If you want to know who has made out with whom, ask THEM not "fm"... maybe the "fm" part stands for "four men" which is completely off base because these are not men.  They are irresponsible humans causing unwanted, unnecessary grief to your kids.

STOP IT.

Do our kids know that they don't have to subject themselves to this?
I don't think so, not a lot of them anyway.
And it is not unlike a cigarette, once you smoke/ create an account, it is not so easy to just stop/ delete. I didn't have my Instagram account for like a month due to my phone being a piece of shit and you know, I had withdrawals. Like FOR REAL. And I know what is best of me, mostly and I really really missed it. I'm an adult.

They aren't. They are kids. They know what others are doing and they know what sounds "fun". They know that when they are sitting in class and people are talking about something and they are like "what?" when the kids say "oh, nothing.... just something we were talking about on KIK or Ask.fm..." they know that they are missing out on something . They know it sucks to be the outsider and the kids are rude, they taunt them, they want them to get on the site, create an account to most likely rip them to shreds. I think they mainly want to know stuff and love the fact that they can take it too far and never have to own up to it. They never have to be responsible. Isn't that the bottom line here? Aren't we supposed to raise them to be responsible? How can we teach such a thing when they are unsupervised in this web torture. Even the ones that aren't torturing, they are being tortured. Who's there for them? What if they aren't supposed to have an account, they don't tell you about the harassment... then what? Who will help them then? It's not as easy and just deleting it. Like with anything- it is easier to get it at the jump. Don't do it.


Update:
After spending my morning writing, I came back this afternoon and read the news. I am sad and sickened and little creeped out by my ghostly insight.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385844/Hannah-Smiths-sister-reveals-abused-wake-hanging-tragedy.html

They are creating something that is doing no good in the world, only making millions for themselves and it is not like they are donating profits to suicide prevention or even feeding the hungry. I think you make a choice when you make millions off of the people- you need to give back, do good or bad will find you.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2388980/Ask-fm-Mother-Latvian-tycoons-founded-website-centre-suicide-row-makes-shocking-attack.html


5 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you wrote about this. Nick is a young 11, still likes playing with legos and magic cards and is unfortunately embarrassed by it because his friends are starting to date. He's not there, but has been made to feel bad because of it - and it crushes me. I've watched the boys, not teens, but boys that were his best friends shift away from him because he's not "as cool" as they are. He's still a boy, he's not a teenager and even further away from being a man, but it breaks my heart to think that he's being pushed to grow up too fast. Thanks for posting this - it hits home for me, in more ways than you know.

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  2. Bobbi! Quattro and Nick need to hang out. Are you at Whitman?

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  3. It's as if you are nobody unless you're seen, liked and linked on communities, ie yet another world for our kids to not only be able to handle but also conquer. Hell, even the adult do it with their stupid heavily filtered FB-avatars with ducklips, 3999 friends and a youtube-channel...

    One could hope it's only a trend but I am pretty sure it's not. Be liked, be followed and be admired.
    Unfortunately I think the trolls are some of those people that had high hopes to become liked, followed and admired on the internet when real life turned out to be shite, but failed. It's the same story as in the school, at the job and elsewhere - some become bullies to make sure nobody bullies them. They point the other way - Hey, look at that.

    Iggy's younger than your son but we're having similar issues. We're debating changing schools, moving, well anything really. It seems once the bullies have them on the hook, they won't let go.

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  4. *Standing ovation*

    Hell yes. What's sad about the cyberbullying, is, that as people grow older, the bullies always remain just that. Sometimes they shed the anonymity, sometimes not. That's probably one of the biggest things that I fear for my fiance's 13stb14 year old daughter. (Her mother largely lets her surf the web on her laptop and phone unsupervised - basically, as long as the kid isn't burning down the house, she doesn't give a damn). She doesn't have friends in real life because of being dragged away from them every time her mom gets a bug up her butt to move (which is far too often, IMO). So, I (and her dad) fear that she's going to seek that out online and, in her less than refined skills of critical thinking, fall prey to bullies or other ridiculous nonsense, like SnapChatting adult selfies. Now, there are good people out there and I have personally cultivated a fine stock of internet friends since I was a teenager because, largely, the people I grew up with WERE the bullies. But, for all the awesome people I've met via the internet, I've met just as many bullies and trolls, if not more. And it's easy to fall into their traps when you're younger and trying to assert yourself, find out who you really are, and growing up way too quickly.

    She's already hit that marker of being "too old" for stuff. She gives up on things pretty quickly when people pick on her for them. I remember my first Christmas with her father, we got her a paid Club Penguin membership (she was 10 and LOOOOOVED Club Penguin), three months later, she told us that she gave it away to a friend because it was "for babies." Hell, she's even claiming that she's going to be too old to trick or treat after this year (I wanna meet whoever told her this and tell them how wrong they really are, I trick or treated waaaaay longer than that because, c'mon, free candy! Costumes!). Of course, if I ever try to tell her that she can trick or treat as long as she wants to, she'll likely just roll her eyes and tell me how uncool it is to trick or treat. I think my biggest desire to help her assert her youth comes from having to grow up far too quickly myself in a myriad of ways. My dad passed away when I was 12 and it wrecked my world. I wish she would just hold on to the youthfulness, like I tried to do myself.

    Even when they're teens, they're at this weird transition. They're not yet adults, but they're not little kids anymore. But, you're absolutely right. They're still children. I wish all parents thought/parented the way you do.

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  5. BRAVO!! I have 5 kids, 13-26. I'm very fortunate, due to the fact that my husband retired young (military), & WE parented the kids.The concept of 'RAISING CHILDREN' is becoming obsolete. My kids used to say 'I'm bored' Bored? As a kid? I used to find stuff to do- build forts, climb trees, play.....just play! So we homeschooled our kids till high school. We made sure they had a lot of social interactions, so they were prepared for the world, but we gave them a damned good foundation. And we were successful. They had to 'earn' tv, computer, phone time, by doing things that were creative. My son (19) started writing, directing, and acting in plays w/the neighborhood kids when he was 8. He's been in film school in L.A. by himself, since 17. We used to make them go outdoors, & find things to do. They couldn't just sit- dig holes, play games, inspect bugs, whatever! Just to make sure their bodies & brains didn't get lazy. We are a very close & healthy family, because we did or job. We gave them our TIME. I know a lot of parents don't have/want that luxury, but now, more than ever in the history of mankind, our kids need us desperately! A few years back, a neighbor boy told us that he & his gf were having sex, yeah, true to god intercourse. They were 11! 11! My Kids were still playing w/Barbies & action figures. I refused to let them grow up too fast. Like some of you, I was living the 'high' life by 13, smoking, sex, driving etc. because I had inept parents. I left home w/out any coping, social, self care, or common sense skills, @15. I had my daughter @ 16, and she changed my soul. If having kids doesn't positively affect your views on yourself, your life,& your world, then something is terribly wrong. Figure it out like, quick, or let someone else raise them, & don't have any more! And I'm proud to be the uncool Mom. I know I'm doing my job well, if I piss my kids off weekly.But they get more affection, praise, encouragement and love, than any of their friends. They were allowed and still allowed, to be just kids. My Kids. And even though they differ greatly, and have their idiosyncrasies, they are healthy, well adjusted, creative & proud to be them. And I, I'm blessed just to know them....

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