Sunday, January 30, 2005

13 and Pornography

Actually, I've changed my mind, I do have something I need to get out. Something that's been bugging me for the past few days since I walked into 13's room and caught him looking at pornography on his computer.

He didn't seem phased at all, just closed down the screen he was looking at, feigned innocence that he didn't realise it was porn and I let him off the hook by saying "does that kinda stuff just keep popping up on your screen?". To which he answered "yes". So I scanned his machine, got rid of popups and anything that looked remotely like a popup, defragged and am hoping I won't see that happen again.

Now, I don't want to overreact to this, he's at an age where this kind of thing is going to happen I suspect...curiosity getting the better of him etc. But is he really too young to be looking at things like that? I mean, you have to be at least 16 to do the deed don't you?...and in fact here in NZ, you can't even buy a girly magazine unless you're over the age of 18. Going on those facts, I feel he's too young.

But I'm trying to keep an open mind about it. I spoke to his father about it on Friday, thought I'd find out what his view of it was. He mentioned that it's natural and he was looking at magazines at that age (found under his Dad's bed). My argument to that is that the net is different from a couple of magazines. There is a huge resource on there about sex and some of it not particularly appealing, some of it downright disturbing. So Dad says for me to tell 13 that I'm aware of what he's looking at, that I can check his history anytime to find out where he's been going and should it happen again, I'm to pull the plug out of the back of the router for a month until he stops it.

I spoke to England last night about it. He said same thing as Dad, that it's natural but to keep an eye on how often he's looking at it. He says "if he's disappearing off into his bedroom all the time for hours at a time, then I'd suggest talking about it to him first and then pulling the plug" OMG, he's always in his bedroom...I just assumed that's something that teenagers do, bugger off and live their own lives behind their bedroom doors.

I sat 13 down and told him that I understood that he was curious to be looking at things like that, but he must understand that sex was not all about what he was seeing on those sites. I was concerned that he could get the wrong impression with some of the nasty stuff that can be seen on there. I also told him I'd prefer he didn't go looking at those sites at all. Time (and history)will tell I guess.

I do have to tell you that 13 has a girlfriend, nice girl (although 15 says she's a bit on the tough side, in fact he said he reckons she wears army boots). 13's been meeting this young lady quite a bit lately at the park...he's gone for a few hours at a time, and I shudder to think what my baby's upto while noone's looking, but I'm trying to be an understanding mother. Thing is, last time he came home from the park, he asked "when is the next time I'm alone in the house? I mean, like, when you're at work and 15's not here?". Immediately my senses were on full alert. I mean, that's a pretty big question to ask a mother who can jump to all sorts of conclusions. In the end I told him that I would ring his girlfriend's mother first and see if she was ok about her daughter being alone in the house with him (it's called passing the buck I believe). Needless to say I didn't have to ring the mother, he was quick to drop the conversation after that.

This coupled with his online adventures of late have me fighting with myself about openmindedness and understanding or removing the PC completely from his touch and shutting him in a closet until he's 30.

I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a mother of teenagers at times like these.
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