Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Schmappy.

Someone once told me that the best way to be happy, is to ACT happy. Even if you feel like stabbing your own eyes out. Even if your life sucks. If you put on a smile, and act happy, it will make the sads go away, and eventually, you will be happy.

Yeah, all I get when I do that is the urge to laugh that normal?

So, my daughter has a blog. No, I will not be providing a link to it. She's twelve, and she's been bugging me to get one since about the age of ten. I decided to let her finally have it, and she's having fun with it, but I have a few conditions.

1) She uses a fake name
2) She uses fake names for everyone she talks about
3) She never discloses her age
4) She lets me read it
5) She doesn't tell ANYONE about it, other than close family

So far, it's worked. She loves it, and she has fun making up ridiculous names for girls she doesn't like, and boys she does like, and all that stuff that seems important to a twelve-year old. And she's off my back.

Does it make me a bad parent? I was hesitant at first, but I think my rules (as long as they are obeyed, and she's a good girl) have made it do-able. Her friends at school have blogs and websites and Facebook, and some of them make videos of themselves and post them on YouTube. (The horror!) I told her if any of her friends ever put video of HER on YouTube, you can bet I will be on the phone and I will be doing the She-bear thing. She's smart, she stays away from that kind of stuff.

But it scares me, how some parents trust their kids, or blatantly have no idea what they are doing on their computers in their rooms. I won't let any of my kids have a personal computer in their room. The "kids" computer is in a central location in the family room downstairs, with the screen facing out so everyone can see what's going on.

I've heard too many horror stories from Thing One about what her friends do on their computers. It scares me. I know I've said this before, but when *I* was twelve, I was still climbing trees and riding my bike and not caring that I wore the same pair of shoes every day. My life was relatively untouched by technology (except the TV) and it was SO much calmer and simpler. I have a twelve-year old who is addicted to her cell phone, computer, ipod, you name it.

And I'm ranting. I'd better step down and try to enjoy the day! Pasting a grin on my face, now!

Have a good weekend, all.


Michelle Miles said...

You know... when I'm in a bad mood, I want to stay that way until I feel like coming out of it and everyone better stay out of my way. :)

My 8 year old has been asking for a cell phone. And he wants to play on the computer ALL the time. Being a parent these days is hard work.

Lee Anne said...

Wanted to tell you how timely this entry is for me. I just got off my almost 13 yr old daughter's FB page (I check it regularly)feeling sad and shocked about what the kids are allowed to do! So glad to have come across another sane mother today. Love your blog btw. I've been reading it for about 2 years! =)

Lara said...

Lee Anne,

I hear you. What's scary is, the kids sometimes don't realize that what they're posting on their web pages could potentially attract the wrong sorts of audiences. We have to be "on them" about it!

Devon Ellington said...

What she's doing is earning your trust. And you're teaching her that if she earns the trust, she gets to do more stuff.

Most of the rules my parents imposed were common sense, and they all had serious consequences. I wanted my parents' trust and stayed within their rule book -- until I left home! ;) Then I did a bunch of stuff and realized they were right in the first place! ;)

But I was always pretty cautious about contact with strangers, even though my adolescence was pre-Facebook, YouTube, etc.

I think you've set up a great situation with fair boudnaries. Good for you!