I’ve listened to you my entire life and the only piece of advice I didn’t listen to was as it pertained to giving my children electronic devices with internet access. We are good and involved parents, and our kids are hardworking and kind. Surely, we could trust them with some limited internet access. They were twelve before we gave them iPads. It was a HUGE mistake!!
Our 13-year-old-son was chatting on a gaming site, but it soon escalated into talking in a sexual way to strangers on that site. He also communicated with some kids from his private school on this site where they all used vulgar language and all they talked about was sex. When we found out, we totally shut him down. The iPad is gone forever, our internet at home is so locked down now that he can’t even download homework without our supervision. He cried terribly, and was embarrassed and felt cut off from his friends.
So, we started playing board games at night as a family, and watched movies together. Each day got easier as we filled our son’s time with positive activities. Once he got over the shock of being shut down so swiftly, he actually got much happier. He’s less confused about sex, talks to us frankly, and feels more mature. He’s even told some friends that he’s glad he no longer has access to some of those games.
Thanks, Dr. Laura, for giving us parents strength to do what we know is right despite the crazy world around us. We have a good, kind and decent son, but he’s still a 13-year-old boy and we were fooling ourselves to think he could manage the internet on his own.
A 13-Year-Old Cannot Manage the Internet
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast