Goverment Taming the Internet – Parenting Teens

From the first time that I brought my daughter through that door- I learned that there were a lot of people waiting to tell me how to raise her. When I had my son those same people were still there telling me how to raise him.

My mother-in-law, she was the worst of all. The thing that got me was that she never raised her children-someone else did it for her. Therefore, what made her an expert?

Then you have your non parents who think they are an expert.

I know that they might mean well, but what made them an expert on child-rearing?

Recently I received the following comment concerning “The Deleting Online Predators Act.”

A recap- The proposed bill known as the “The Deleting Online Predators Act” was introduced by Michael G. Fitzpatrick.

The bill known as the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 – according to Michael G. Fitzpatrick would help prevent online predators from accessing children over the Internet if they were not allowed access to social Web sites on public school or library computers.

Iwannaknow comments on this are

“I am very concerned about the dangers of sites like myspace, but at the same time realize that getting the government involved in yet another issue is not the answer. The internet is a tool like any other and it can be used for good or evil. Myspace is simply another tool that can be used for good things or bad things.

Getting the government involved is in my opinion both helping to increase the size and scope of the government even further (which is very dangerous because at least in the USA our nation is becoming close to a tyranny) and is taking responsibility away from parents.”
Iwannaknow, we are talking about a website when created, was geared at college age students and adults. Since then it has become a social hot spot for teens.

Myspace attracts an estimated 180000 sign-ups each day. It’s true that sexual predators have been utilizing the internet way before Myspace, however MySpace has now become their playground.

Concerned about reports of pedophiles trolling MySpace, Michael G. Fitzpatrick is doing something about it.

I strongly believe the man should be applauded. Parents cannot be with their children 24/7.

Steps must be taken to create a safe environment for our children. Our city streets are policed; therefore the super highway of the internet should have restrictions.

I was reading an article today that said “Thanks to the proliferation of spam, child porn and other “evil” online, there will be an increasing demand for governments to tame the wild web.

All I can say is that it is about time and I realize that everyone will have a different point of view on this and I don’t expect you to think as I do. I also don’t wish for this to turn into a political debate.

There is no right or wrong point of view here and all I ask is that you try to look at this from a parent’s point of view.

Iwannaknow, you also said “According to my faith I am supposed to raise my child (I have never been married and currently have no children so this is if I ever have a family and children) in the teachings of Christ. Part of this is teaching my children right from wrong. It would be my duty to at least do everything in my power to not allow my children to use tools like myspace in irresponsible ways.”

“Personally, I don’t know if I would let a young child of mine use the internet at all, period. If I had a teenage child I would hope to have that child so busy with church acitivities that there would be no idle time for stuff like myspace.”

Let me reply to this.

Despite, all the dangers of the internet, it is a positive tool if used properly. The one reason that parents purchase a computer, that is so that children might use it for education purposes. Almost all students access the internet from school. Despite how involved your children are in school, church and social activities, I’m now sure how you could possibly restrict their use of a computer, when computers are the wave of our future. I agree that it is our job as parents to guide our children, nurture them, teach them good manners and install in them morals at the same time teach them life long survival skills.

However, as a mother of two teens and having been a teen at one point in my life- I know as well as you should, even if you’re not a parent with teenagers that teenagers will test the limits. That’s just the way that it is. Even young children rebel.

Being the parent of a teen is challenging. They are trying to find their place in society, then there are all the restrictions at home-at school- in the work place and then they are dealing with peer pressure and trying to fit in.

It’s natural for us to want to rescue our children. We don’t want to see them make the same mistakes that we did. But, I believe that our mistakes have made us who we are today. A parent’s job is never done and as our children grows and develops into young adults-they are going to make mistakes. Learning from those mistakes can be a wonderful teacher. As parents it’s up to us to inform them about the consequences of their actions and then let them learn on their own, in most cases they will see that Mom and Dad were right.

I don’t in anyway mean that you should allow your child to put themselves in harms way, but there are just some things that they need to learn on their own.

With that said, there is discipline that comes as a result of not listing to Mom and Dad and that’s part of the consequences. When you punish- I’ve learned that you must stick to the punishment. By giving in-they are in no way learning.

From the time that your child begins to walk, “no” becomes apart of your vocabulary and I believe that you continue to say “no” right into those teenage years. It’s all apart what is known as “tough love.”

It all comes down to loving your child unconditionally and despite the mistakes they will make- they are still your child.

One last note, Iwannaknow you said,

“Of course I realize that you cannot force morals on a child. But in reality I think there is a lot more many parents can be doing themselves instead of passing the responsibility onto the government.”

We cannot place all the blame on the parent. Children must take responsibility for their actions. Like I commented previously, we cannot watch our child 24/ 7. Because we cannot watch our children 24/7 and because teens will test authority, there has to be restrictions.

As I said I’m the mother of two teens and I do my best to guide my children, nurture them, teach them good manners and install in them morals, however I’m up against pear pressure and the fact that teens do not want to listen to their parents, teachers and other adults that have told them that their will be consequences to their actions.

Don’t you know that teens are at that age where they think that they know it all?

If the government at last is going to step in and pass a bill that will protect children, I’m all for it.


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