Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Electronic Thingies

The more a person thinks they know about parenting the more likely it is that person will be knocked out by a flying diaper genie.

The list of stuff our parents didn't have to worry about, but WE do, gets longer every day. When I started substituting for the school district last year I was horrified by the policies for cell phone and technology use. Every school tweaks it a bit but overall if a child has a phone or tablet or whatever (and most do), they can freely use it at lunch and recess, between classes and wherever else they can sneak a click.  One school allows kids to use them in class for answer searches etc. I have 3 objections to this.

1. Porn
2. Pedophiles
3. Kids who do not have a tablet or phone or whatever

Naturally, my kids have greatly misinterpreted their personal need for phones. No.  How ridiculous. I'm going to give my flippy- brained kids a highly expensive, tiny, delicate machine? Just, no. When I started back to work in the fall though, I realized I could pick up a lot more hours if I could get hold of them during the day with scheduling.

Sigh. Phones for Christmas.

Thinking it through exhaustively, we figured Teena would probably be ok and would likely hardly even use the thing. We'd have to keep a close eye on Genea though. Unhealthy boundaries and poor judgement translate to a high risk of dangerous crap coming directly into our home through the air (or however wi-fi works). I dunno though, it kind of seems like we should be teaching good habits and safety with technology as soon as it's reasonable. The problem being there's no precedence for parents. No tips that worked or didn't work for previous generations. Just in maybe the past 10 years or so our lives have become saturated with these devices. My brother in law jokes that kids today live 3 inches from the wall, obsessively clicking their electronica while recharging.

I feel like I should be protecting my children from the internet, controlling the snot out of it and supervising closely. However, kids have internet at school. If they do not have a device, they can look at whatever they want to see on someone else's. It may sound like schools have strong security on their wi- fi but all the kids have to do is close out wi- fi and use cellular data. Here is something scary I learned on reddit. Schools have pretty decent firewall system and everything you wouldn't want your kid to see is blocked. Where I work, even facebook is blocked. However, a delightfully clever young student somewhere figured out an easy hack. Enter whatever vile website you want into google translate. Pick any language, it doesn't matter. Paste the translation into your search bar and SHAZAM!

So as apprehensive as I am, there is a logic to getting kids on their own devices so they can learn, and fail,  re- learn, screw up, learn some more.

Anyway they were excited.

This blur is Teena. She couldn't stop jumping.
Though actually, she looks like this most days.

Genea. Surprised and happy. Just a little.

I figured I would gain some peace and quiet. I am not ashamed to say this is the best part.

(I've decided I like the "vignette" setting on pics this week)

I keep the chargers in my room and the phones sleep next to my head. I look through them at night, and The Husband has a dealie-bop that sends everything to his phone, even if it was cleared.

Genea is fine. It is SO FUNNY listening to her talk to friends being silly, giggly and a dreadfully normal almost- teenager.

"he said what??? Then what happened? giggle* giggle* giggle! do you still think Mr. R is so cute? *giggle streak* omg he is! wear your purple shirt tomorrow and I'll wear mine!"

Her texts are the same.

What surprised me to the nth degree was that she freaked out (not the good kind) because she'd not expected a phone. I go and write that whole long ass post about holiday meltdowns (scroll down to see) and I never once considered that surprising her with something so unexpected would jam us up. Mercifully it was short lived. Probably cuz it's too hard to tantrum and text ha ha.

Teena is psycho text stalking friends.

minute 1 Hello
minute 1.5 HELLO
minute 2 WHERE ARE YOU

She has lost the case already.

This weekend, she ran up a $230 tab donating to a minecraft server owner.
(thank tequila we were able to get it refunded).

DON'T FORGET if you're looking for a great book on adoption that applies to the way it is NOW, as opposed to 20 years ago, read the previous post and order the book. Discount runs thru 1/18/16!!!!


  1. Hahahaha on the minecraft thing. When DS #2 was in high school he had over 800 texts in a 48 hour period. Don't ask me what the bill was. (we got our plan changed retroactively) We spoke about it recently and he told me it was a girl, his first "girl friend" and she
    He told me he didn't know how to get her to stop. ( told him to say something like this:
    "I'm going to bed now"
    What a radical concept.
    Good luck w/the phones! maybe we can give each other tips and tricks. ;-)

    1. actually CB, I have been watching for you and BG to tackle this first. With your techie kids I really thought I could look to you for guidance!

    2. Well, (insert sheepish grin) she already has a phone as I think I mentioned back in Septemeber or October and DS #2 got a new one for Christmas so DH gave DS's old one to BG. (can you keep all that straight, because i sure can't) and apparently while she was MORTIFIED to carry around my old phone, DS's is acceptable. Which means she always has it in her hand. What was DH thinking?????

    3. oooh, I do remember now that you mention it. Well I'll be looking forward to your upcoming post on managing the complicated aspects of having the whole world available in her hand. Soon I hope.
      Genea once used a computer at school to look for her orphanage in Ukraine. I never thought she might do that, and its not a biggie, I showed her the actual pictures when she got home. But there are more things to consider than the usual- imagine that.

  2. Omg! My middle schooler doesn't have her own device yet. And has still managed to create fake Facething profiles so she could friend random people in Baltimore because she liked their pictures and wanted to make them into anime drawings. Because yes, all her friends have phones and she can get on the internet any time she wants by proxy. Though the best argument for her getting her own phone struck me when she called me from the school office last week. If she gets her own phone, I will know it's her as opposed to the actual assistant principal. May he not need to call me anytime soon.

    1. bwaaaahhahaha! I realized that this week too! Genea ran her phone out of power and had to call with the school phone. Well no way am I answering THAT!
      Genea is way into anime too, I have no idea where it came from but I love that she loves it, she's into drawing it also. TThankfully not approaching internet strangers (yet- submits prayers and sacrifice to deities of such)

  3. Great article!

    My husband worries about our child growing up addicted to screens and we've decided we'll limit their television time and phone time (once they're older) until they're old enough to be able to do things on their own. When they start driving, we're not going to be able to keep track of what they do all of the time.

    I grew up without many electronics or internet at home. The most I had was a Nintendo Gamecube up until we needed internet when we were in high school. Either way, it was definitely for the best because I know how to research without the internet at my fingertips.

    1. yeah, it really is scary what all they have access to online. I had to use the card catalog to do research in school, lol! I'm so old though if I wanted to change the channel on the tv I had to walk over and do it.

  4. All these kids will be wearing glasses or contact lenses by the time they reach their late teens. Until now studies have not shown conclusively that cellular phone signals affect a person, but like nicotine, it will take years for the studies to come to light and then the damage would have already happened. One sure thing, personal interaction, empathy etc will suffer greatly causing depression on a large scale. :)

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  5. You have beautiful family.I've become aware pornography isn't going away. It's a problem and we parents have to be willing to discuss it, not just with our daughters, but with our sons also.

  6. Let God bless you! That’s great there are such kind people like you on the globe. You may be interested in reading info about the orphanages in Ukraine

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  8. Hi! Unfortunately, the situation with orphans in Ukraine isn’t much better as in other developing countries. Often there is no funding for the most needed things. That’s why we are helping orphans here You can also join us and provide some kid with better living conditions.

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