Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Teenagers

I have two teenage boys.

My 15 year old used my computer last night, and left his 'livejournal' open, along with about 5 other windows (myspace friends, etc). I was closing each one, when I came to the livejournal one. This site is like a diary, that your friends can read (only the friends that you choose). I read it, I'm sorry. I only glanced at the first post...but then it was like a train wreck that I couldn't walk away from.
He's lied to us. About a lot of things.
I'm going to have to confront him.
I understand the 'moving away' from your family thing. It's part of growing up. But does it have to be? I have always tried to be the non-judgemental kind of parent. The "you can talk to me about anything" type of parent. The only time I ever punish him (by taking away the computer) is when he is SO totally disrespectful to us that I can't take it anymore.
He's not talking to me, about the things that matter.

My other son, who will be 13 next week, is also having problems. School is out, and he's decided to not leave his room. He won't call friends.....and he only really has one friend. 7th grade was a difficult time for him.

Not sure what to do. With either one.
Is this blog all of a sudden becoming my 'livejournal'?
Has anybody been through this? Feel free to comment....

10 comments:

Jenn said...

I don't know what to tell you...that would be very upsetting. My son is only 12, but he is homeschooled and I have always controlled what he is exposed to. He doesn't get to go online ever, unless I am there and I pull up the website for him and his sister. (it's always school-related, to look up something educational)

But remember, online you can have a whole other personality, which may be very appealing for a young kid. Half of the stuff he is saying online he may just be saying for attention or to be someone else...so it may not even be a real honest idea of what is going on...just a thought.

Will be thinking of you and hoping you can work things out. It's a hard thing, raising teens. Best of luck and bless you~

P said...

My three are still pretty young (8, 6 and 4) but I'm gearing up for this sort of situation...

My oldest, in particular, is very private about her world and her emotions and doings, always has been. The more I ask, the less she's willing to tell.

Perhaps your son's online diary is part bravado/persona. (I work with a bunch of teenage boys and can vouch for the truth of Jenn's statement.)

Whatever the case, you have to trust that he will use the good judgement and values he was raised with. Teens are pretty darn myopic, but all the good stuff is still in there somewhere.

Perri

Deb said...

As the mom of a 15 year old son myself I wish I had some really great advice for you. I would definately ask him which version on the truth he's going to go with (what he told you or the livediary) and then make your decisions based on that.....

Are there any activities that your younger son may be interested in that might encourage him to leave his room?? Please watch carefully for signs of depression and get him some help if he needs it.

Wishing you all the best and hoping that everything works out well.....

Please let us know how it turns out.

Deb

Maggie, Dammit said...

Ugh.

This is so hard.

I've always told myself I would never read my girls' diaries, but then again, I'm not faced with it yet. I can certainly understand the urge - and who knows? I don't know what you saw, but maybe it was important that you see.

The Internet age is changing everything. The Livejournaling complicates things incredibly. I don't know what the answers are, but I'm so grateful my teenage scribblings are not forever preserved in cyberland. My eyes are bleeding just thinking about reading them.

Ooof.

Good luck to you.

Kim said...

You've been given a great gift of knowing and opportunity to discuss these things with your son. Please take time to think through your approach because you will likely get one chance to do it 'right'. One good thing - at least it was something only his friends could see and not in a public forum. What a perfect opportunity to also discuss the perils of online contacts.

How about some activities for your youngest son? I'll bet he meets new acquaintances before you know it!

mkjn said...

My two are only 5 and 2 so I haven't had to deal with anything like this yet. I love to think that I wouldn't read my kids diary, but I really would. It is hard to know though if whatever he said was truth or not, or a mixture. I don't understand the appeal of live journal. I don't think it would be like a real journal because you know someone is reading it. I do think the internet it scary for teens. I don't know what we'll do when ours are teens. Wow, parenting is hard!
I would keep and eye on the younger one. I remember that being a hard time for me too. I disappeared into books that summer. I would try to get him into something too.
You're in my thoughts! and prayers!

Teaching Handwork said...

I don't have a teen but I teach teens at school...it can be a very dark time in a child's life...

keep talking...no matter what you have to teach him to talk and open up...be the example of what you want from them.

camping trip...some times going through a challenge as a family brings the family closer.

about denise said...

Ugh. This is so hard. Just so you know, I would TOTALLY read my children's journal if I deemed it necessary. We're parents. It's what we do. Oh good luck.

Christina said...

Wow as you know my kids are 13 and 11 so I SO know what you are going through. I would have read the journal too, you are his parent, you will do what you have to, to ensure his safety. I don't believe in accidents, so I believe your seeing this diary of his was meant to be. Use this info you have to gently approach him about what you have found out.

It's such a hard age, but he is still your child and if that means setting the rules a bit tighter for the computer, so be it. You will follow your heart and it will turn out ok.

For your younger son, maybe you could set some time aside to hang out with him or encourage a summer program, he is sure to meet new friends, or at least release a bit of 7th grade stress:)

Parenting is never easy is it? My son is 13 and his best friend is 15- argh:)

whimsicalpam said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog and my heart goes out to you. I would confront him the best way that you know how. When you look him in the eye, you'll know which truth is "the truth". I think the important thing is that you're on top of it. So many parents walk around with their heads in the sand
thinking, "My child would never do that". These days you must be a detective, friend and parent...there are too many variables, not to be.
Good luck!