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> Teenagers Responsibilities..., What are your expectations?
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 11-Mar-2009, 06:49 PM
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We've all been teenagers certainly and without a doubt did some stupid things while growing up though for some stupid things were innocent and for some no so innocent.

But as a teenager my parents had expectations...even though I was not a rebel in nature I did some stupid things like "skipping" school and my friend and I took the bus to her home and drank some beers and than back to school at the end of the day in order to take the schoolbus back home...that year I flunk it completely...not only did I disapoint my parents but I took it pretty bad as I always had good grades in all subjects. I would say that it was one of the worst stupid I ever did in my teens. It was a hard lesson for me and my pride as a model student...never did that again afterwards.

In those days computers and internet did not exist well it did but not in every houselholds as it is now...it was televisions.
We talked in another topic about more and more sex offenders and all and I stated that there is no more sex offenders today then 50 or 100 years ago as the difference between now and then is the fact that everything that is going on either in a small communities or cities around the world...we are aware of it via the media and internet.

There was also the fact that some individuals with serious pshychiatric disorders are on the street and walks among us freely while they should be in institutions.
But I think there is one point also that we must face like it or not and it is the fact that teenagers as well as anyone who owns a computer have access to all kinds of sites freely.

I was having lunch with a friend of mine and she was telling me that she had live the most horrible experience a mother could live with her younger daughter last week end. Her daughter asked her two weeks before if she could be allowed to have a party at home with some girlfriends, knowing my friend who is by the way a strict person asked who would be in the house.Her daughter told her 3 of her girlfriends would be there and they would listen to music and play pool in the basement. She approved has she knew the girlfriends in question.
The night of the party she had to work until 21:00 and then had to go pick up her oldest at her workplace thus made it home at 22:30.

As she came into the house what was her surprise to find a young man lying on the floor right by the front door and never so much as open one eye when she came in and 3 more with 2 of her daughters girlfriends were in one corner of the living room whispering and never acknowledge her coming into the house...as she was going into the kitchen she heard noise in the basement so she went down to check and there was 4 more young mens with her daughter and one of the girlfriend...so now instead of being 4 friends they were 12...but 8 guys were there that she knew nothing about and undr the influence of probably drugs and alcohol.

The explanation that her daughter gave her that night was that her friends came with these guys and they had just invited themselves in and since she was alone she didn't dare send them back out.So she let them in. But what was most disturbing to her is when her husband came from work about half an hour later as she was waiting for him to talk about their daughter... as he came in to their bedroom where she waited for him to talk he told her that they had a serious problem...she thought that he had spoken to their daughter before so she approved that yes they would have to come up with some kind of reprimand in order for the daughter of her responsibilities after all she is 16.

But that is not what he meant by they had a serious problem...one of the guys intruded in his personal office where the door is closed and locked and where is personal computer is and they went on 4 differents juvenile porno sites and watched it as if there was nothing in the world.
She (my friend) couldn't believe it and went to see for herself...and there it was still running...what she described to me I won't write about but lets just say that it was quite offending and disturbing.

What she did next was I think the best thing to do as she called her daughter and showed her what the "guys" that she let into the house was watching while she and her friend were playing pool...of course she started crying and all. She explained the gravity of the situation to her daughter and that for one they had taken alcohol while under aged and if something would have happened her parents were responsible and second she had made her daughter realized that what happened to the girl on the porn site might have happened to the 4 of them as well as the guys took drugs and alcohol and thus could have easily lost their minds and could have done something despicable and ended in something disastrous.

This kind of story is again without a doubt a story that any parents today may have faced...

Do you think that today not that the computer and internet access is a door wide open to sex offenders and thus giving the opportunity to teenagers who are looking for experience to commit crimes instead?

How would you deal with a similar situation if it would happen in your household?

Let's hear your opinions and comments on the suject of internet and its numerous free access to juvenile pornography and sex and its impact on our society.

LOA


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Taliesin 
Posted: 11-Mar-2009, 10:55 PM
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I don't have time to delve into the subject as deeply as it deserves, but I would definitely like to say a few things.

When I was young, the Internet was still for Universities, and a personal computer was an unattainable goal. My friends and I still managed to get into trouble with some of the same things as are available to teens now...like what was expressed in the story...and worse.

So ultimately, I'd say the Internet and technology have not created opportunities for kids to get into trouble, but they HAVE brought such trouble easily within the reach of your average kid.

That being said, I don't think an overly strict policy of computer/Internet usage is a good idea. Tighten the screws more and more, and kids will find new and sneakier ways to get around the protective measures. As an adult, I determine what I will and won't allow into my home ultimately, and porn is definitely one area I have blocked at my router.

However, I can see a problem when parents freak out and install a draconian "Net Filter" that filters out a lot of the harmless with the harmful. Such measures will cause kids to find ways to "trick" or otherwise get around the filter just to do something like watch videos on YouTube, or go on MySpace. When it comes to looking at more explicit material, the circumvention methods are already in place and widely used.

There is no easy solution, but parents definitely need to be involved in their kids' lives. This can't start when kids all of a sudden hit middle school or high school. Such involvement needs to be established well before the "trouble times", and that takes a lot of work and forethought.

Finally, parents need to be AWARE of what the Internet IS and IS NOT. I've heard people say that MySpace is a recruitment tool for child molesters. I've heard people say that the Internet is all evil. I've heard a lot of weird things, but mostly from the uninformed. MySpace and Facebook are great sites (with oversight) that can allow kids and family to keep in touch. Forbidding these sites will merely ensure that kids get on them...without their parents knowledge or involvement. Parents need to know something about these technologies so they can make informed decisions about what to allow, and with what, if any, restrictions.


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 12-Mar-2009, 12:08 AM
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I tried very hard to be involved in and a part of my childrens' activities. Tried to attend school events, know friends, and generally keep up with everything that was going on. I also had my first heart attack at age 42. (sons were then 16 and 13).


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Taliesin 
Posted: 12-Mar-2009, 12:19 PM
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QUOTE (TheCarolinaScotsman @ 11-Mar-2009, 10:08 PM)
I tried very hard to be involved in and a part of my childrens' activities. Tried to attend school events, know friends, and generally keep up with everything that was going on. I also had my first heart attack at age 42. (sons were then 16 and 13).

I hope my post was not construed by anyone as me saying that anyone did a poor job as a parent, or that anyone's efforts were not worthy. It was not my goal to say or imply such things.
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McRoach 
Posted: 03-Apr-2009, 02:00 AM
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LOA,

First let me thank you for the nightmares I can add to the list of things I stress about while I watch my little girl (nearly 5) grow up. thumbs_up.gif
This is a good topic though and I think your friend hit the nail right on the head when she showed tough love by explaining how lucky the daughter was that things didn't go terribly wrong, but could have. I do not enjoy stories of teenagers being made to cry by their parents actions but I do enjoy lessons being taught and learned by kids these days. I think of my upbringing by two some what liberal free thinking parents and realize I am lucky to have made it!

There is so much technology today which used correctly is amazing and has limitless ability to do good but all to often it is used to exploit, weaken, and demoralize the fabric of todays families. TV was mentioned in another topic and although kids movies have improved (remember Goonies? it would be rated PG-13 by todays standards) general programing on main networks have digressed to something close to soft core porn, on prime time! The internet is amazing and puts so many resources into a childs hands but unchecked it can do irreversible damage to a young mind. Then there are picture phones, I remember day dreaming about such things as a youth and all the cool things I could do with something like that and now our kids (even in elementary schools) are running around with them. I read stories in the news about young boys no more than 12 being arrested for taking inappropriate photos of their anatomy and sending it to the girls in their school, what is wrong with a love letter? When did "UR hot" in a text message become a substitute for normal yet awkward teenage conversation.

QUOTE
Do you think that today not that the computer and internet access is a door wide open to sex offenders and thus giving the opportunity to teenagers who are looking for experience to commit crimes instead?


Sex offenders are everywhere and always have been since the beginning of time, the difference is now we are better at catching the pervs and locking them up. (for the ladies) As a youth did you never notice on older guy stopping to "see what you girls were up to" seems innocent enough really but his eyes kind of had a hard time staying connected with you own, kept lingering to other areas but still in your direction? The internet absolutely plays a vital role in how these people gain access to our youth, it starts with a chat or private message then a text then after a new "buddy" has been added to the kids social network device its a "hey I am going to be in your area, we should hang out". Some parents have prepped their kids for this type of solicitation and the kid has sense enough to say sure but somewhere very public and oh yeah my very adult parent/guardian will be there also (this excludes 18, 19 year old siblings).

QUOTE
How would you deal with a similar situation if it would happen in your household?


I am fortunate to have had limited time being responsible for a 16 year old so far in life but one of my favorite tv personalities "Judge Judy" puts it best, "You know how to tell when a teenager is lying? Their mouth is moving"

If it were my daughter and her 3 friends I am sure I would agree to let them stay over but they would not be unsupervised for more than 20 minutes. Too many reality court shows and 80's/90's teenie bopper flicks have shown that a group of unrelated teens (that would be three or more) is an invitation to disaster. I am sure I will try to find this thread 10 or so years from now to see how wrong/right I am/was and hopefully be able to laugh.

As for underage sex, well I won't be surprised to see sex education implemented into 3rd grade education by 2015 (that's eight year old). With all the sex kids see in the many types of media staring them in the face these days we will have to do something. In my opinion it all starts with the family, if you lead your kids by example, and help them understand that everything has a time and place and then live by that wisdom, your kids will emulate for the Parent is a childs greatest role model.

Just my 2 cents, or a pages, sorry got carried away on this one. smile.gif




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Faerydreamer 
Posted: 08-Jul-2009, 06:51 PM
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It is difficult these days with all the technology available to kids. I have a bit of an added difficulty. My stepson (18) just moved into our home in April. He spend 10 years in foster care due to multiple reasons. His foster mother did not allow him to grow up. He is on the same maturity level as my own 11 year old son. Both boys have ADHD and depression.

It is so hard to overcome all the things that R Jr. was not taught before coming here. He has no clue how to do anything more than use a toaster. He does not know how to clean things. We are working with him but it is very stressful. He actually calls me Mommy or Mumsy. He is starved for attention and tries to be included in all discussions in the house, even the ones between his father and me.

I have been trying to teach him about internet safety. We do talk openly about drugs and alcohol with both boys. We have not faced the 'sleepover' situation yet. I would definitely have to set some rules for the party. If those rules were broken, there would be some very stiff consequences.



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