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I'm seeking an unschooler's POV here, which reflects in one's parenting, but I feel this is an unschooling topic, not a Parenting forum one.<br><br>
Alright, a couple things are hinting in our lives that they will become topics or issues in the coming months/years, and I really benefit from hearing how others have thought about/addressed them in their own lives.<br><br>
The internet and scary movies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
First, my eldest uses the internet to watch hockey games (we do not have cable). this is his thing, he does it daily, no prob. he has no interest or idea what else he could do with the internet. recently, he was on there, and when we walked by him (in livingroom on sofa) he quickly pressed the power button to shut it off. we just took note and continued with whatever we were doing. I may or may not find a good moment to check in if there's something he wants to talk about, about that, but our feelings are not one of suspicion, but rather concern for his needs and comfort level. so we started chatting (dh and I) about kids and the internet, do we impliment safe settings on google, or not putting any search limits and just addressing things as they arise.<br><br><br>
So how do you deal with the internet and your children? Some more info: We do not want a home where there is an air of deceit or shame around sexual (or other) interests. Thus far we have a very open, non-punishment relationshp with our kids, and aim to continue that. I trust my children and truly accept that whatever hey seek s their right to know about.<br><br>
to me that's not the issue. As a kid i saw lots of porn, before I ever had sex. and now looking back i can see how badly it affected my own sexuality and experience of sex. so in that sense, i want to 'protect' my kids from that exposure, and ditto to other not-great stuff they could run into online.<br><br>
and yet, if we took at 'no-safety-controls approach to the internet, I'm afraid they'l be exposed to this stuff too soon, and thus be introduced to a crappy thing when they've never even heard of it before, do you kwim?<br><br>
but then the idea of safety controls feels sneaky. although we'd be doing it in a light of protecting them from harmful stuff, not denying them access to something they seek.<br><br><br><br>
Second, scary movies. As a younger sibling, I saw a lot of scary movies as a kid. Hallowe'en, Nightmare on Elm Street, you name it. I wanted to be part of the group (my dad and brother) and always professed how it wouldn't scare me, don't worry. it terrified me, and for the rest of my life I'm afraid of so much stuff (lakes, forests, wheelchairs).<br><br>
my kids are interested in seeing the later harry potter movies, and we've said no, for now. but even when the time comes, DS is 3 years older than DD, and she will never agree to not watchingit with him, and will for sure swear she will not be scared. and of course other kids we run into have seen all these films.<br><br>
Again, ours is not a home comfortable with flat out denial. it just feels so power-mongery, and is not how we aim to parent. and I wonder how such limits will affect their development and relatonship with us, as they go through adolescence, when we unschool specifically to treat thm with respect and honour their interests and thoughts. yet now we deny all those things in favour of what we think?<br><br><br>
Have you run into these ideas? how have you viewed them, what did you discuss, what did you do?<br><br><br>
Again, like bedtime and anything else in our house, our kids are not begging/arguing/upset about our stance thus far on scary films, and the internet thing is irrelevant to them. but I'd really like to hear rom other unschoolers and have things to think about. it helps me find where I sit on any topic. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
many thanks!<br><br>
WCM
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WCM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15398243"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">recently, he was on there, and when we walked by him (in livingroom on sofa) he quickly pressed the power button to shut it off...</div>
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We've never had any safety settings on the computer either. I think I would have just asked what he'd been looking at, express that I wouldn't be upset with him, remind him that I was open to talking about ANYTHING, etc. When they were first old enough to google, I talked the searches out with them--both to help them find the best search terms but also to caution them that certain words might lead them to places they didn't want to go. That was another opportunity to let them know that I'd be open to helping them find info they wanted.<br><br>
We've had some pretty frank discussions about sex and we've collected some good books and websites to help answer questions. I don't think that means that they'll never look at porn, but it does mean that they have good, healthy information to start with.<br><br>
Scary movies were something we talked a lot about as well. Each of my kids has had different levels of comfort and different issues that they didn't want to tolerate. When we thought there might be a problem, we'd look at the rating, find out WHY it was rated the way it was, and research through a site like WithKidsInMind. This way I was able to give them info like, "Even though this is a comedy, it's got a lot of language in it" (to my dc who was sensitive to cursing.) Or, "this movie has a lot of fighting, but they don't show any blood" (to my dc who was squeamish about blood.) I've encouraged them to honor their own feelings as well as each others'. We've had very little issue with someone wanting to see a movie just because someone else is seeing it. If some of the kids are watching something that is questionable for the others, I'll suggest we put something else on in another room, or that we go out, or play a game or something. We've also put subtitles on if the issue is language (or scary music.) If it's a movie I've seen, I've also been known to sit with them and give a "don't look!" warning when something is about to happen that I know someone wouldn't want to see. Of course, trying out a movie and turning it off if someone becomes uncomfortable is always an option.<br><br>
Basically, I try to give them as much info and options as possible but then let them decide.
 

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My son did google things and did see things that I would rather he didn't. He hasn't since though. I sort of have this feeling that lots of things that I find disturbing are sort of inevitable. Not that it's inevitable that he will enjoy or watch porn or whathaveyou, just that he's likely going to see it sometime by accident or by intent. He has friends who go to school, friends out in the world where I can't control what happens. So, my approach is that we talk about it. We talked about it then and then I went and found as many postive sexual images as I could for him. Lots of art books of nudes, pretty much. I gave him Our Bodies, Ourselves even. He was interested, so I sought to fill that interest so he wouldn't do it alone. It seems to have worked.<br><br>
Actually horror movies have not been something we've approached. My kids like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter a lot though and have watched them and had fun since a very young age. It's just something we all do together and they like the fantasy of it. Scary-ness is part of life and we just talk about it as we do everything else. If they have an issue, we address it, but our attitudes have seemed to work pretty well on dictating their approach to these things.<br><br>
Not sure if that was at all helpful. I'm doped up waiting for a Monday morning root canal. Sorry!
 

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<a href="http://sandradodd.com/sex" target="_blank">This page at the Sandra Dodd site</a> helped me to think more on how to handle these issues.<br><br>
I haven't set any parental controls on our computers (we don't currently have a tv either but the boys have unrestricted access online) but part of that is because it is spotty.<br><br>
There are still many, many sites that haven't filled out any sort of content verification certificate. Setting parental controls will cause many 'innocent' sites to not be viewable.<br><br>
As for scary movies and such, I understand. My nearly 11 year old can certainly handle more than my almost 7 year old.<br><br>
Eldest has seen all the Harry Potter movies out on DVD and almost all the scenes in the various Star Wars movies.<br><br>
For now I'm choosing to trust that they each know their limits. My 7yo will simply walk away when something is too scary...he's just not interested.<br><br>
I am doing the same with their online game playing. They are still remembering when I was very controlling about what they could and couldn't play or watch. In that sense we are still in the 'deschooling' phase. So when they ask I say something along the lines of, "You can play whatever you like. I trust that if something is more violent than feels comfortable or in any way disturbs you that you'll turn it off or ask for my involvement."<br><br>
IMHO it is not a bad thing to want to be older and ready to watch what the big kids watch. It is a way of peeking into that world and deciding how much you can take. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annakiss</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15407297"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My son did google things and did see things that I would rather he didn't. He hasn't since though. I sort of have this feeling that lots of things that I find disturbing are sort of inevitable. Not that it's inevitable that he will enjoy or watch porn or whathaveyou, just that he's likely going to see it sometime by accident or by intent. He has friends who go to school, friends out in the world where I can't control what happens. So, my approach is that we talk about it. We talked about it then and then I went and found as many postive sexual images as I could for him. Lots of art books of nudes, pretty much. I gave him Our Bodies, Ourselves even. He was interested, so I sought to fill that interest so he wouldn't do it alone. It seems to have worked.<br><br>
Actually horror movies have not been something we've approached. My kids like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter a lot though and have watched them and had fun since a very young age. It's just something we all do together and they like the fantasy of it. Scary-ness is part of life and we just talk about it as we do everything else. If they have an issue, we address it, but our attitudes have seemed to work pretty well on dictating their approach to these things.<br><br>
Not sure if that was at all helpful. I'm doped up waiting for a Monday morning root canal. Sorry!</div>
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Could you pm me a link to an art book? I've looked for some to have around the house and haven't found any I liked.
 

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I do have google set to safe search for images (moderate setting). <b>I</b> don't want to see whatever images that might accidentally pop up. Ds is smart and I'm sure will be able to figure out how to change the settings should he get curious so it's more about preventing accidental stuff.<br><br>
Scary movies he has always self regulated. He thought Scooby Doo was too scary until he turned 8 although he was fine with things I think are much scarier.
 

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My littles are still to little to have this as a real issue currently, but this is something that I have been thinking about, and have discussed with family who have older kids.<br><br>
DH and I plan to use parental screens on the web. I also intend to be very frank with the kids about why we're screening things - I don't want it to be "sneaky" or the kids to think we're "spying" on them, but there is definitely stuff (and frankly, people) out there that I don't want them exposed to. Currently, the plan is to 1)keep the computers in a very public place - like the living room and 2) to just explain that we are screening out some material because there are certain negative elements of the internet that DH and I, as parents, are going to protect them from. (I realize this all sounds great in theory, but could be much harder to implement when the time comes - so wish me luck!!)<br><br>
As for scary movies - we just don't watch them. I know my little guy is not ready for Harry Potter or Star Wars, etc. Sure, he'd love to see them - he thinks - but it's not going to happen! I don't know how long I'll be able to keep putting him off, but so far, so good. I'm looking forward to reading how others handle this one.
 

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We've never had any safety settings on our Internet, but my kids are still pretty young and don't tend to Google things that would lead them into porn. Still, I'm aware that the possibility exists for either that or something I consider too violent. So here is our approach...<br><br>
First, we live in a very small house so it's next to impossible for the kids to be on a computer and us not know what they are doing. They don't have a computer in their room and only rarely do we encourage them to bring a laptop in there (they actually prefer to be in the living room anyways, and going to their room is usually more a noise issue). I don't plan on ever keeping a computer in their room. This way I can keep an eye and ear open for what they are getting up to.<br><br>
We've had many talks about violence and my son at age 5.5 is pretty complacent and will come right out and ask me if a certain game is too violent. DD is very sensitive and simply will not watch or play anything violent, and in this way she keeps DS in check. My son has had a few nightmares after seeing a movie that was too "intense" for him and we've had several conversations about the relationship between the viewing and the bad dreams. The kids have therefore chosen for themselves not to watch anything they feel might give them nightmares. If, however, they insisted and then had the nightmare I would just talk with them about it and encourage them to see the relationship, make a choice for themselves, and live with it.<br><br>
As for porn, well it may seem different when we get there but we are a pretty liberal household and have no issues with porn, at least not the "normal" stuff. The kinky nasty stuff I would probably put under the category of "violent" and explain it that way. I think that kids are drawn to porn when they get curious (I know I was and many of my friends) and I think it better to just answer their questions. Or if I saw them watching it and they tried to hide it we'd have a conversation about it.
 

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I am new to unschooling in the sense that I've never heard the idea vocalized until recently. I experienced it in my youth and am starting to implement it in my home now. But, I will probably be seen as less of an unschooler because of my outlook on this.<br>
I also saw a lot of scary movies when I was too young for it and it majorly affected me. And I have been affected by sexual information that was not appropriate for me. I think that there is a fine line between letting kids make decisions and allowing access to too much information. My kids are still young so I don't have any experience with it yet, and I certainly am not claiming that I know anything more than the next mama. It is my opinion though, that kids need a filter.<br>
I never learned anything worthwhile from porn. In fact it has only hurt me. So with my kids I will talk to them about sexuality as much as they want to, and we will discuss any topic. But there won't be access to porn in our house. At all. Informative videos, yes, discussions about porn, yes, but no watching it.<br>
Scary movies... I don't really trust that my kids will always walk away when it's too scary. I didn't. I haven't really given it much thought beyond that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdiemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15423836"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I<br>
I think that there is a fine line between letting kids make decisions and allowing access to too much information.</div>
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For me, the difference is that we (my kids and I) have open discussions about all of this. When I was a kid, certain things were forbidden, so when I did/saw/read/watched them anyway, there was NO discussion because I couldn't even conceive of confessing to it in the first place, never mind talking frankly with my parents about it.<br><br>
So, when I snuck a copy of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Helter Skelter</span> no one was there to caution me about the contents or to point out that there probably wasn't a Manson hiding around every corner, etc. And when I found the porn, there was no discussion about airbrushing, or any of the other issues that it provoked.<br><br>
I know my parents thought they were protecting me, but I prefer our open approach so that I know my kids aren't totally on their own.
 

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I just wanted to mention that it is quite possible for kids to run across porn when they are not seeking it out and when they are doing what are actual very innocent Google searches that have nothing to do with sex. For this reason I think it is a good idea to take one minute to set it on safe search. That doesn't address what to do about a kid looking for it, but to me that seems like a pretty common sense move with young kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15424620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just wanted to mention that it is quite possible for kids to run across porn when they are not seeking it out and when they are doing what are actual very innocent Google searches that have nothing to do with sex. For this reason I think it is a good idea to take one minute to set it on safe search. That doesn't address what to do about a kid looking for it, but to me that seems like a pretty common sense move with young kids.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> That's exactly why I have it on. Visual images are much harder to forget or misinterpret in an innocent way than text. We use the image and video search selections frequently so I have it set to not show explicit images. So many innocent words can be key words to porn links. It isn't a matter of trying to prevent ds from being able to search for those things, just to not have them pop up unsolicited. Think about things a child might want to search. "Toys for boys" and you get boy toys. Chicks, babies, pussy cat, etc.<br><br>
This article compares the results with safe search on and off for words like eat, great outdoors, sunny, small, big, etc. <a href="http://www.cracked.com/article_16746_9-innocent-google-searches-that-get-porn-first-page.html" target="_blank">http://www.cracked.com/article_16746...irst-page.html</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SagMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15424261"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For me, the difference is that we (my kids and I) have open discussions about all of this.</div>
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This my approach, too. I think it makes all the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We are a very open, discussing family. I'm fine with discussing any opic, but as others have said, it is the surprise images/topics (the one being surprised is my kids, not me). The idea of having a topic thrown at my child, as opposed to it being something they seek or start the topic about, kwim? ie I'm happy to discuss anything they want to, but I'm not about to bring up a topic they've yet to run into just in case they might run into it. Not because I'm afraid of it, but because I do not want them exposed to a scary idea (obviously we're onto th porn issue here, not the scary movies one) when they would otherwise not know about it (beastiality, fisting, you dig?).<br><br>
I'm appreciative of all the input. It always helps me to hear from others.<br><br>
I can see my being comfortable with using a safe google feature and being open about it and why. It'd be clear our issue is not to limit our kids, but to protect them from crappy stuff, unless they had an interest and wanted access.
 
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