Got a call from a group of neighbors...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HMBgal, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    And they shared their concern about my grandson taking his little nook tablet down to the neighborhood park, finding an unpassworded wifi connection and...wait for it...showing the neighbor kids porn. Oh dear G_d, can the Earth just swallow me up now? The parents could have gone to the police, but instead, three families banded together to have a spokesperson call us and tell us. We've lived in this neighborhood for 40 years and raised our children here. And now this. I'm so embarrassed.

    I thought he was getting to be more trustworthy, finally getting over his anxiety enough to go out into our neighborhood and make friends. And then this. I don't even know what to do or think. I'm horrified at what he's done to the other children. Not that he's curious about sex, he's 10. But that he's such a social mess that he needed acceptance so bad that he thought this was the way to do it.

    I'm not even sure what to do next. I'm so disappointed in his lack of judgment, and I feel like if I even tried to make an appointment to take him to Kaiser to talk to someone, they'll just put him on another drug. He is well-known to them for his anxiety, ADHD, failure to have success in the groups they've recommended he attend, and apparently he's used up his one-to-one therapy time. I'm at a loss.
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    First of all, at 10, he shouldn't be playing with any type of computer, including tablets and smartphones,unsupervised, and most certainly should not be allowed access to the 'net without adult supervision.

    Under no circumstances should he be allowed to take a device out with him to play. The porn might have been nothing more than normal curiousity combined with wanting to win over friends.

    Your job is to keep his little hands off electronics. He's too young and doesn't have the judgement and impulse control needed to be able to use the internet responsibly. Keeping him away from this stuff is for his safety as well as for your peace of mind and to avoid embarrassment with the neighbors and their kids.

    So, lock up the electronics and find something else for him to do, preferably something that involves interacting with others.
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  3. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    He was supposed to be playing pokemon go, and around here, lots of kids play it with their parent's phones. He has had electronics taken away from him and has earned them back, but that ship has sailed. When he uses the tablet in the house, he has to do it at the kitchen table or wherever I can see him. And he's only allowed on YouTube kids. He has access to more than that at school, where the kids are supervised far less on their Chromebooks than here at home. We have had him in day camps most of the summer. And still, he found a way. And of course, interacting appropriately with others is one of his major problems. He's always asking for a phone, which of course would be ridiculous. About 2/3rds of the kids in his class have phones (5th grade? really??) but he knows not even to ask.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Does he have access to a phone if he needs to contact you from school or a friend's house? If yes, he doesn't need a phone.

    If no, then get him a Cricket or Kajeet phone set to only dial numbers you pre-select. These phones have no internet or texting capability. They are just basic phones. You can even get ones that don't take pictures, which given young sir's interest in the nude body, is probably a good idea..

    That said, I have a smart phone which I "had" to get last year when my old dumb phone finally died. I actually like it, though I don't take pictures or movies with it, or play games. I have gone on the internet with it and won't unless its desperation.

    I use it as a phone, as an alarm clock, occasionally for chat, and my big extravagance, listening to music over wi=fi when I'm at home. I also like the built in calcuator which has solved my problem of killing calculators every few months.

    At his age, he doesn't need smartphone functionality. I have a kindle fire 7" tablet that I WON from a promotion Amazon was doing I got it about a week ago. It's still sitting on my coffee table waiting for me to set it up. I'm not sure what I need a tablet for, but the price was right.

    One thing you might want to try getting him, if finances allow, is an e-reader with no other functionality. I'm a fan of the Kindle Paperwhite.

    It's still a screen, but it may get him reading, and you can control the account and put books on it for him to read.

    THAT'S a screen he can have with him that won't get him in trouble with his friends' parents or his friends.
  5. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    I will sympathize with you. No, my children didn't have phones til they were 15, but that's almost unheard of nowadays. It's basically on the list of school, school does not provide everything they take for granted children have.

    Because of his issues, he will need a chaperone. Fifth grade boys get in all kinds of trouble, mine loved airsoft, never guns, video games etc. He will just need limits when he can do the things he likes. He is apparently to tempted, and he seems to want to be included but doesn't know how.

    Sounds like your doing the best you can. Trust me, those families who made you feel embarrassed, th e y are not perfect. Shame on them for hanging up on you. One of them could have confidentially came to you.

    Keep up the good work of loviing those kids!
  6. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Going north....I love my kindle.....that's what I use for this forum! Have fun with it!
  7. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    He does have the GlowLight nook because he does love to read. I purposely bought that one because he can't really go anywhere but the nook store for searches. Good idea about the locked down phone for safety sakes. I remember my kids being thrilled with their pagers. Jeesh. Soooooo dating myself!

    This kid is so sneaky that he even loaded software on my tablet to steal my keystrokes. Once I found that out, there was no screens at all for 3 months. Then I have them all passcoded, I have them "forget" the internet access code, so each time he wants to use the tablet, I have to do the passcode, then re-enter the internet password. And I log off my laptop and desktop every night, and he never, ever touches my phone, or my husbands. They are password protected as well. He had been so good, being content with YouTube Kids and minecraft, and the few times he wanted to see Five Nights at Freddie's, he would ask. And the screen always faced out where I could see it, and no screen except for his nook after 7, bedtime at 8, and no tablet in a room by himself. I've really tried. But, I didn't see the Pokemon Go thing coming. I thought that would be sufficiently motivating to keep out of trouble. But, alas.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Mof, I've got a Paperwhite. One of the early iterations as its about 4 years old at least and I paid plenty for it. It's got a LOT of mileage on it.

    by the way, your son is not limited to B&N for books, just as I am not limited to Amazon for books. There are free e-books by the hundreds of thousands available on line.

    All you need for the nook or the Kindle is a free app called Calibre that enables you to convert file formats of downloaded books.

    I've found many fascinating, dry, dusty science and history tomes that way and been able to convert them into .mobi files (kindle's file format) without difficulty.
  9. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Thanks for the info, GoingNorth. Yes, I meant he would have a harder time doing internet searches for videos and gaming. I'm all for free and low cost books! Grandson has a library card that he uses quite a lot. And he doesn't bother even trying to get on those computers because they are full of little boys playing games. In the library. Whatever, I still think it's great that he loves the library.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I still love libraries. I don't go often anymore because it's hard for me to read the typefaces used in paperback books (plus the low contrast) and I really don't have anywhere to keep a stack of hardback books.

    I do go occasionally and bury myself in the reference section for a few hours just to feed my brain. Last time I was at the library when I lived up North, i stopped off to print out some stuff (my printer had crapped out) and half their network was down.

    I happened to mention to the librarian in charge that i was pretty sure i knew what the problem was, and found myself crawling around under the computer desks, reconfiguring a router, and rebooting their server and clearing out a bunch of error codes. On top of all that, i walked out with the book I'd come for and forgot to sign it out. So had to go back.
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  11. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Go in north...library here even has down loadable books for readers to borrow.

    I don't go much...I too have a hard time reading printed text. I love the smell of them...and could spend days in a bookstore!

    Still have my paper white, but sits unused.
  12. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    My 1st statement will be that I'm not anti-electronics. All my kids have tablets. That being said, we haven't had any problem with their misuse and we have parental controls.

    I, also, wouldn't have thought anything about the Pokemon Go thing, either, because my kids are playing it, too.

    I think that you have done the right thing regarding the restriction on electronics, but another thing I do is give some personal responsibility. Have you thought about having him apologize to the parents personally?

    We usually make the wrong doer apologize I think it makes them think a little bit more about what they have done.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    OMG. I love my kindle. I take it everywhere. It is my computer. I download books all the time.

    Smart phones have small screens. I do use mine sometimes, but I like the bigger screen of a tablet.
  14. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    He will definitely have to make amends somehow. We have told him about how these parents trusted him with their children, and what a violation this is on several levels. He has been on such lockdown--not being allowed to even go to the park by himself since we heard about it. We know the parents will be watching and gossiping, and I don't blame them. If some puke kid at the park was showing my sweet granddaughter porn, I would probably get the police involved, to tell the truth. Some things can't be unseen and can affect future lives, and porn is one them, I believe. When my daughter (him mother) caught him on her phone, she checked the history and he was looking at some hard-core stuff. And yet, when a Victoria's Secret ad is on TV (soft porn pretty much) he'll act all uncomfortable and ask to change the channel.

    He and his sister just got booted out of the school district they've been attending for the last 5 years because although they are with us most of the time, his mother lives in a nearby community with a different school district, and so does Dear Grandson's father. We appealed saying it would create a hardship for us as the primary caretakers during school hours, we pick up, drop off, and have them until 8 at night five days a week.

    They refused on the grounds that he's out of district (They moved out of district two years ago) and it would cost too much to have him there. His stepbrothers get to stay, and they don't live here anymore, either. It's because grandson had a 1:1 and they don't want to pay for it. Instead, they want him out of general ed, recommended a county program 45 minutes away with really seriously messed up kids (kids that set fires, really scary violence, etc.). My grandson is anxious, way ahead academically, does really well with younger children (as long as he's not showing them porn), and this is a totally inappropriate placement. Special education is not a place, and this district has a history of really messing up the Special Education side of things. So, things they be a changin' and I hope he'll have a new start at a new school where nobody knows him. And of course, like always, this affects his poor sister, who loves her old school but has no choice but to go. When I filled out the paperwork for the new school district, they have a technology use contract that the kids have to sign. He didm't want to read it, of course. But, at the bottom, in little letter, was a box to check for the student to not be allowed to use an internet at school. Yeah. He read it and signed it. i'm so stressed out.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  15. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Poor know, children of service men move all the time. I was a child of a single parent, and we .moved where the work was or when the rent rose.

    I lived...I became resilient...part of that was because my parent did not feed into the stress I could have felt. Put a positive spin on it.

    My own children started school yesterday here in the South. Their life is so different.

    Chin up, your grandson is getting all the help you can give. He will go far when they know he is loved and supported by his family.

    Prayers...your not alone. We are the advocates!!
  16. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Yeah, my husband and I were service brats and moved every year or two, and weren't always welcomed with open arms, depending on the community in which we landed. It did make us resilient, but we also wanted something different for our kids. They went through the same district their whole lives, and still have those friends and they wanted the same for their kids.
  17. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    For a period of time, my dad never met a transfer he didn't like. We moved every year whether we needed to or not. I was in three schools in second grade, two in third, and two in fourth. By the time we got here, we had already figured out that the promise of "we're going to stay here forever" meant about 8 months. Since we all (except my father) hated this place on sight, we figured we could do eight months. We've been here in the area over forty years. Yeah.

    I insisted Miss KT would not be moved around like that. Ramped down my career, bought a house, and settled in for the duration. However, I DID NOT want her staying here after high school/college. No jobs. So she's now in a seriously cool place with tons of fun things to do and yummy food to eat, and I'm still here in the OTC. That's all right, though. It's what I wanted for her.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I moved once as a child. From Chicago, which in the neighborhood we lived in, was turning into a war zone, to the North Shore suburbs. Only way we swung that was that my aunt sold us a house for next to nothing. Flying bullets and Molotov Cocktails. I missed Chicago horribly, and moved back as soon as I was of age, fiance in tow. (He was from Detroit and not much Chicago threw at him flapped him.)

    He and I were flooded out of our apt by a broken steam pipe, couch surfed with friends outside of Milwaukee until I found work. husband got a job driving cab.

    That lasted nearly a year during the Great recession, and he went into the service. We were in TN on the KY border for nearly 2 years, came down on orders for an outpost base in Germany on the border with East Germany and Czechoslovakia, and spent the rest of his career there, re-upping as needed.

    We loved it there. Most families hated it as the nearest big bases with "good shopping" were Rhein Main Air Base in Frankfurt, and the Army base in Hanau. A lot of enlisted families basically lived on base, never going off post to check things out. Frankfurt was also where the main miitary hospital was.

    husband and i were all over Europe, hiking, camping, and taking advantage of discount Eurailpasses and staying in hostels.

    In fact, I got my microwave, some transformers (Germany runs at 220, not 110), American catsup, American peanut butter, and TOILET PAPER at the commissary, as well as smokes. Everything else was purchased at the shops and the weekly outdoor market which ran year round and had been doing so for 1150 years at that point.

    husband received an honorable medical discharge 6 mos after he returned from peacekeeping duties after Desert Storm.

    That was another move. Back to Chicago. We rented an apartment. I got a job managing tech support and QA for a startup software firm and husband took advantage of the GI bill to go to chef's school. We bought a house in Chicago and fixed it up. (Note, don't EVER buy a house in an historic neighborhood. It's a huge pita).

    husband passed away of the illness that got him turfed out of the Army in 2002. A couple of years later, I moved to Rhinelander, lived in a tiny cottage in town for a year, bought an old trailer, moved there, and in 2015, moved downstate to the greater Milwaukee area, where I plan on staying for a while, depending on how high the rents go.
  20. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I was at Rhein Mein for two years, grades 3-4 (way back...1958-60. Gawd I'm getting old. My parents did not fare so well there but I remember liking it. I became a Junior Trolley Trooper. I loved jumping off the parachute training towers. No fear at all and I love heights and crazy speed (although I stick to mountain biking these days).