Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I want to be naive. It would make life a whole lot easier. You know walking around pretending all is good in the world and nothing bad ever happens. Naive, it would be wonderful! I wouldn't have to get that lump in my throat when I think about sending my kids off to school. I wouldn't have to sit with a student and feel my heart break for them. I wouldn't have to get on a soapbox and rant about all the evils in the world. I could sit on my patio sipping tea and listening to the birds sing. Life could be all rainbows and unicorns. What good would that do though? I mean really what good would be done in this world if we were naive. None. We would not have the eyes to see or the heart to help. So you might be wondering where this little rant is coming from well join the club. For some reason God thought that I needed to be a little less naive this week. I have weeks like that when I am bombarded with information that I wish I never knew. This week though I thought I would share. It started out when I came across and article about a new site called chatroulette. For some of you this may mean nothing but if you know anything about this site you are probably starting a rant all of your own right now. So what is this lovely little site. It was developed by a 17 year old and basically you can video chat with a stranger at the click of a mouse. Don't like that person just click and move on. Sounds innocent enough right? Might sound a little less innocent when you hear that 1 in 10 users are naked and/or m*sturbating. 50% of users are engaged in inappropriate behaviors. So what's the draw? Well to kids it's the thrill of seeing who you will get and the fact that several celebs have been spotted on the site. What tween girl would not die if they came across Justin Beiber or the Jo Bros? The problem is they will find Joe who is 60 and naked before they will find a Jonas brother. Creepy and scary all at the same time. Think well that won't happen in my house. Well maybe not but what about the sleepover your girl is scheduled to attend Friday night? Yeah, I know scary and I can feel that same lump that just came up in your throat right now. I can also hear the question that just popped into your head, What do I do now? Lock them in a room! Okay that's probably not legal but unfortunately chatroulette is. So what to do. Talk to your kids. Let them know that you are concerned for their safety. Let them know that you trust they will make a good decision and coach them through the situation. Role play what they could say or do if a friend is asking them to participate in this kind of activity. Most kids don't want to chat with strangers. The whole creepy predator thing scares them but they might just want to check out the site once. The problem is what will they see and how long will that image be burned into their mind. If they understand the dangers up front they will be less likely to want to join in. I always love when parents don't want to talk to their kids about things because it will just give them ideas. Really, well when they were 2 you told them not to run in the street, weren't you concerned it would give them an idea? What about warning them about stray dogs, maybe it would tempt them to pet one. Oh and there is the whole don't get in the car with a stranger maybe they would want to know why and try it. Come on people, we have to arm our teens with knowledge so they can make the right decisions. Whose voice do you want popping into their heads when they are faced with moral decisions, yours or their best friends? Talk to them, don't lecture or preach, just have a conversation. Trust me I am right there with you, scared to death when I think of all the things that prey on the minds of our kids. I pray everyday that God will protect their minds and hearts. I also know that God has called us as parents to prepare our children for these battles that they will face everyday. We have to face the giants and fight for our kids. You are the greatest influence in their lives. Love them and talk to them, they will thank you for it one day.


Cmom said...

Wow! I did not know about this site. Thank you for sharing this information. The internet is such a double edged sword....and the older the kids get...the harder it is to "police" everything they do. You are right though...education should begin at home and it is up to us as parents to have these conversations with our kids. My kids and I will definitely be speaking tonight. Again...thank you.

Always around said...

I am so glad you mentioned this, I hadn't heard about it but I will definitely be talking to Ash about it!