*side note: Have you ever had a something happen...or a heard a funny story and thought, "Gee! I think I'll blog about that!" only to totally forget it five minutes later?
Happens to me ALL the time.
Ok. I officially have a teenager.
An adorable, sweet, smart STINKY FIBBING TEENAGER.
And it all has to do with the computer.
First of all, when it comes to computer internet use, I am the Mother From Hell.
NO Myspace. NO Facebook. She has an account on Gaia, which she claims is highly moderated and safe for young 'uns. But I still don't like it.
And I have very specific, tough, mean, socially debilitating rules about computer use.
NO use without permission. Period. I don't care if you're just going to watch the Numa Numa song as danced by Napolean Dynamite. I don't care if you're showing your brothers Poke the Bunny. You do NOT get on the internet unless I say you can...and you certainly don't do it when I'm not home.
(Have I won Computer Nazi of the Year award yet?)
Well, darling daughter has decided that the rules don't apply to her. And she's being sneaky about it. Deleting the computer history. LYING to my face about whether or not she's been on.
And it breaks my heart.
One night after DH and I got home from a date, we saw her peek out of my bedroom window (where the computer is.) When we got into the house, she had run into the living room and was pretending to watch her brothers play Guitar Hero.
Me: Were you on the computer?
Me: We saw you.
Her: Well, I was for a little bit, but I just needed something for my homework.
So I go into my room and check the history. She's been busted before this way and it seems she's learned her lesson. She deleted it.
So, I go to her Gaia account, which she doesn't realize I know the password to. (OK, I admit it. I'm a paranoid parent when it comes to the internet. There are some scary people out there though, and I'm not going to let her get hurt if I can help it.)
And she had sent and answered messages during the time we had been gone.
So I call her into my room again and asked her if she had been on Gaia.
She looks me right into the face and says, "No."
So, I tell her, "I KNOW you've been on Gaia. And you deleted the history."
And she looks me right in the face without blinking and says, "Mom, I PROMISE I wasn't on Gaia."
So I lay all my cards out on the table and show her how I know. And the whole time I'm looking at her and wondering who this stranger is who can sit there and lie to me so convincingly and completely.
Last night DH and I went out to run errands. When we got home, Ike comes up to me and says, "Breanna showed us this thing on the internet..." and goes onto explain about some harmless, silly thing she showed them. I'm annoyed that she was on the computer, but wasn't going to say anything about it, until he says, "And then she started deleting stuff."
Not only was she on the computer, but she KNEW she wasn't supposed to be, AND she covered her tracks IN FRONT of her brothers. This upsets me more than anything.
I call her in again and say, "You were on the computer again."
Her: I only wanted to show them "Poke the Bunny."
Me: "You're not supposed to be on the computer without permission."
Her: "I know. I'm sorry."
Me: "You deleted the history."
Her: "No I didn't."
Me: "YES you did."
Her: "NO, I didn't.
Me: "YES YOU DID."
Her: "What makes you say that?"
Me: "I was told you did."
Silence. Her: "Fine."
What does a mom do? I know she's at the age where she needs more freedom, but she's also at the age where she doesn't fully appreciate the repercussions from her actions.
Thinking back on it, I don't think she was trying to hide "Poke the Bunny" but was probably on the computer before she called her brothers in to see it. I think she was probably trying to hide what she did before that. (I think this because when I asked her about the internet, she said, "I only went to "Poke the Bunny." Check the history." Which means that what she deleted was something else.
Hubby thinks I should change the password on the computer so she can't even get in. I don't know if that's overreacting or if it's my only option, now that she's decided not only to lie but to cover her tracks.
And....am I being unreasonable? Should I allow her more access? (Though, most peopel who deal with computer predators say never to have your child on the internet unattended. And, as I found out before I changed some settings, a simple google search for "animals" can bring up a WHOLE bunch of unpleasantness.)
It's like the boy who cried wolf. He lied so many times that no one believed him when he told the truth. She can lie straight to my face and I won't know. How can I trust her as she gets closer to the age where we allow her to date and drive?
If there's a manual that comes with this whole parenting thing, mine got lost in the mail.