Saturday, September 20, 2008

The girl who cried wolf...and deleted her history.

*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?

Her: No.

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."

Oh, man.

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.


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. 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.


Shellieh said...

Nazi you. roflol. yep- I wouldn't change the password, I would disable the internet when I am gone. You think she would know how to reconnect it?
or maybe do both.
In the mean time, I would restrict her from computer use peroid for lying. (I am mean too)
Brad has his own computer, and he does have internet. But I have that thing so locked down with parental controls, the kid can hardley get anywhere with it, lol. only G sites, and even then I have to approve it with a password. :D That wouldn't work well for you though, cause it would be a major assle for you to password every site you go to. :d

The Sutton Family said...

Here's my personal opinion Mer...the internet can be great, but it can also be very VERY distructive. You know that because of MY stupidity, right? Anyway, I don't let my kids on the computer at all. Period. We have a password and nobody knows it but Grant and I. If they need it for homework, fine, we sit next to them and help them. It's not so much I don't trust my kids, I don't trust what's out there and what they could find. And once they find it...heaven help us. You are NOT being a Nazi, you are being a parent and watching out for your kids. CHANGE THE PASSWORD. Why disconnect it when she could probably figure that out, and they you'll STILL be worried. You just love yer kids Mer. Take away the temptation. You are in control. She's too young to understand. I love ya!

The Sutton Family said...

and one more thing...

(hee hee...i forgot to say this) a logical consequence for lying about internet use would be to just take it away. make her earn your trust back. remember we had to have Tim on lockdown for almost a year, and it paid off. i'm certainly not saying do the same to her, but sometimes consequences hurt...and they suck. make her earn it back and in the meantime use a new password for your peace of mine. sheesh...i talk too much!

Jill said...

Wow, good luck with that! I for sure don't have any advise about that. I don't look forward to the teenage years. The only thing I would say is you are the parents and you know whats best for your child even though they may not like it. When I was a teenager I hated that my parents wouldn't let me do certain things but now I know it was for my own good. I always said, "I am never going to be like my parents". Well now I feel like I am just like my Mom! And I am ok with that. Also I would love it if you played around with my picture of the girls! I just got photoshop elements, but I have no clue how to use it. It you have any pointers let me know! I would like to see what you can do with it though.

Elizabeth said...

First off I don't feel you are a Nazi. I feel that you love them enough to not allow them an inkling of any chance to do something stupid, or allow something stupid for coming in.

I agree, I think there should be consequences to the fact that she lied. Whatever that is, you will have to decide that as her parent. But actions cause consequences and therefore one must pay for them regardless of what they are. We always tell our DD this as well.

I think changing the password is a really good thing each time you are out or gone. The thing with that is she'd spend a great deal of time finding out the password, only to never find it out and then get frustrated enough to just walk away. And of course you'd come home and there wouldn't have been a point anyway.

We have the same thing for our DD too. We monitor, restrict, and she can only be on it 2x a week while we are home as well for only a short period of time. Of course our DD is only 11 but these practices will stay in place because we care for her.

Even if your DD hates you for it, in the end she will love you for it because once she grows up she'll be able to see how much you truly did care instead of wishing that you had cared more!

Stampin' Meg said...

How old is she, Mer?
I mean it is your house and it is your computer but I think that they are going to use it. You can put things like net-nanny on it that locks them out after a certain amount of time each day. Like Shellie said-the computer is my best weapon in my punishment arsenol as far as threatening to take away his priviliges on it. But there definitley should be reprecussions for lying. (And about the BG papers- totally off topic_I got both UP and Graola at Michaels- they have pads of them there)

joybear said...

Oh I hate things like this!! (((HUGS)))

Navylangs said...

I'm so glad you stopped by earlier! I had just read your HHS update earlier today and thought you looked GREAT!

As for the computer thing - let me know when you figure out what to do with the tweens.

Kristy said...

Ugh Mer....I'm not sure what to say other than I've been pretty worried about Sarah myself. I'm nearly positive she only ever goes to her email. I've checked histories and there's nothing other than that....but it's only a matter of time until she learns about the other places out there.

Why....why does being a parent have to be so hard!

wendyp said...

Its really hard watching them test their boundaries. We don't allow the kids on the computer without our permission. When we go out, if SD is babysitting we lock the computer. Its not just who they may be communicating with online, but also the questionable sites that they may find by accident.

Lisa said...

Hey, you. I found your blog on the Hillcrest reunion site, hope you don't mind. I completely understand about the lying to your face issue. My teenage daughter did it when she was confronted with texting during school...even after I printed out the text times from the phone's account and shoved it in her face. I don't think your a computer Nazi. I actually do the same thing. Both of our computers have passwords on them that only Mike and I know and Kellsie has to ask for permission and it's limited time at that. Fortunately she hasn't figured out how to delete the history yet. I do read through her email account though. I have a friend who's a parole officer and has told me stories of online predators she deals with on a daily basis and it was enough to convince me I wasn't as bad as I thought I was with limiting computer use. --Lisa Sperry