So Called Parental Controls

Wonderful, my father-in-law now wants to visit next week on Friday at 1pm. I asked who was coming with him and he said he didn’t know because he hadn’t talked to his daughter yet. I ought to plan for a family member to be there just in case my husband shows up with them anyway. Knowing my father-in-law he will be hours late like always as well. Anyway, moving on to other things….

Little Bear has become a night owl again. Not only that he persists with watching those “Five Nights at Freddy’s” videos along with other annoying/inappropriate/obnoxious videos on YouTube. Every time I turn around he’s got that crap back on again. The YouTube filter settings are very poor if you ask me. If someone knows how to block by user and by keyword please let me know I would be forever grateful. My only other option is to block YouTube out completely, which would be sad since there are some quality users out there.

This is just a serious bone of contention for me because before Little Bear was born I was strongly against censorship. I truly did not believe in it AT ALL. I believed that as a parent that I should be there to discuss and monitor what my children viewed, read, and listened to but not block or prevent whatever the world happened to come across so to speak. But this kid… he’s different. It’s one thing to walk down the street and some passerby randomly swears. I’m not going to cover my kid’s ears or chase the dude down and tell them to not swear. Not happening. I will instead teach my kid there is a time and place for that. It’s true for everything really. But this kid… feels the need to mimic everything. And I mean everything. I still think censorship is wrong, but it’s becoming a necessary evil in my home. I hate it.

And so I lament the serious lack of parental controls of these supposedly advanced parental controls. I’m a gamer. I once played a game where I scripted bots so I could control 4 characters on 4 separate accounts at the same time on the same game so no, I’m not completely computer illiterate. It just seems like Little Bear is ahead of me here with the web browser and viewing whatever he wants when he wants and that’s not right. I should be able to say that a 6-year-old cannot view teenaged content or higher and then for that same 6-year-old to not be able to view that content ever. But he gets to, all the time. Meanwhile my Autistic son bypasses the curfew settings on his computer no matter what I do so I gave up on that and moved his computer desk right next to mine where I can see it ALL the time. Parental controls my ass! The only thing that works like it’s supposed to is the reporting feature. Computer, I know what my kids are looking at and doing already! I want you to actually keep them from doing it in the first place, not tell me when they do it. Completely useless.

The only one that listens to me is my oldest because he learned the hard way. He got a trojan or a worm or something that ate his hard drive that resulted in us needing to buy him a new one. He lost EVERYTHING on that drive. When I tried to clean it, it collapsed/corrupted the drive. I forget now what it was, but it was brand new at the time. All I know is that it hijacked his security software and his Windows Update. It wouldn’t let me install HitmanPro. When I tried to install Malwarebytes, the entire system crashed and it never restarted again. Once we got him a new hard drive and everything back up and running we discovered that one of his game accounts had been hacked and we had to go to a lot of trouble to get it recovered. So yea, my oldest son is more careful about his browsing habits now. Just sucks that he had to learn the hard way. I’m just grateful that nothing serious was lost from that and it was a game that didn’t require a subscription payment, so no credit card info to lift or anything like that.

Yea technology is great… until you mix kids with it then it can quickly become a nightmare. Some days there is just not enough wine – real or metaphorical – to deal with it all. Well shit, seems I don’t even have the cheese to go with that wine. Looks like the boys ate it all. 😛

So I’m stuck ranting as I’m trying to figure out where exactly all of my oldest son’s assignments ended up so I can put them in his portfolio to mail it finally. Seriously this is stressing me out here something fierce. Never again will I save this for the end of the year! This coming year everything is going into the portfolio as we go so it can be mailed as is as soon as the last day hits. Fuck. This. Noise. I even told him I’m half tempted to go by the way of the standardized testing next year to avoid this mess. He seemed unphased, but then again he always aced those tests in public school even when he did nothing. So I changed my mind. I’m sticking with the portfolio so I can make sure I can make him do the work. Without that portfolio I fear there is no incentive. I know the beginning of the year it was like pulling teeth until I explained the legal issue behind it. THEN he was working just fine. Now I’m wishing I was better organized to so all his work and effort has the support it deserves. I keep reminding myself this is our first year homeschooling so there is a lot to learn and figure out here – and it’s not like I’m starting out with a little. I started out with one almost in high school. That’s a big plate. We got this – so long as I don’t panic.

4 thoughts on “So Called Parental Controls

  1. You certainly have a rough road. I found one of my daughter’s googling swear word definitions. Since we don’t swear in our house, she has become fluent in sign language and Spanish. Ugh! I feel your pain.

    • Yes it’s the seeking and mimicking behavior that is most concerning. If it was just the swearing I wouldn’t be so worried, because honestly too many people in my family swear (myself included), but he seeks out the aggressive and violent content too. It’s just that I’ve noticed a trend with these YouTube videos that the more aggressive, violent, and abusive towards others they are, the more swearing they have in them. For a child diagnosed with Conduct Disorder, this is just fuel to the fire.

      Normally swearing doesn’t offend me. Many people use it to make a point, lack vocabulary, or are in emotional duress. These are reasonable uses of swear words to me. But to use them, or any other words for that matter, for the purpose of hurting people is never okay in my book. So it kills me to see my son picking this up from these videos and incorporating this behavior.

      • I really can’t imagine. In this day and age it seems impossible to keep kids away from media…they always find a new way to access it. I wonder if there are any media efforts that would have ideas?

      • That’s a good question. The parental controls I’m specifically complaining about is the Family Safety system that comes with Windows now. I’m seriously not impressed at all. If I find another program – even if I have to buy it – that I can install onto our computers that actually works I will rave about it here. The only trouble then would be controlling access on other devices like Xbox and Wii. Both of them allow access to YouTube. I’ve deleted YouTube from the Xbox more than once now already but gee… someone keeps installing it back in.

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