Personalities

Of Tablets, 12-YO Boys and Porn




Of Tablets, 12YO Boys & Porn

21st CENTURY PARENTING TIPS by Chinne de las Alas

Introduction

A couple of days ago, Tech Patrol News admin, Raffy Pedrajita had a mindboggling experience. While dining at a restaurant, they were seated next to a table with a 12 year old boy and his grandmother. The boy, much like most of the common scenes nowadays, had a tablet.

Typically too, the “lola” was very doting. Every now and then, she would lean over and wipe the mouth of the boy. Just like all loving lolas do. What caught our admin’s attention however was the boy’s repeated behavior. Every time the lola leaned over, the boy made painstaking attempt to hide the screen by bringing the tablet closer to his face. Well, just like all boys, our admin was curious too. LOL So he leaned over and peeked at what the boy was “watching”. Lo and behold. It was porn!

Link to his Facebook post is here.

WT? Right? Well, the only thing our admin could muster to do was post this reaction- “ I don’t know what to say to this”. Then he told the story. A few minutes later, after much scrolling up and down, I came upon it too. It was a perfect post. Before I could even finish my own curiosity on what it was about, I was already, much like Raffy, stunned. WOW! Was my reaction.

I am a parent. I would like to think, a very cool one. Much like other parents. censorship is also a concern in our household. I, being a cool parent at that, employ the most evasive, most effective, most tactical psychological warfare- DEADMA. LOL.

For some of the readers who do not know what “deadma” is, deadma is the art of pretending that we neither notice or nor care. For example, my favorite cuss word before was the F word! When I dropped something accidentally, F word. When I bumped into something, F word. When I heard an unbelievable story, F word. So guess what my 2 year old boy then said when he dropped a plate? Of course, nothing but the F word!

At that moment, there was nothing but 2 seconds of stunned silence , then we went about doing what we were doing. That was the first and last time my then little boy said the F word. Notice that I did not berate him nor made efforts to “change” this behavior in him. But he never said it again. Now, what’s my point?

Parenting is absolutely going to get more challenging in this digital age of technology. To cope, we will need better parenting methods. As we usher in further the 21st Century, this parenting dilemma threatens to become more and more interfering. We, as my sister would say, have successfully managed to create a new dimension into our lives.

During our time, our parents worried about over exposure to television shows and burning the phone wires. Now, we have all kinds of mediums to worry about. Cellular phones, Tablets, Apps, Internet sites, Video Streaming, Games, Cable TV, Youtube, Netflix, Iflix, name it, we’ve got it and more is in the way. Sex and Violence are simply all too accessible now.

With the rate of speed of new technological inventions and innovations, values and virtues will be challenged down to the last “me-thology”, sense of entitlement and political correctness. I can only imagine what those discourses will be. I can also imagine a world of “ Idiocracy” A world powered by Brawndo.

Go figure.

The good news is only the playing field has changed. The virtues and values that we aim to mold in our children remain the same. See those sci-fi movies and noble causes where we fight the aliens and the AI’s to save the world? Yes, those. All of them. See? No matter how changed the world is, the same values will be upheld. Moreover, one more key feature that has not changed and will not change anytime soon are the players. The players, those who uphold those values and virtues are still going to be the same for ages and ages to come. These are the parents, caregivers, guardians, teachers and children. So, really, when it comes to guided censorship, the “Apps” for navigating this tricky child rearing terrain will always be the same. Love, Understanding, Patience, Kindness, Wisdom etc etc. Smart parenting and guardianship will always play a crucial role in the development of what I call functional foundation of our kids. We need to develop children whose values are not just in the head and heart but also in their behavior. How then do we build this into our children? Read on.

First things first, these are not opinion. The tips here on handling or raising children in this digital age are what I call Applied Child Development. They have been battle tested and have proven results. With the help of my bestfriend, Ina Tana, who also holds a degree on Child Development Education, I am summarizing our Parenting findings.

For context sake: Porn is sexuality. Placed in the misinformed hands, it can be abused and misused. Just look at what’s out there in terms of promiscuity, AIDS and teenage pregnancies to name a few. Our kids are not protected from all these. These can happen to them. Give the children the tools and access and we will be living dangerously close to these nightmares. As parents, we need to know how to develop the maturity and filtering abilities in our young.

The 3 turning points:

(1) Preventive Stage

No baby was born with a tablet or an iPad. It was handed to them. Yup! AS A BABY SITTING tool. What the hell were we thinking? Babies are very adept. They learn very fast. What starts out as just matching the colors later on becomes an SEO skill. This is

how they discover LOL cats, Funniest Videos and then even porn, violence or whatever else in out there. We, of course can’t blame the baby or that 12YO boy watching porn. Somehow, they got there because of us. Let me define this so we will be in the same page. Prevention Stage is when no external stimuli have been handed yet. This is when all is potentially in the level of clean slate .

The ball is in our court here. In parenting, this is the best time to feed our young with the most tactical information and behavior. This is the most opportune time not to fill them up with garbage. They will acquire that anyway but better not from us parents. So,
be mindful about the following.

(a) BASIC IQ – Do not use our mobile phones, our iPads, our laptops, our desktops as baby sitting tools. This is really self explanatory.

(b) Controls and Supervisions are very important – Choose the links for them. Don’t let them just swipe away. Take time to find how those parental controls work and how they can be implemented. Surf the net for more how to’s

(c) Teach them and Enforce healthy boundaries – For my best friend, they leave the iPad or tablets at home when going out as a family. They also do not bring the gadgets to the dining tables either. Family times are respected and sacred. In my case, I get my kids to bond with us because I tell them I am creating memories. We even call Mcdonalds delivery “Mcdonald’s Moment”. Makes sense, right?

Another boundary is time limits. Ina sets time limits on gadget use. I think, this is very healthy. Kids will not easily just give in. They will ask for a few minutes more. Understandable. We also, as adults do not have a good track record when it comes to turn around time, so why should we expect it from younger kids? Setting time limits teaches them self-discipline, negotiation, communication and word of honor. Now, especially with these gadgets where instant gratification is the by-product behavior, all the more should we firm about time use.

(d) Process the kids – Not just in racy or violent videos, but process their choices of video or game links, be it videos of toys or some cartoons. This teaches them to make mindful and intelligent choices. More importantly, it also reduces if not eliminate the tendency to become malicious as processing makes them more informed. Malice is usually born out of ignorance. I am sure, you do not want ignorant kids.

(e) Make sure too caregivers or guardians are advised, informed and warned of this child rearing policies -This is where the strictest control should be. Some caregivers, in my experience, have shorter attention spans. They tend not follow orders or house rules. Their filtering mechanisms and consequential thinking abilities are not the same as ours. In this area, we need to get them all on board. The same way we explain to our kids why something is wrong, is the same approach we need or mayneed to use.

(f) Deadma – Do not panic. Don’t give attention to where it is not due. A kid acts out only impressions they commonly see and or is commonly reinforced by external environment. Logically, if we want them to learn not to be lewd, we need to impress instead the behavior and information we want to instill in them. For example, in watching movies with a kissing scene or an unknowing love scene, we never told our kids to cover their eyes. Instead, we made sure that the attention was in their playtime. When it got too racy, we simply forwarded it without making a fuss. How do we know that our deadma worked? A few years later, when they were about 6 or so years old, we would have art sessions in our house where sometimes, a nude model would be present. As parents we worry on how to handle our kids in
situations like these. But guess what? They did not care, they were too busy playing with their cousins to notice. After that, we knew we could handle the next racy situation.

(g) Review the history regularly and randomly – This is how a friend of mine discovered her 7 YO son’s curiosity and frequency of visits to porn sites.

(2) Informative Stage

We can’t protect our kids all the time. Discovering or learning about the use of gadget will eventually be the norm, 6 years and up. Schools have had computer facilities as early as the 90’s. In certain big schools, iPads are already part of
the school requirements as early as elementary levels. Even their peers will inevitably influence them. Every day, information are more and more boundless and accessible. Institutions and societies permit them eventually..

Unfortunately, the reason why the world is so crappy is because decisions are made by people who are no smarter than us. The world is one big lab experiments of social trial
and errors. As such, we only find out that monsters have been created after it has been released into the wild. The most we can do is keep up.

As new gadgets become obsolete, new ones emerge. They will be more advanced, more accessible, more user friendly. Parents and guardians have to be smarter parent each time. The goal is to raise well informed, higher EQ children instead of ignorant and foolish ones. Informative Stage is when they become “exposed” unintentionally. What do we do to arrest what could lead to spiraling of uninformed curiosity? Three things.

(a) Factually Explain – obviously, don’t just say it’s bad. Explain the facts. When my eldest came to me for a courting advise, I explained to him the facts of the girls choices. It turns out, that one of the suitors had “more” to offer in terms of life security. My son had none to show yet.

(b) Consequentially Explain – In that same situation, I pointed out to him the glaring difference. I explained too that no parent ever wished or wanted a life of difficulty for their daughters. So, I asked him this – would he want to be the person who will take these dreams away? He said no. The next day, he talked to the girl and like a true gentleman, told her that they are better off being friends first while he worked on himself.

(c) Psychologically Explain – whatever we have to teach our kids, it has to make sense to them. It has to “click” in their heads why something is potentially dangerous or wrong or misguided. When it makes sense to the child, they adhere. To quote Ina, when she would get scolded by her parents, what ran through her head was this – if you(parents) explained, I will listen. In a different version, it was also true for my growing up years. We, as parents need to really understand the language of our kids- emotionally and cognitively.

Going back to that same situation with my son, it isn’t about giving up. So we also talked about what would he need in order to be part of a better choice. He knew that the first step would be to finish school and turn his grades around. That’s just what he did. When all these 3 steps are present in the “course correction” of our kids, we raise children who make more informed choices. And that is really all they need to navigate this new landscape on their own.

So, be it technology or some critical life situations, the same steps mentioned above are functionally applicable. There will be many teachable moments to capture when refusing a child an iPad or TV time. The more important upside is, we get to also instill in them fundamental life skills- something that most of us are very poor in.

(3) Reversal and Neutralization

What if the situation is code red, like that 12 YO boy with his grandmother. It is unfortunate that the parents and grandparents are clueless in that situation. Now, let’s say, we catch our children, young ones especially, watching
porn, what do we do?

It is important to note that a code Red exposed child may already have acquired “contaminants” such as embedded thoughts, behavior and experience of sensation in whatever forms and degrees. At this point, both Preventive and Informative will not be as effective (but will still be used in the whole process). At this point, we are talking and dealing with “sensational” experiences. Talk alone will be lame. Reversal and Neutralization is the “extraction” operation. We need a skillful approach in reversing or neutralizing this untimely situation.

We need to understand that whatever the sensational experiences gained from frequenting sites and the sites are the enemies. Not the child. To facilitate reversal, we need to flip all the switches to the other side- emotional, behavioral, physical, cognitive. Why? Because the sensational effects are too compelling, too tempting to an ignorant child just as it is compelling and tempting to us adults.

(a) Professional Assistance – at this point, parents may need the help of a professional counselor for their kids to FACILITATE and process information. Relying solely on our own parent voice may be defeating.

(b) Continuous Processing and Open Communication – parents need to roll up their sleeves everyday to get the extraction program to succeed. This situation cannot be treated on a piece meal approach. There will be stages to reach. The child has to know who his or her allies are and what the purpose is. Constant smart and loving communication can facilitate this.

(c) Goals, Extraction Stages and Replacement Options – Set the Extraction Goal then break the process into a series of steps and provide replacement options or compelling diversions for the child. For example, the first step may involve “quitting” stage. Just like when we wish to quit smoking, we may need to go through either the cold turkey stage or the gradual stage. In this case, what will be your version of cold turkey or gradual quitting. What will be the measurable milestones? Will it be a voluntary show of complete disinterest in the iPad or gadget use or will the child initiate voluntary set and adhere to time limits. The point of this is to address the issue systemically and systemically. It is imperative that we make use of an intelligent plan when helping reverse ignorance in our children. While the Extraction counts desired milestones, Replacements Options counters, mutes and eventually throws in the trashbin the sensational information experienced by the child. No unnecessary memory can survive if we knew how to make them obsolete.

Conclusion

As a parent, the last 23 to 26 years has so far been a testament to these parenting strategies. And my god-children, the children of Ina are also manifesting good behaviors. Obedience is a product of smart parenting. It cannot be enforced healthily if the approach is poorly carried out. Smart parenting will always beat any threat to child development.

So now we come to the end of Tablets, 12YO boys and Porn. What lies ahead now for us 21st century parents? Will we be able to protect our child from the inevitable technological developments? Do we ban its use? Or de we educate them?

We all stand in the threshold of some type of new world order. In a few years, technological advances will be more awesome than what we have today. Just check the invisibility cloak. Talk about awesome. These technologies will flood the market at affordable prices. They will lure us of its form and functions. Needs we never knew we needed will be created. The changes are unstoppable especially now, when programming, software developments, hackers, users are more prolific and creative. All these upgrades will come to our hands and when it does, may the 21st century parents use the power it wields wisely and responsibly. Remember, you are the parent, the guardian. Not Siri.

About Chinne delas Alas


Francine de las Alas is in media, is in business and is a happiness training designer. Founded The Happiness Clinic in the Philippines. Launched two talk radios- Happy Thoughts with Francine de las Alas and Show Me the Money Show. Currently, is the livefeed DJ of RJFM for events like Sessionistas at Tiendesitas and Greenhills Christmas Nativity Bazaar Openings. And now Tech Patrol News contributor. Forte is on Everything Happiness. Diagnostics, Prognosis, Mapping, Directioning Teaching and Development. Wants to make you rich, positive and happy. Ask me how @ www.facebook.com/happythoughtswithfrancinedelasalas

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