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 overprotecting your kids

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 16, 2002
[editor's note, by Peter Johnson] The concept of writing a short introductory blurb is apparently just too much for some of our readers.

More stories about Shame
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Hackers; Victims of media stereotype
Infinite vs. Finite- The real battle
This site seems anti-linux yet I have found a fault
    Hello all
    The reason I am writing this am of a story by "T Reginald Gibbons" I read, "Is your son a Hacker?". When I first read through it, I thought "this must be a joke...." but it seems not. Or it might be. I'm just not sure, but regardless I felt the need to write my own story, or my personal view on parenting. He gave his own views, and now I give mine. Enjoy.
    First off, I am not a parent. I don't even have a girlfriend (or not yet ;) ) and for that matter, I'm 17. But before u dis-regard me as a teenager whose just here to waste everyone's time I say hear me out, who knows, I might have a point [editor's note, by Peter Johnson] You don't.
    I have thought about parenting allot, and I definitely want to have a family some day, and to start off with, T Reginald Gibbons ideas on parenting are complete and utter crap.
    My understanding of his opinion of his children is that he thinks of them as objects, which must obey his very word. He quotes;
    "I keep a fatherly eye on the CDs they listen to and the shows they watch, the company they keep and the books they read. You could say I'm a model parent"
    Model parent? The way that I see it, he takes his children and forces them down the path he likes. I totally disagree with his approach. The whole idea of parenting is to have your children emerge as adults, ready for the world and owning the skills they need to survive. I know this, and I know he does too, I'm not criticizing him on this level, but from what I understood he wants them to be this so badly that he tries to force them into the mould he imagines.
    My idea of good parenting is letting your kids find out things for themselves. I'll take CD's here for an example. A while ago I bought an Eminem CD. Everyone knows Eminem now, because of his "controversial raps". I bought it because I liked a few of his songs, and wanted to buy a new CD anyway. I listened to the lyrics, and was amused by them. All the gay hating jokes, racist comments and all that was pretty funny to me, but NOT because I thought gay people suck, home violence is acceptable or that gang warfare was "cool", but because it's rare to hear those sort of things in a mainstream way. A short while after I got bored of the CD and moved on, and haven't listened to it for a long time, at least over a year.
    How did that CD affect me? If I said it didn't I'd be lying? In me at least it brought a bit of context to the world for me. It showed me a part of the world that I wouldn't have found out to later otherwise. Had my dad been monitoring my music the way T Reginald Gibbons seems to do, I would never have listened to that CD, or at least not with him around. I am over that CD now with no bad side effects, and there has been no conflict between me and my parents about it, like I feel there would have been had I been banned from listening to it.
    An example of the context I mentioned before is when I went into one of the poorer suburbs in Tasmania. I saw poverty there I was not used to, with me living in the nice home I do, and going to my private school. I went there as a community service project, to build a graphiti wall, as my artistic talents have been commented on. While there I saw what poverty is really like first hand. When I saw this it provided some perspective on how things can get if they are let. I am so grateful that I found out this for myself. My dad has told me that if I don't do well and slack off, that's what I could end up like. But I never really took him seriously. Seeing it first hand helped me gain perspective on what things can really be like. However, had I not seen it for myself on my own terms, I might not have taken it as seriously as I had. The same as listening to the CD, I decided for myself what the truth was, and believed it, rather than being told what's what/
    Here is another Quote;
    As a child enters the electronic world of hacking, he may become disaffected with the real world. He may lose the ability to control his actions, or judge the rightness or wrongness of a course of behaviour. This will manifest itself soonest in the way he treats others. Those whom he disagrees with will be met with scorn, bitterness, and even foul language. He may utter threats of violence of a real or electronic nature.
    Even when confronted, your son will probably find it difficult to talk about this problem to you. He will probably claim that there is no problem, and that you are imagining things. He may tell you that it is you who has the problem, and you should "back off" and "stop smothering him." Do not allow yourself to be deceived. You are the only chance your son has, even if he doesn't understand the situation he is in. Keep trying to get through to him, no matter how much he retreats into himself.
    From my point of view, the reason his son may be unwilling to talk to him is because he doesn't trust him. Trust is 2-way. He trusts his children to be good, but do his children trust him? One reason that his son doesn't want to talk is that he fears retribution that his father may not "approve" of what he does or says, and would rather avoid the conflict that will probably arise. Ask yourself this; what would you do if you found out your son/daughter has gotten completely drunk at the party last night and passed out on someone's bed? Would you get angry and ban her from ever going to a party again? If so, does your son/daughter know this? Most likely. Why tell you what they did last night if it's going to have such a bad outcome? And is he retreating into himself or away from you?
    We teenagers have more than enough conflict already. School, teachers, friends, homework, it all adds up. What makes a happy teenager is having a safe place, where they can talk about anything and ask for help on anything. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to tell your parents about what happened last night without getting grounded? To have that level of trust? And to know that they have probably been in that situation before, and to know what's best?
    I realise, it's not easy to be in charge of another person, and to be responsible for shaping a human being, but remember this.... You are their parent, not their god. U can chastise them for their actions, but are you sure it's really going to change anything? People are more likely to listen to people they trust and respect. Think about it
    In conclusion, let your children explore life for themselves. Don't tell them what's right and wrong, but let them see the situation and decide what's right for them. Let them experience the bad, as well as the good. When learning to drive I was told that a day when everyone cuts you off, and everything goes wrong is much better for you because that's when you learn the most, and know what driving is really like at it`s worst. Don't tell your kids it's bad, but let them decide that it is. And let your kids be comfortable with you don't berate them for their mistakes, but help them through them once they see what the mistake was. And don't ever think you're more important than them, because that's when you fail.
    And on a last note, is the URL of a person who has done something similar to me, except he focused more on the mis-informed hacking side of the story. He raises some points though that I believe that are very valid.
    Cheers for reading this, and my apologies to T Reginald Gibbons. If you read this then I would really appreciate your comments on this work, should you read this. It's not meant as an attack on your parenting, but more as another option. Anyone who wants to comment directly to me at Thankyou
[editor's note, by Peter Johnson] Our response:

Subject : Your Adequacy Submission

Dear OllieMon,

While we at appreciate your candor, we have long been aware of the unpopularity of "Is Your Son A Computer Hacker" in the 17 year old male virgin demographic. I mean of course you don't have a girlfriend, how could you?

We have decided that your article does not meet our standards and will be publishing it in our "Hall Of Shame" section.

Thank you,
--Peter Johnson
Senior Editor,
More God Than Man


hello (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jul 15th, 2002 at 03:20:31 PM PST
Stan is that you ?

wow... (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Aug 3rd, 2002 at 11:26:09 AM PST
what a horrible editor. a horrible person too. I am ashamed of you Peter Johnson. You are the worst type of human being.

Wow... (none / 0) (#3)
by PaGlt on Sat Aug 3rd, 2002 at 05:36:55 PM PST
Peter Johnson,

After reading many articles here I find you to be the biggest fucking dumbass in the world. I agree 100% with OllieMon. You hold far too many stereotypes to be any sort of editor especially the senior editor. It is then times like these that I realize why this world is as screwed up as it is today; It is because of people like yourself. You act as if you are intelligent, but your confusion of the term 'Cracker' when used in a computing context with the racial slur completely proves my point. Restating myself, you are the scourge of the modern world, so please rid this world of your stupidity.


go ollie! (none / 0) (#4)
by jediG1RL on Sun Aug 4th, 2002 at 11:28:16 AM PST
i am apalled by your ignorance and stubborness peter johnson. just look at the facts, kids turn out better if you don't supress them (the hacker article was a joke, i know nothing about hacking, and barely anything about computers, and i laughed my ass off at T Reginald Gibbons 'facts.' first of all AOL sucks, its a bandwith hog and is filled with spyware--meaning popup ads -- and loads your computer with crap. second with 'lunix' its LINUX, and at&t has been using it for years. then quake, wow this is a joke, how do you get 'hacker training' from quake? i play quake all the time. has Gibbons even played the game?) peter, maybe you should check your facts, you claim to be erudite, but your comments are pure foolishness, 'is unpopular in the 17 white male..' well, i'm 15, a girl, and not white, any idiot would laugh at 'is your son a hacker.' people like you peter, and you gibbons, prove to me the inherent stupidity of middle aged white men, thanks, now i have no doubts (and you wonder why people make fun of you and take your 'rights' away? you can't handle them peter, your too much of a dumbass)

Interesting... (none / 0) (#5)
by thisisfunny on Fri Aug 9th, 2002 at 08:59:29 AM PST
What I find appalling about this is that this editor is allowed to stay on board after such defacing of a very well written article which was essentially dead on in the ways of "modern parenting".

An editor that has this much bias should not be included on the editing panel. This person is clearly not even close to the maturity level of the 17 year old who simply wrote his opinions in a well-thought manner. If I was capable of anger, this would make me angry knowing that the editor, and adult, isnt willing to adapt to the way parenting works in today's world.

Dearest editor, if your views on parenting are so very harsh, restrictive, and old-worldish, then that's fine. But please, don't punish others because they don't see your taskmaster style child imprisonment views (because that's why this article was rejected, wasn't it?).

Anywho, chances are that this wont even get posted, seeing as I'm expressing my opinion about an editor (which seems to be taboo here really) but I feel the need to write anyway... I think needs to either shape up the editor panel or change the domain name to or something of the like.

Good day.

eh? (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Aug 11th, 2002 at 03:18:06 AM PST
Why don't stop reading about parenting and start preacticing. The perfect family doesn't excist! A situaltion were everything is "perfect" and everyone loves eachother is just a myth.

HA! (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Aug 17th, 2002 at 09:06:25 AM PST
Does no-one who has a sense of humour post?
Of course this is a joke, the father ibn question does not exist, and the writer of the original article knows a considerable bit more that he lets on about computers and hacking.
I think the articles should include a THIS IS A JOKE header to keep the loudmouthed people quiet.

Message for peter (none / 0) (#8)
by kidfromehs on Mon Aug 26th, 2002 at 07:07:23 PM PST
Ok, heres what you do; this will make me and im sure everyone else who does not have these pathetic insecurities about life a lot happier, walk out side find a big road, and stand in the middle of it. you are the biggest idiot i have ever heard of in my life, GET A FRIGGEN LIFE

Peter, you're so mature! (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Sep 1st, 2002 at 06:58:42 PM PST
While we at appreciate your candor, we have long been aware of the unpopularity of "Is Your Son A Computer Hacker" in the 17 year old male virgin demographic. I mean of course you don't have a girlfriend, how could you?

What an amazing reason for disregarding a well written article! How mature of you!

This site is nearly as bad as the KKK site, it has a similar level of ignorance.


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