The internet dispute continues. My daughter thinks I overreacted. She said what they were watching was a guy strip down to his boxer shorts and then put his clothes on again. And I remembered that YouTube has a block for under-18s. Still, that's just YouTube. And although my daughter has yet to grass on my son, she has hinted that what he was looking at was far worse.
We talked about it at dinner last night. My husband sided with me (he'd better!), my son, obviously believing that keeping his head down was the best strategy, wouldn't voice an opinion. My daughter loudly bewailed her loss of freedom.
But what they look at on the internet isn't the only issue here. The mothers of these children are my best friends. I told them of course. One was very concerned. I played it down for the other because she'd been clearing out her dead mother's wardrobe all day and I didn't want to add more stress. Also, my kids were staying over at her house that night. I don't want them to get the reputation of being bad kids.
I tried explaining to my daughter that there are many things on the internet that are unsuitable for her to look at, unsuitable for me even. That just piqued her interest. I told her I would never have suspected a thing if she and her friends hadn't been giggling so much. So next time they'll be more discreet.
Perhaps I will get some tame books about sex and leave them around. Or better yet, hide them badly so they'll feel like they're doing something sneaky. They learn sex ed in school but I suppose there can be gaps.
I want to trust them. I want them to feel they can have privacy and freedom. I reminded my daughter that I don't read her e-mail or text messages. I told her that I could have done nothing but then I wouldn't be doing my job as a mother. All the time, I know I'm a hypocrit. I had no boundaries when I was a teen because my parents were too self-absorbed to set them. I had no curfew from the age of 16 so came home at 4 or 5 in the morning. My dad claims this isn't true but that's because it doesn't fit in with his newly found born-again Christian beliefs. I did things and went places I had no business doing or going to. I don't want the same for my children.