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3.10.2013

The more things change...

Raising kids seems like an endless stream of repetitions. "do this...stop that...didn't I tell you..." etc.. Sometimes I think it's a waste of time varying the routine. I mean, what's the point of customizing it for a particular kid when the final word are always "because I said so."

Tonight, Tish was wondering if was good to always serve the dog the same thing over and over. They don't care, I countered. But do they get the right variety of nutrients and grains and so forth if it's always the same? Good question. Same with the kids. Will they grow up fine and dandy if we just soak them in a generic bath of "do this...stop that...didn't I tell you..." or do they need the variations to survive? Of course, this is a silly hypothetical but it often feels that way.

For instance, I spent a couple of hours this weekend setting up a user account on my computer for Tio so he could manage and edit my facebook, twitter and other social media. It seemed like a good project and a way to build trust since his online experience in the past has been sketchy and had to be severely curtailed. He's 14 now and I want to move beyond past indiscretions that lost him online access months ago. So I gave him my passwords, told him what needed doing (creating a fan page, linking Twitter to Crafthaus, etc.), and left him to it.

I get back 2 hours later and, being the trusting soul that I am, check out the browser history. The kid was viewing porn sites! In the first hour back online in months, he goes straight to the porn. I know that boys and porn are like popcorn and butter but what the hell - you'd think he'd show enough restraint first tap out of the box to build some trust.

So we're back to square one yet again. The same food out of the same can served up cold to the same boy. It's been like this for 3 years. Is it total lack of self control? An inability to differentiate from one experience to the next? Simply doesn't care?

Maybe it doesn't matter and amounts to the same thing. I can't trust him with unrestricted computer access like I can't trust Doc near a freezer full of popcicles. But Doc is only 7. At twice that age, shouldn't Tio have moved the bar up just a little bit?