Well well well, what do you know, I wrote my first ever post for Mummys Bubble, I blinked, it’s Christmas and I’m here again! I know you probably have it on the brain so I am going to try not to mention the big C word too much in this post. However it is what brings me to my subject of the post itself. Gaming and the Internet. OK, OK I know how unrelated to your life this may sound at the minute (but trust me sweetcheeks, one or the other is probably coming your way at some point)
My Daughter, who is 13 has been writing the MOTHER of all Christmas lists. (I’m not even going to rant about how spoilt children are these days for the fear of sounding like my gran) In the build up to Christmas it has become apparent that ‘Gaming’ is now her ‘thing’ However following this through in style she has placed upon me an extremely (what I can only describe as ) unfair and unpleasant decision to make. “Mum please can I have my own youtube channel”
“Sorry, wait, WHAT?”
First of all I couldn’t believe the skin of audacity she had grown into. Asking me if she could have a profile on a well known internet site! Surely she knows full well, the dangers, the implications, the risks of peril that are at stake here! Does she not understand that this is the kind of witchcraft that can send parents like me into a huge deep dark meltdown causing unnecessary health disruption, plummeting of mental health, thus resulting in a potential lifelong hideaway…. Of us both?
“Erm, okay sweetheart, I’ll think about it”
What was I going to tell her? Sorry darling, YouTube are no longer taking vloggers and are shutting down? I think I heard that vlogging is dead? You might catch Herpes? (I think she’s most likely to believe the latter) After a long hard think and some self examination, I realised that I really need to take a look and listen to what I am actually telling myself.
As a parent, I am channelling all my parenting energy on what could go wrong (in any situation, from my 3yr old upto my eldest). And that’s ok to an extent. It’s what we are meant to do right? I am listening to the horror stories of children using the internet. This too is OK. If we do not pay attention to the horrible nasty things we encounter in life, then how are we going to help make it better and safer? Because here it is… THE INTERNET IS NOT GOING AWAY.
That’s right, no matter what we do as parents, we have to accept that we too need to keep up with the times. The internet allows us to make money from home, it allows us to do online banking and move money faster. It allows us to email people thousands of miles away in a split second. We can stare at each others faces on a screen while talking to one another and yes there are people double my age embracing this new found witchcraft. However what we really need to consider is that this is only going to advance. I also need to consider that I probably can’t manage to feed both me and my daughter if we go into a deep dark hiding so it’s probably for the best that we work on her internet presence together as a team.
I have decided that I would much prefer her to grow and learn new skills from a young age (who knew video editing could be so hard in your 30’s) I want her to experience it for what it is and let her make the decision that real natural life is better than screen life. I also understand that to enable my children to have this safe internet experience there comes with it a hella lotta checking and snooping (ok openly snooping) as a parents. So, the answer……
“Yes sweetheart, you can have a YouTube channel. But know that I am always watching. I know all your passwords. never divulge your location. I am limiting your screen time. You also need to start paying board because the internet subscription has gone up with your damn live streaming”
By Kim Whitworth x
Image by Pixabay