I read something last night that has just triggered such emotion in me… There was an article on fb about 2 young ladies, 12 years old, who stabbed their friend 19 times. They were set on joining a computer character called “Slenderman” in his mansion that they were convinced was in the Nicolet Forest. They believed that by killing someone that he would take them in as “Proxies”.
Are you kidding me??!!
Now, granted 12 year olds aren’t the smartest people on the planet. But seriously??!!
I really am not wanting to condemn anyone here so I will try hard not to do that. I mean I have had several issues here in my own home that were serious and I didn’t know about them until something bigger happened. I guess I am just so shocked and well, saddened by the level of this particular incident.
Our kids are hit with so much more than I have ever realized. They can find so much more on the internet and hear so much more on the tv and radio than we ever could or did. They have their own iphones and ipods and kindles and nooks and you name it. They have access to so much that we don’t even realize. We can’t possibly catch everything that they can access in a day!
And yet we have to somehow.
Sometimes, well, I get so overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of this stuff.
I could go all NAZI on them and not let them have anything. Or I could just let them look at anything and everything and never ask them or talk to them about what it is they are looking at.
Neither one really works.
I could keep my head in the sand and ignore it all.
Or I could sit with them all day long and watch everything they watch.
Again neither one really works. They all know how to work everything better than I do and they go around the safety things that are in place. They tell me that in school they can only go certain places through their school accounts. Until they go in a different way, which by the way, everyone knows, and then they can go wherever they want to. Its common knowledge apparently.
So I talk with them. I try to get them to see why I don’t like what they are doing. Yea. I know, lots still gets by me. And I realize that the problem is SO much bigger than I ever thought it was.
This is not just a computer usage issue. Nor is it simply a parenting or teaching issue. This is a hugely complex issue. There are so many facets to this. There is so much wrong with it all.
Take a look at this story of the 2 girls. They believed that a computer character actually lived in a mansion in the Nicolet forest. There is issue number 1. Shouldn’t a 12 year old be able to figure out that a computer character is not real? 2. They were going to walk to the Nicolet forest. Which is a good 4 hour drive from here. 3. In the 6 months they had been planning this, couldn’t they figure out that killing their friend was just wrong? Why not?
Those are just the 3 that trouble me the most of this whole thing. The third being the most troubling of all. They felt no remorse for these actions. That was stated in the article I read. They felt no remorse.
Is anyone else deeply troubled by this? Honestly, I wish I could write this blog post detailing the best solution to all of this and tell you all that if you just follow these simple steps all with be ok.
But I can’t. But I can tell you to TALK to your children. Love them enough to discipline them and clearly teach them right from wrong. Take their electronic devices without their knowledge and look at what they are looking at. Talk to them about why they should not be there. Take your children into your lives and live your life WITH your children. Spend the time. Love them.
You just never know. It just breaks my heart.