Sunday, December 9, 2007

Parental Moments

I had two moments yesterday, as a parent, that filled me with two different emotions.

The first was pride. Yesterday, my son as part of his boy scouts program volunteered for two hours to be a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army at the local mall. He was there with another scout and an adult scoutmaster. This is part of his community service work to achieve his next level in scouts. It was very rewarding as a parent to see him out there, gladly ringing the bells and wishing people a "Merry Christmas" - whether they donated or not.

The second was concern. Last night, my son got a text message from a friend of his in class to go check out a YouTube video. My wife was there with him and checked it out with him. Turns out the video was of a bunch of girls the same age as the boys - at a pajama party, cavorting around and being silly. What was concerning was the girls in the video were classmates of my son and his friend. Twelve year old girls - putting video of themselves up on YouTube. One of the girls was the daughter of friends right across the street. And she was the one who told my son's friend how to find the video (word is she has a crush on him). Now, I didn't see the video - my wife said there wasn't anything sexual about it. What concerns me, as a parent, is that kids aren't thinking twice about what they put on the Internet. Like FaceBook and MySpace, these can turn into tools predators can use to target our children. Very very disconcerting to me.

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