This week my blog has nothing to do with Autism but every parents fear … The Internet!!
I know I have a good boy, I have witnessed it many times. A good example is when he had friends over and they were swearing in his room and he refused because he knew it was wrong (I was listening outside the door). Listening outside the door has become a daily thing for me 😦 I am petrified of XBox Live and the Internet!
This is me hiding outside my 8 year old sons bedroom door. I do this regularly not because I think he is up to anything but because I don’t trust the some of the people he is playing online with. Most of his friends we know but there is the odd one who are friends of friends or he met through gaming. I often hear him telling someone “I can’t tell you where In live”, “I can’t tell you that” etc etc, and I check – and yes these are kids generally asking where he lives but it scares me. Tonight someone was calling him a fat gay, his reply was “stop calling me G.A.Y” poor fella even spelled it out.
This week I read a story of a boy who met someone online who controlled him and killed him http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/familys-tribute-to-breck-bednar-an-intelligent-and-thoughtful-boy-stabbed-to-death-by-internet-friend-9141054.html
That poor boy met someone who he thought was his friend and he could trust enough to lie to his mother and sneak out to meet.
I like to think that my kids can talk to me and I can listen to them, but who knows what is going on inside their headsets?
So engrossed he didn’t even notice that I took this picture (sitting outside his room is pretty easy to get away with). I would love to remove XBox Live, I would love to limit his friends, I would love to limit his games, but I’m not sure that would help anyway. He doesn’t want to be the one who isn’t “allowed” and I don’t want him to be the one who isn’t “allowed” I was that kid and it’s not nice. I want to trust him and I want him to trust me. But gosh it is so scary. He regularly asks when he walk to school alone, go to the shop alone …
I don’t know if i’m worse at this because my first born is Autistic and has never asked any of these questions and the only online game she plays is Autcraft which I know I can trust. She talks to literally no one outside this house. How we would love her to interact more but also it’s nice to know she’s protected.
So what now? Well for me i’m back off upstairs to listen in on his online gaming and then at 9pm when he comes off I will ask him questions about what I have heard (he really thinks I have eyes in the back of my head – something I want to keep going for a few more years yet!!)