Would you take your child to an Orgy?

Probably not right? Why not? I mean you discovered the feel good endorphins from your very first one twenty years ago and your friends will be impressed that you have shown little Johnny a healthy option. He needs to know that just like you everything is better in a group of at least 5. Everything is amazing, little Johnny will feel the same self esteem boost you do when you step into your latex thong, meeting strange people, boosting his confidence well at least until Big Shaun gets here but then no-one feels too confident next to him, but it’s a life lesson.

But you wouldn’t. And people don’t. Because it is entirely inappropriate for a child to attend such a thing, because the child cannot possibly comprehend what is going on or even made the choice to attend such an event. Yet you, a parent, have a whale of a time and are happy and healthy because of it. This is because you, made the journey to the destination, you made the choices along the way, discovered new details with your peers, lived the values, extolled the virtues and decided to enter the foam room with Big Shaun.

As parents we have a great deal of influence over our children’s lives. They join our lives after a set of choices have been made or reactions to circumstances have been hoisted upon us. If you are a hippie or a media mogul and you have a child you don’t stop being these things. If you are religious or a football fan these things about you don’t change the second you hold your shitting screaming bundle of joy.

As such your child will share experiences and begin to share some belief systems with you. In the interest of balance however and sometimes health it is important to introduce alternative viewpoints than your own. This will help your offspring on their journey and encourage them to make reasoned choices rather than following the crowd.

I read today that a Italian politician is proposing to make it illegal for parents to give their child a vegan diet. Should this be illegal, no. Does it raise a valid point? Yes.

Like it or not a vegan lifestyle is a choice. A choice at which adult vegans have arrived at, they have been on the journey and decided that veganism is the best route for them. Fair play. Should vegan parents feed their child exclusively vegan food before that child has had an opportunity to discover and assess the reasons behind the ethics? Surely that’s missing the point. (The need for vitamin supplements aside. Oh and yes I know vitamins and minerals can all be provided via plant based, but have you ever tried to make a child eat a whole plate of anything everyday.. to achieve this in plant based you need quantity, kids don’t eat quantity you will need to supplement)

Same applies for religious families, or football fans. Half the passion of a belief is in the journey of arriving there yourself. If it is hoisted upon you with no option you will always wonder “What if I supported Swindon…”and your belief will never be as strong because it simply isn’t your belief.

Your life is yours, your childs life is their own. Give your child the tools to make good choices.

(WMB4X) Fiction: The Speech

Debconf5 lecture

It’s a mad world, there are no rules for success despite the multitude of handbooks. One wrong move and you are toast. Invest in the wrong areas or get the wrong people involved and you may as well pack up and go home. It’s hard work, but worthwhile.

It’s all about investing in the future, that is everything. The same in this and any other aspect of life I suppose. Thats not to say if you invest correctly the future will play out the way you planned chances are it won’t, also don’t do this and expect to get any thanks. Not verbally anyway. I’ve been doing this some time now and things have got to the point where everything is expected. Thats progress, moving forward like the sands of time.

In the infancy it was different, but things can’t stay that way forever. It wouldn’t be good for anyone concerned. Besides as time passes you get opportunities to explore new things, more ways to fall flat on your face half the time. You will make mistakes, of that there is no doubt. These mistakes will feel like no mistake you ever made before. You will impact the lives of others outside of your group, sometimes for better, often for the worse. At the end of the day you will just hope no-one dies… And you fools think I say that in jest. You wait.

The man you see before you now wasn’t always alone. In the beginning I had a partner. We made the choices together, united and strong. Investing passionately in our mutual concern, however by year three we couldn’t see eye to eye. So we split in the hope that what we created together could remain strong. It’s touch and go at times as I now find myself observing from afar. We still go to market these days, but not with the strong unit we once had.

They don’t tell you at school how to do this. Not adequately anyway. This work will consume you, often without you being aware of it. You will lose a part of yourself to it, but gain so very much. You learn so many lessons from the very beginning and you never ever stop. Although I’m talking at you today, don’t pay too much attention to others. What’s right for me maybe wrong for you. Invest that time wisely, especially at the beginning. Don’t let your baby try to face that mad world alone.

I am not a success. Despite standing tall before you today. I lurch from one failure to the next in the hope that things don’t meltdown. I attempt to do everything with love and respect but sometimes fail at both. I’m an investor of many things, yet I am no business leader.

I am a parent.

Visit the Resident Weeble…. He’s the daddy

Porn Parenting

Today it hit the news that the government along with a few major ISP’s will be asking people to opt in if they want to access adult content on their networks. This is apparently to protect children. Now I am all for protecting children, for there are some things on the internet that it would be wholly inappropriate for a child to see. I understand how keeping porn away from kids can be difficult, especially as celebrities who made their name performing for children, Vanessa Hudgens and Lindsay Lohan to name but two, just can’t keep their clothes on when the camera comes out, and they have movies/songs to sell.

There is also another website which allows parents to complain about content in all types of media. Again I can see the logic, after all if little Johnny sees anything in the newspaper that is violent “monkey see monkey do” and you wouldn’t want that, so why not complain.

Now I’ve been positive for too long:-

Lets say I’m a parent who opts in for porn. (Hey give me a break it’s been a long week and she always has a headache.) Now I can access porn on my laptop. My boy Barry a thirteen year old, has a iMac in his room and he because I have not set up any parental controls can also access porn. My hypothetical youngest, Fred who at 7 has not discovered the delights that an “awesome rack” can bring is quite happy playing games on his PS3. I let him play unsupervised and Barry told me the Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony was an excellent game, so Fred often plays.

We are all watching TV. It’s Strictly (Dancing with the Stars, US People) Fred is watching intently as the girls spin around showing an awful lot of leg. Fred then tells great Aunt Mabel that all the girls on TV look like “Motherfucking Hoes” I am mortified, I reach for my laptop straight away I must complain on Parent Port about the short dresses on Strictly. I won’t say anything to Fred because I am so embarrassed. Those girls making him talk like that.I have no idea where he got this language from.

The initiatives are missing the point. Teenagers will look at porn, younger kids will stumble upon it. The Daily Mail will complain about sex and then show a picture of Beyoncé’s arse.

Children need to be protected, the internet is like the outside world, there are bits of it I feel uncomfortable in. Top tips:-

  • Talk to your kids about internet content and media generally
  • Don’t sign your nine year old up for Facebook, Facebooks own terms state 13 years old, even then think about it.
  • Don’t put pictures of kids on Facebook. (Unpopular, but what you are effectively doing is letting strangers stare at your children, which you wouldn’t do in real life)
  • Most important… if something offends you or your family on TV or the Internet turn it off. I’ll repeat that… TURN IT OFF. Teach your kids this and they will self censor. Or at least be aware they are in control.

I am sick of a world that brings in more regulations to protect people who can’t be bothered to try and look after themselves. We control the content we and our kids absorb, we control what we eat, drink, or smoke. There are parental controls on every computer, if there are Mac users who don’t know how to set these up I’ll show you, as will the guys at every single Apple Store. Failing that, use the internet together. Regulate chat usage (Skype etc) usage, check log files, protect your family online as you would in real life.

Hows about an “Opt In” on responsibility and communication?