Saturday, January 23, 2010

She Got Worried because of SMS

My lovely wife sent me a SMS last night while i was out with a friend, saying that my eldest son Jovial lied that he did not reload his prepaid but in actual fact he did and she lamented that Jovial was so attached to the phone even having it beside hime when going to bed.

I too have my reservation about my son using handphone, seriously i dont see the need of it yet,anyway he got what he wished for. I know he hardly makes calls but he keeps receiving SMSes from his online friend that makes us kind of worry.

Last week, when his prepaid expired,he begged me to reload for him,i told him he had to wait but now he reloaded it without our knowledge. I really dont mind him playing the on line games but the worry is about this guy who calls himself "tommy" who keeps sending him SMSes, even when my Jovial is offline, i tried to snoop reading the messages but they got deleted before i could do it.

I told Jovial about the danger of on line friends, the predator in disguise, worse still the phadophiles who hunt on the innocence of the teenage boys and girls, he told me he understood but somehow i am not really convinced.

I intend to talk to him late this evening about he doing things behind our backs, about he deleting all the messages,about this and about that.

Please tell me what you would do if you were to be in my shoes? Should i take away the handphone if he does not want us to read the messages, stop him from playing the on lines game, telling him that we will call this "Tommy" up and introduce ourselves as his parents or so i leave it status quo as if it is part of Jovial's growing up.

Humbly i learn, generously you must share, ok?

Woke up 6 am Friday to write this post, thank God for blogging

P/S : It Is Getting Harder and Harder to Breathe


  1. I won't appreciate it if my parents were to snoop around with my phone if I were Jovial, cuz I would feel like it's ready someone's diary. Invasion of privacy, and even as parents, we should respect our children's privacy.

    The best thing for you to do is just warn him about the dangers of the cyber world. There's not much thing you can do about his online friends and whatnot... because the more you try to pry him away... the more he'll be rebellious.

    Trust me... i was in Jovial's shoes once. And I refused to talk to my mother for 3 month for reading my diary, and I stopped writing a diary since, and she come to regret it cuz I closed up my heart to her as i feel i couldn't trust her1

  2. Well said, thank thank thank you,see i told you, you are my mentor lah,,, really one, i am learning and humbly i will do so,,

    thank a million darling

  3. I love my parents and tell them everything. I want them to know what's happening with me and share it with them. But still, sometimes, things shared among frens is a wee bit different with sharing with parents, and I would like to keep that private. I would get really upset and hurt if my parents snoop at my SMSes coz to me that is private. I would tell them everything if they ask me but, sneaking at my messages is a no-no.

    Teenagers have pride. They would not like it if parents sneak up on their private messages. If they trust you enough, they will share it with you without you asking them. Try to gain their trust so that they talk to you about this online friend instead of just telling him the danger of it.

    I know because I hated it as well when I chat with unknown frens and my parents when wild. They do the same as you do. Telling me the danger of it but then, I do not think that it is a big deal. I just chatted with them and I do not plan to meet them or watsoever. Therefore, I just hide and chat. I know it is wrong of me but I just feel that they overeated. However, I know. They did it because they love and care about me.

    So, no worries there. Everyone went through the exact same phase. Just talk with Jovial, get him to share his friends with you so that you know what's going on with him instead of snooping at his private messages. He will appreciate it.


  4. Thank Cassie,

    I am blessed that you came and share your feeling and experience with me, i am not a perfect papa but i am determined to be one that my boys will be proud of,,

    Sob just enligthened me... thank again Cassie

  5. i always dont think that you should try to read the sms just probably just let him know that he can tell u anything should problem crops up

  6. agree with what cleffy said :)

  7. ya.. listen to cleaffairy...
    i would have pissed to no end if my parents do that.
    just warn him with stories and etc..
    pls do not ever ever ever ever try to invade his privacy. i do mean EVER! =.="

  8. If i were u, I would do exactly what u are doing now as well... tell him that if there is nothing to hide, why not invite his friend over for dinner? :)

  9. I think Jovial know the danger of that. Choose to trust him so that he could have open heart to share things of his frens with you.

  10. To EARN TRUST, we must GIVE TRUST.
    Now is the time to test your parenting skills.
    Now is the time for real BONDING.
    Now is the time to rise up to the CHALLENGES OF PARENTHOOD.
    Now is the time you got to learn to let them GROW UP.

    Again, I have never read my kids' sms. Jasmine does not even allow me to sit on her chair at her desk top as I BROKE THE RULES and spoke to her online friends.

    She was so upset. Even though I see no harm in that...introducing myself as her is NOT about me but I put myself in her shoes and I understand.She is no longer my baby.

    Since then, my kids do tell me things but again, just like them, I will not tell them EVERYTHING and I do not expect them to do so either.

    We just got to be THERE to see them grow up for NOW is the time when our parenting skills before could fail us but again, GOD IS FAIR as then, we are able to grow with our kids.

    Learn to be a friend when your child needs you to stop being a parent for awhile.

    Listen to them without interrupting.

    Understand that FRIENDS are very important to them especially when he just entered secondary school and find himself surrounded with new challenges and you know what ....this JIMMY ....learn about him through Jovial.Listen carefully when he does talk to you about JIMMY. STOP being so judgemental about JIMMY as then you are telling JOVIAL that he is not good enough to be trusted and that JOVIAL'S JUDGEMENTS do not count.You got to give respect to get it.Time to be WISE. It is better to be a "friend" to JIMMY then to be an enemy , trust me but let Jovial introduce him to you. DO NOT CALL ANY OF HIS FRIENDS BEHIND HIS BACK!

    My kids disobeyed me too sometimes but I will not be too hard with them but when I give my warning...they know that I am not

    Nowadays, my daughters introduced me to their friends and ask me what I think about their friends. I am truly blessed but I still got so much to learn to be a better parent.

    STOP harping on Jovial's mistakes. My kids play online games too. I do not sleep until they I just sit around them and I do my stuffs,

    Once their friend told them about a porn, I watched with them! lol



    p.s i am not a better mother, i just try to be a mother that a teenager considers COOL and all their friends wish for a mother like me! lol

  11. wow Donna is so garang lolz

    If I were you, I wld just give him some advise and let him know of my concern for his safety. Checking up on him and banning will only aggravate matters. He'll go underground with his activities that wld be scary!

    Hope all goes well. ^_^

  12. Frankly speaking... are you worried that he's turning gay or something?

    Will you be as worried as this if the one who is sms-ing him is a girl? =.=

    I wouldn't be so worried if i were you, because i was a teenager once, and i completely understand how awkward this stage is.

    This is the stage where teenagers started to develop their own identity. You need to give them space and espcially privacy. It is completely normal for teenagers to have a confidant that they can confide it, and it doesn't matter if the confidant in question is a male or female.

    Earn your children's trust. Just because you are the children's parents, you have the rights to demand for it and put a reign on their behaviour. Controlling a teenager is a no, no!

    You have no idea how much I resent my mother. We may not have sms, facebook, online games and whatnot back then, but we do have penpals and close friends. I resent my own mother when I was 12, and hated her when I was 13. All because she opened my penpal's letters, read my diaries and scolded me for what I've written. And by the age of 14, i could not wait to be 17 so that i could be finally shipped off to study in college somewhere. I HATE people intruding my privacy, and it doesn't matter who they are, parents or no parents.

    It is not my place to say... but if i were Jovial and my father read my personal things, I would feel that I've been suffocating while under the same roof with you. To make it worst... I'm still sleeping in my parent's room.

    Give him a break, Eugene. he is growing up. Let him make mistakes, feel what he feels, and experience things on his own. Or else, Jovial would be no better than a string puppet.

    The thing about parents is that they think they have the rights to tell their children what to feel, and how to feel. This is not right.

  13. Maybe Tommy is a Tammy? It isn't easy to be a parent in this age. Previously there was only the fixed line phone to worry about, now we have handphones, the internet, social networking sites blah blah blah.

    So better do your homework. Here are some useful reading material for you. Do check them out.

  14. Thank you guys for your comments, they make me think, make me work myself to be a better papa.

    looking at the comments,i can now draw a line ofe how to become a better papa.

    wlll, i guess, it is the tme to be just a papa..

    thank you guys

  15. You could asked Jovial to introduce "Tommy" to you. Get into his world but let him have his privacy.

    I had many "boyfriends" when I was teenager, mind you. My parents did not snoop around. In fact, my dad took me back after a party with beers around and he did not ask me what we did.

    My parents trusted me to let me know what's right and wrong.

    I'm sure Jovial knows what's good and bad.

  16. kids need their own privacy. just keep an eye and give some advices.

  17. @ Anton.
    no lah... NO LAHHHHHHH.. where got garang.. >.<

  18. eugene, i sent you a special email to your hotmail account with my comment so make sure you check it and don't let it 'drift' into the junk mail box :)

  19. In this cyber age, it is definitely not easy to be a parent. To trust is one thing.. to be safe is another thing. Everybody will tell you to give him his privacy, but as parents, can we really do it? Well, just do it, hope for the best and whatever it is, always, always let him know that no matter what, YOU'll ALWAYS be there for him.. that he can talk to you no matter wat and you'll never JUDGE him... take care now eugene..

  20. Well, sometimes it's just difficult for us to think, to be rational, whether should we think from the parents' view that they are just trying to be protective or that they are just over-worried.

    It's the mistakes that teaches us life, isnt it? Just like last time, no one taught what my parents should or shouldn't do. They just learn how to grow up by themselves and I believe this is how we should grow up by learning through mistakes isn't it? As time passes, society getting worse, parents try too hard to protect the kids from doing mistakes, with the fear that they might ruin their life or something with a small decision. But, it's all part of learning in life, right?

    My dad always tell me that once I'm done with my studies, I can do whatever I want and be friends with anyone coz he doesn't want me to do things that will ruin my life right now. But, what's the difference of being 21 and being 30 when any decision could ruin my life whether I'm 21 or 30. We just have to learn life through mistakes and everything regardless of how old we are.

    Plus, I guess with all that news on newspapers and advices from parents, teenagers are much better educated and understand better what's right and wrong.If you were to take away your son's phone,you calling up his friend etc,will it solve the problem or just make things worse?He might think it's just unreasonable&ridiculous.Not only you did not get the exact message of your concerns to him, you ended up losing the trust for him to be open to you and thus creating a whole new barrier between both of you. He'll then get/do things secretly behind and in a long term; there'll be a huge communication gap. It might not be this serious in your family but...that's how serious my relationship with my parents.

    We know what we are doing, the dangers of chatting with strangers, exchanging numbers with strangers and everything. But try to think from a positive view, we get new friends and to learn more about the world. Parent's can't protect us forever. Just have to slowly let go and not just waiting till he's big enough to be on his own, cos I believe in parents' eyes, kids are always kids even when they are 30 or 40s. I think, being protective is by allowing them to fall and learn to stand back up on their own. Imagine if life were always perfect, free from problems or unwanted circumstances, and one day when something bad really happen, isn't it harder to stand back up since it's been so perfect all these while? Parents just have to prepare kids to fall and stand up on their own and by their side during the process cos parents can't be protective forever.

    So, it's all about communication. Talk to him and understand his world from his shoes and not just the bad consequences of everything that he does. Punishment just not gonna work these days cos kids are different compared to the older days. =) Get to know their friends as your friends rather than judging them before you even get to know them. Who knows, tommy might be a great friend to be with? tell them about your life too. It's a two way thing. They have to know what's in your mind too. Teenagers could only open to their parents when they know their parents' thoughts and whether parents understand their intentions, their feelings. If it's wrong, tell them nicely in a way that they understand your intentions.

    It's not easy to be parents but it's not easy to be a teenager as well, trying hard to be the good son/daughter for the parents and at the same time standing on the same line with the peers.It's just the security he should know that you'll be there for him no matter what happens,to comfort & advice but not there to scold/punish when he did mistakes [most parents do so, don't they?].

    Sorry for the long comment.^^

  21. I'm not a parent but I know how parents worry about their children. I think I'll talk to him. Get him to see it from your point of view.If you threaten him, he might rebel.

  22. I think take away the phone will not help much. But more control might helps. Can limit the SMS or maybe give them a registered line with a detailed bill at the end of the month and at least we can track who are they calling or sms with most of the time.
    Kids nowadays can't live without a handphone. I asked this question to my younger cousin what she cannot live without and you know the answer. They put the phone next to their bolster and first thing they open their eyes are checking the handphone.

  23. I think as kids get older, our parenting job gets harder n harder. Thx for this post... n the comments. It's great for my future reference. :)

  24. remind you be alert of what is this world now.
    We JUST CANNOT TRUST EVERYB I am just sharing part of my motherhood and my children of mine who are deem obedient but to tell you frankly you are a good DAD of your own, use your wits and twist and turns.
    Not all people's opinions are good for you nor can you LET YOUR SON TO BE AT HIS CAREFREE WORLD ESP. at age 13 only. Just to ODY AROUND US. The closest friend can be your closest enemy. Just believe it!!!
    As a DAD or as a mum, we know our kids best, not others. Others are only opinions. Once your sons turn bad, they still point fingers at you, laugh at you in the end!!!!

  25. Some people can talk so much about parenting but yet they are non parents themselves nor a biological DAD or mum.
    Plse be on alert!

    Hope you are fine with your boy.
    If a father cant access to the young son's world, then the world is getting more complicated to come.
    It is not that you are not trusting him, just that he is too young to understand many things at this age with this type of cyber world.

  26. @Anon... I am a parent. To a young boy, no less. But sometimes, we have to put ourselves in our children's shoes in order to understand them, especially teenagers. If you can't do that, then you are a complete failure in parenting.

  27. Answer to so called Cleffairy
    I suppose to help the actual blogger
    not to compete to what you wrote to him.
    Who are you to judge another as a failed parent!???

    (Supposing this is an open forum! Whatever, you are you are, mine is mine ways. Who are you to judge another!)

  28. I am not going to let my children to have phone. Not until it is a necessity. :(

  29. Eugene..ask Jovial to play online with Andy.. dota games? he is always online.. safer.. u know him ma.. :P

    on the serious note, as a mum to 3 kids, i also dont know who my girl is sms-ing to, each day..each night.. sometimes she smiles to herself.. and she goes online to chat each weekend... i didnt read her sms.. but i always tell her to have more frens than just sticking to one ... As for my sons, one of them played one quiz on his hp before and i ended up paying 500rm over that... but after that, he grew wiser and not touched on that anymore..
    sometimes we allow them to learn from mistakes..but as for your case, just explain to him tat there are lots of noti ppl out there and just advised him to be more careful.. then gently asked him who tommy is.. said u r worried.. it is ok for u to say u r worried...
    this is my opinion :)

  30. Once again, thank you guys for your comments,they are all important to me, they help me to think to ponder and to learn to be a better father.

  31. To Anon... if you can accuse people without knowing whether they too are parents or not, why can't I do something similar to you? At least i have more guts than you, revealing my identity here as we spoke. If you feel that you are a bad parent, then it is just too bad for you. I don't apologize or retract my opinion. Everyone is entitled to do so freely. At least, on my part, I do it responsibly,

  32. I cannot imagine giving that kind of freedom to Dan! Trust has got to be earned. And trust is earned by showing sense of responsibility and also openness (not being secretive). For now, I cannot see that in my 13-yr-old, so he is not getting any handphone from me. He knows that too, so it's now up to him how he wants to earn that handphone.

  33. cleffairy, which part of your info is revealing your identity ?*guffaw* Why don't you reveal your pic, and ur son's? Call me ball-less, gutless or whatever and it is applicable to you too. What a joke you are.

  34. Uncle, why are you preventing us from loving each other? i love your son with all my heart, truly, sincerely, honestly! please don't separate us apart.