Yesterday on FB my teen posted one of those 'all about me' questionnaires. He did put a big disclaimer at the top warning us about the language and such. Yes...he talked/cursed like a teen, but that is is to be expected so I just overlooked it. What I did not overlook was some of the racist opinions he expressed. It does seem like they might have been done jokingly (he built himself up as superior), I didn't take them as so. I had a discussion with him about how I was disappointed because we did not raise him to be hateful to certain groups of people like that. He got defensive immediately about me not allowing him to have an opinion. I told him that having an opinion is fine but spewing hatred like that is not OK. He needs to keep his opinions to himself. After the tense discussion he went and hid his FB wall from us. I reminded him that we require him to be an open book with us on FB and that we need to see what he is posting. He has posted some crap on there that could get him in trouble before and I had him remove immediately. At that time he said it was all a joke and that his friends thought it was funny, but when I asked how he'd feel if the same thing was said about his sister...he got the point and removed it.
This all really got me thinking. Where did my son come up with these opinions if we didn't teach them to him? Are these really his opinions or is he just trying to get a rise out of people? Is it OK for me to ask him to remove things he posts? I have very little tolerance for hatred (I know that is like me hating hatred...) and I will not stand by and let it be OK. Sure, my son is still a minor but when he turns 18 soon is it going to be OK? Is he going to land himself in hot water over some tough guy talk online? While I cannot stop my son from saying things, I hope that he listens to my concerns and thinks before he speaks/posts. Maybe I am too concerned with what my kids are up to, but I feel it's my job to guide and protect them. I hope to keep the avenues of communication open and to be there when they need me. I'm going to stand tough and stand up against hatred and bullying!!