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Teen YouTube Videos

By January 16, 2009

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One mom on our forum asks: "My 15 year old son recently made some questionable and disturbing "Jack Ass" style YouTube videos with his friends. They had everything from silly stunts to self-injury like stapling themselves and pouring rubbing alcohol on their hands and lighting it with a lighter to crude and obscene language and references. My husband and I were very upset, and my husband grounded my son and took away the video camera. He is usually calm, but he lost it this time, calling my son an embarrassment, and telling him he had to draw the line on how stupid he was going to be. My son says he's just being creative and was trying to be "extreme" to get notoriety. Aside from the obvious danger issues, have we overreacted? Are we trying to hold value standards that are just too much to expect of teens these days?"

Denise's thoughts: "I think your reaction is normal, and warranted. Falling back and regrouping if name calling happened would also be warranted. But letting your son know that this video does embarrass you and holding him to that standard is not overreacting at all. You did well taking that stand with him. I would also remind him that anyone can see that video, including the college admissions officer who may check the internet when he applies or his grandmother. I have more tips in my blogging teens article."

Asking our community of parents: What are your thoughts, advice and experiences with YouTube and your teen? Share them on the forum or in the comments area.

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January 16, 2009 at 8:41 am
(1) lee says:

My take is to re-reading your comment and check if the words being used show a destructive attitude towards your son. This attitude could be driving how your son acts; so a change in attitude/statements to your son might bring him closer and move his ‘creative ways’ more towards your liking. Obviously, if he likes being creative and has access to the video camera, encourage other types of video productions, like story telling that the whole family would enjoy.

January 16, 2009 at 9:28 am
(2) parentingteens says:

Lee, I don’t see a destructive attitude in her comments at all. I see a parent who is voicing frustration and wondering how to deal with it – a proactive thing to do.

January 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(3) mel says:

I see nothing wrong with holding our kids to a value standard… too many parents seem to worry about invading their kids privacy, or holding back their expressions of individuality… They are our children. My opinion is that my #1 full-time job is raising my kids to be moral, responsible, trustworthy, basically good adults. They should be treated with respect, yes… but I see nothing wrong with remembering that as the parents we are in charge! Like it was pointed out – anyone can see those videos. Kids like mine are watching it and laughing… at you…

We had a kid at school that thought he’d be funny and secrectly flipped the camera off during a team photo. The photographer missed it, so the photo went in the papers, was ordered by kids and their families… Anyway, the word got out… The coach had the photographer come do a retake and reprint the photo for every kid that had ordered one – all at the expense of the kid who thought he was funny. The kid didn’t see what the big deal was, and coach gave a talk about the fact that his “being funny” was a disrespect to every other member of the team – that in essence he’d flipped off his teammates, the coaches, all of their families, everyone who saw the picture in the paper… he wanted him to understand that it wasn’t funny, it was disrespectful.

Sorry I rambled… My point is that as adults, we have the responsibility of being in charge and “guiding” them the right way. And, yes, sometimes they tick us off sooo much with their immaturity that we explode at them. They’ll live, we’ll live… and all come out ok and hopefully a little smarter in the end!

January 19, 2009 at 9:10 am
(4) Trisha says:

I saw good for these parents, for staying on top of their son, and for being honest with him about how his actions make them feel. Too many parents these days are worried so much about hurting their childrens feelings that they surpress theirs. In this case he didn’t call the child names but he did let him know that the actions hurt and embarrassed them. I think that not enough parents hold children to a high enough standard anymore. We say things like, ‘that’s kids these days’ but thats our fault for getting to laxed in our parenting. But this child will think twice before doing something as stupid as this again.

January 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(5) Torrie says:

I feel that you did nothing wrong. Children need to be held accountable and know what the parents feel about the things that they do. I do feel that you should however question some of his resoning a little more. Some do it because of peer pressure, others because its cool and than others becasue of mental health issues. Knowing why a child is doing what they are doing help to understand the child. Taking the camera may and may not help becasue if he feels that you are just not understanding him or not trying to understand him if his friends have a camera its not going to change anything becasue now they will use the friends camera. maybe try sitting him down now that the both of you a little more calm about it and tell him exactly how you feel about the video and why what could happen and so on. than listen to his thoughts on it as well.

September 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm
(6) Tracey says:

I totally agree with Mel, Trisha & Torrie, being a mom of two teenage boys I am constantly trying to teach them that for every action there is a reaction, and if you are not on top of your kids, and being parents, which IS our job, worse things could happen later on-yeah for them and for handling the situation b4 the kids decide to take it to the next level. You may also want to point out to your son that in the future, potential employers (and schools) look into facebook, myspace…to see what kind of employees that they may be hiring when they get applicants–so be careful about how you put yourself out there because it may come back to bite you later.

July 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm
(7) Jon says:

Teens need to have Thierfreedomt, it’s normal, all boys need an experience of humiliation and lessons, that will teach them their lesson, I think adults need to stay out of a teens life unless it become crazy.

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