Jun 26, 1998 09:53 PM
by Kym Smith
>Since my own son is shy, I'm
>fishing for data on the subject and he is so LOUD. His voice is big and
>booming. I'm very glad to see a reserve that might help him to control his
>nature. Since I'm his mother, I feel a responsibility for steering him in
>the right direction. What do I do when he starts screaming in public? But
>won't answer a question or ask a question when I prompt him?
My words may be of no use to you as I am not a parent, and thus, may not
understand what feedback a parent can utilize and what they can't. With
that in mind, hopefully, the following won't be a complete waste of your time.
As far as your son using the Internet as an outlet - I think it would be
very helpful. One can learn a few social skills and even make friends for
life; there are, of course, the obvious drawbacks of such things as
pedophiles, lack of eye or body contact, and dangerous advice/talk/opinions.
It is stunning how much a scrolling screen can impact someone - and much of
that impact has to do with our own fantasy and contruction. In my own mind,
I've built little worlds - worlds of theos-talk and TI-L. I've filled in
the "blanks" of people who contribute with physical images and
personalities. I believe this is a natural thing - but it can leave one
open to some mental injury and rude awakenings about one's own psyche.
For example, if I've built a "positive" image of someone and they then post
something that contradicts that image - I feel a real stab of pain. If I've
built a "negative" image of someone and then I realize they are not as bad
as I perceived them - I experience a genuine embarrassment. It's also hard
to write to someone and then not hear from them for awhile - since I don't
really know what going on in their life I find myself fighting feelings of
Another biggie is the possibility of getting involved in a "sexual or
intimate" type of relationship via e-mail. I've been that route - and it
was one of the most wrenching things I've ever experienced. I had heard of
such things happening and thought that the people who do that must howl
nightly at the moon. Never did I believe I could "fall" for something like
that. Wrong-O! Being happily married (as I am) or in a satisfying
relationship does not make one immune to phrases of praise and sweet-talk.
Anyway, your son will have his world opened up and he will learn a great
many things - and it may help refine him (although it hasn't done that to me
yet!). I think the Internet has more positive than negative aspects - but
again, that's my opinion. Your son and his future are the most important -
and that leaves you having to make really tough decisions.
Some questions don't have answers and some answers aren't found in books.
(Well, now, that's a revoltingly feeble statement, eh? Some of us just
write to write, I think)
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