On a serious note…

Tweenagers… this has to be such an awkward age, with so many things going on, hormones, body changes, social interactions, and just generally working out their place in life.

Miss I-Zombie, 12 years going on 21, wants all the freedom in the world, but none of the responsibility, wants everything that everyone else has, but doesn’t want to work for it.

Love this age sometimes…

Social journeys at this age, Wow….

Now I don’t want to sound like that parent “back in my day! I walked two million miles to get to school and back, in the snow, IN BARE FEET!” But…

Back in my day, when I was the same age, we were not as “mature” as children these days… seriously, children having sex, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, at around 13 years old, what happened to your childhood? instead of enjoying it, you choose to throw it away to grow up way to fast!!! I wanted to be an adult so badly when I was a child, and now, I would love to be a child again, funny how that works.

Now, I actually do keep very tight tabs on my digital Zombies, I think in this day and age, we as parents need too, I try hard to teach them good behaviours and morals, sympathy and empathy for others, appreciation, and that you need to work hard to achieve what you want. It seems like a bigger challenge at this age, and sometimes I look at these two and think to myself “Why are you two such little Brats?” , it takes a bit to stop and tell myself, they are the product of my parenting, and actually, Im doing the best I know how, and this whole “parenting” thing is hard work… the amount of arguments my Husband and I have had over parenting, I think shows, just how massive of an ordeal “raising” children can be, and co-parenting is another huge story.

One thing I am massively questioning at the moment is “What is the best way to help guide my tween zombie through learning social behaviours, and reading good from difficult social situations?” , confidence, peer pressure,  good choices, understanding consequence to undesirable choices, just seeing the bigger picture…incuding one that she has come across with a school peer just lately,  self-harming.

I was 18 when I had my first-born, and now im 31. I feel some days I’m only just starting to work some of this out for myself, so how am I ment to advise a 12-year-old of this, am I really that qualified?

Watching Miss 12 developing her social values has been interesting, still in primary school, dealing with things that I didn’t have to deal with untill I was a couple of years in High School.

Something  that I believe makes it more difficult, Social Media.

Social Media opens up so many more doors to bullying, impressions, social pressure, chinese whispers, breach of privacy and easier personal attacks. Children don’t have the maturity to deal with half of the situations that arise on social media, yet, almost every 12-13 year old has at least 1 account of some kind. Miss I-Zombie does have accounts, on the terms that I can have access at any point I feel the need, and she is to be honest with me, come and tell me first before I hear it elsewhere, and I will hear it guaranteed.

Miss Zombie had a situation over the weekend, she had two friends come and stay for the night, both with ipads and junk food in hand. All three of them proceeded to make themselves comfortable with sleeping bags, food, Netflix and iPads a plenty. Everything was going well, untill…

The Modem faulted… it was a massive panic! mainly with one child zombie friend, who proceeded to pretty much throw a tantrum because he left his “Bae” on seen. My husband and I had suspected this digital zombie had been hanging around lately more for the Internet Access (and girlfriend access, more to come), rather than the enjoyment of socializing with my Miss Zombie, so we decided that the Modem was going to stay “faulted” till the morning.

The rest of the night involved this Zombie boy sulking because he couldn’t get online, and apparently longingly looking at photos of his girlfriend all night, well, untill 1am when he decided it was a good idea to sneak into my bedroom to wake my husband and I, to ask if we had fixed the Modem yet… safe to say, we were EXTREMELY unimpressed ! and he seemed surprised that his not-important question was not welcome at that time of the morning…

In the morning, this boy zombie had obviously had enough of no internet access, so made other plans to leave at 10:30am to go meet his girlfriend. 10:25am came soon enough, and we finally fixed the Modem, well the excitement that followed was amense, and safe to say the boy zombie didn’t end up leaving at 10:30am as he had planned.

Thankfully Miss I-Zombie noticed all of this behaviour, and soon worked out that maybe the friendship was not as important to him as it was to her. I feel sad for her, this is such a s*#t lesson to learn in life, but an important one.

So how do you help your son/ daughter through this, and similar situations? To let them know this is not because they are at fault for others decisions, or how they see you, or how they decide to treat you? How to work out good friends, quality not quantity right?

Miss Zombie is also the friend/ school acquaintance of the girlfriend of this particular boy zombie, they share the same class at school. She has started questioning lately “Why do these two always show up at my house after school, but don’t have much to do with me other times? or when at my house?” (boy zombie goes to my Miss Zombies previous school). How to answer the Question “Mum, are they only here to meet up with each other? not to see me?” …

The Girlfriend Zombie also self harms… a whole different ballgame that is, and a complete different story…

In the last few weeks, I have heard on two occasions (two to many), “Please don’t tell my Mum/Dad” and this screams  red flags to me, if you dont want your parents to find out, you know it’s not OK…

Please Parents, keep your finger on the pulse, be in the know, be involved, get to know who your kids are socializing with and guide them. These journeys through childhood and teenage hood are what moulds our children into who they grow up to be. Stalk their social media accounts, and I don’t mean behind their back, do it with them, if it means they think twice before putting something public online in case you see it, who cares, you may have just saved them from being publically humiliated. Just remember what goes online stays online, these posts can affect them later in life with jobs, relationships and life opportunities.

We are our children’s advocates, and in this day and age we need to protect them not only from the outside world, but the inside/ online world, there are just as many hazards, predators and threats online as out in the big wide world…

 

Note* there is a lot of background story and build up to this situation, it’s not quite as simple as it may seem, but this is the current challenge at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge accepted!

I have decided to play my I-Zombies at their own game…

My Plan, find my I-Zombies music.ly’s, and challenge them to their own games. This way I may be able to keep track, of the progress of the digital virus spread, also to understand how they communicate and interact better.

I decided to start with Miss I-Zombies Music.ly. 

Start myself an account, check.

 Find her account, check.

 Follow her account, check.

 So simple ! why do these zombies need to put so much effort into this?

 Next, watch videos, check.

 Speak to Miss I-Zombie about the meaning of cringe, delete half of her Music.ly video’s, check….. *shudder*

Now the easy part, time to copy these (cringe) Music.ly video’s, pick a video…. 

Aaaargh how did she do that? How does the screen move that way? What?! IT’S IN SLOW MOTION!!!

So, I find where to make these video’s, and after around 50,000 attempts to make one 12 second video, i think i completed it to an average standard…

OK, that was really hard.

Like, REALLY hard!!! did they undertake special I-Zombie/Music.ly training to be able to make those video’s!? I see why they have to play that same little peice of music , over and over again, I just assumed that they were trying to make us stab ourselves in the ears, so we didnt have to hear it any more, and then we wouldnt be able to hear them trying to take over our house hold with their digital virus…

On that note, I will keep trying to understand this social media communication between the I-Zombies, I have extra Zonbies staying tomorrow night, so maybe, I can study them to learn more about their ways …

I-Zombie Code…

I have discovered, I-Zombie communication…

I’m not to sure yet how to decipher this form of communication , but I am working through the complicated code slowly.

I have worked out so far that “Bae” means, Baby, Sweetie, etc.

Um… do these I-Zombies realise that this means “to poop” in Danish? how is this a compliment? so very weird… “I like you as much as I like to poop” …?

So while doing some research into this peculiar “code” I came across some more popular code words being used.

BRB – Be right back- I’m guessing this is used to notify their I-Zombie leader that they will not be on their device, or contactable  for the next 90 seconds, their leader must have ways to tell when they mentally disconnect from the device, so they must inform the leader so the leader does not assume they have been harmed, kidnapped, or brain washed.

WUD – What you doing – Maybe in case they have not notified everyone to their doings or where abouts, because this is apparently must know information that needs to be provided every 2 1/2 minutes…

Ship – This I believe is short for relationship, I am not to sure as of yet though, because, I don’t really understand what 12 year olds think they know about relationships? Maybe this is in reference to their friends? their celebrity crush? maybe their pillow?

On Fleek – I believe this is used to describe something that has been impeccably styled or groomed… Really?

143 – I love you – Once again, really?

PAW – Parents are watching – Ha Ha!! Oh my tiny I-Zombie, Im always watching, I wasnt lying when I said I had eyes in the back of my head…

HBU – How bout you

WTF – What the F&#k – Of course, because 12 year olds so many things in life to aggressively Question.

AF – As F&#k – And again, so much aggression…

Slay – Short for doing something really well, as to “kill” an activity.

Then there seems to be these funny sounding “catch phrases” and “body actions?”

These behaviours seem to run its course over time, but when these behaviours and sayings arrive, it appears everywhere… and intensely!

The latest catch phrase I have noticed lately is “Cash me ow side, How bow dat”, although, they seem to be evolving this, as Master I-Zombie has started saying “Cash me ow side, before I Dab”, Im wondering if maybe this is a challenge, as I do feel the need to catch him (and have words) when he says this?

There are also half-full bottles being left everywhere, the I-Zombies seem to throw them around, trying to land them in a particular way. The zombies video themselves doing this, then send the videos to each other or put them on YouTube. Is this a form of challenge? and do they leave the bottles everywhere to try mark their Zombie territory? Maybe I need to throw them all out in the recycling bin, and see if they try to start a war with me to claim back their “area”, or I could place my own “Territory Bottles” in place of theirs to retaliate against their territory stealing bottles, either way, this will be a fun experiment…

Challenge accepted I-Zombies… Game On !

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Virus is real…

With this I-Zombie virus looking like to become an epidemic, I decided to ask around and find out other people’s opinions, and it looks like I came across an entirely different virus…

The stupidity virus!

I never once thought I would hear the sentence, “I told my daughter that I don’t care if you send out nudes of yourself, just make sure your face isn’t in the photo”.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but this rings a lot of alarm bells for me, I don’t agree with my I-Zombies name being online, let alone their “body”?

I don’t understand how this is legitimate advice for a 12-year-old girl? am I a prude? because I dont find this normal… So this sparked a lot of Questions for me, are we dealing with a new virus ? is it widespread? how does somebody get to the point in their parenting life, that they think it is OK to tell their 12 year old that?

I’m completely baffled…

What is your opinion? Do you have a similar approach with your children for their device use? Are you very much against this advice?

I’m not sure how to process this….

 

 

 

I need to be prepared!

Today, Miss 12 is back from her 3 day school camp. Three days of exploring, fresh air, socialising face to face and …. no devices or internet access.

So far, i have seen that she is very tired, sluggish and cranky. She has a look on her face to say “if you interact with me … I will eat you”, so I have decided to go with the calm and quiet approach, using only slow movements and soft voice tones, as to not aggrivate the I-Zombie unneccessarily.

The girl I-Zombie has been in the house all of 20 minutes, we have has enough time to remove her luggage from the car and make our way into the house.

She has found her IPad, and perched herself comfortably with a pillow, close to a charging source. I cant really hear her well, she is mumbling, I beleive about the fact that I did not charge her device before she got home, it seems, the withdrawl is real…

The boy I-Zombie came home from school, tired and demanding, wanting his fulfilment of youtube access and food. When told he has to do his chores before being allowed to do these activities, he made this almighty harendouse noise, the only way I can think to discribe it is, like a angry hurt mythical creature of sorts. This performance was in unison with dramatic eye rolling, also the body went very limp and his head went backwards, all at the same time, I beleive the I-Zombie virus may be strong in this one.

Im thinking maybe because the Boy I-Zombie is smaller and weaker, the virus may be hitting him harder and stronger.

I have decided to do some research about how these Zombies think, what draws them in so fast, the transformation is facinating, but so very dramatic and scary, How contageous is it? How is it transmitted? I think possibly, my husband may be infected too, he seems to be slowly displaying the same intense need, but for his iphone . I think I need to stalk their digital activities, maybe limit them, and test what the reaction is.

I will need to be prepared for the wrath that is about to come upon me…

 

 

Is there a Cure?

I have two children, Miss 12 and Master 6, both of which seem to have caught the Digital addiction virus, whether it be Social Media, youtube, Netflix, Music.ly, music, Ipads, smart phones, Tablets or Xbox, the list could go on for miles.

They seem to need their addiction fulfilled very regularly, and i have observed that when these digital needs are not met, there are some very serious side effects:

  • Eye rolling
  • Whinging
  • Irritability
  • Grunting
  • Moping
  • Boredom

As soon as they can access their digital devices, they seem to fall into an instant trance, almost like a … Zombie.

Blank expressions on their faces, they sit endulging in their need to be connected to their digital device, and instantly, all above side effects have been elleviated.

As I watch them sinking deeper and deeper into their digital worlds, I stop and think to myself, this silence is bliss!!! but I dont think this is normal…

This zombie like manner started me thinking, surely my children arn’t the only ones who have contracted this digital zombie virus? there must be more of their “kind” out there? so I started to pay more attention to their friends actions and behaviour, and it turns out they are the same, every oppertunity that arrises, they acheive their digital fix, is this digital zombie virus contageous?

I have decided i now need to investigate this “situation” that is now unfolding in my house, How has this happened? Is this an epidemic? but most importantly, is there a Cure?