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I remember very clearly when my oldest was a senior in high school and was asked to attend prom with a platonic friend from church with a slightly shady past, at a school known for wild and poorly behaved prom parties. I humble-bragged about it at work (a very bad habit I think I've since broken - in this case I was rather tickled she was popular enough to go to multiple proms and so I brought up this "dilemma" to my coworkers mainly to brag). One of the women said "Well, how old is she?" and I told her "She just turned 18." The co-worker then said "Well, then, you really have no say in the matter. She's an adult and if she wants to go, she should go." While I disagreed slightly in the "as long as you live under my roof" way, I got the message.

13 yrs between oldest and youngest - I would say the two hardest things are controlling what the youngest is exposed to on TV and explaining to the oldest why THEY couldn't watch the Simpsons until high school but HE has been watching since about age 6.


I have to laugh when parents say they don't look at a kid's Twitter/Facebook/Whatever account, so the kid can have some privacy. It's the INTERNET, and the sooner we teach them that the Internet is not private, the better. I tell mine that if they want some privacy, they can sit in a closet and talk on the phone, the way we did. I want them to be aware every single second that everything they put on the Internet can be seen by anybody.

Of course, once they are on their own, anything goes. But hopefully, by then, the habit of thinking that anyone can gain access to what they write/post will stick with them. Or not, but hey, that won't be my problem anymore.

I agree it IS a sticky tangled web with all the different ages in the house. I'm often giving the older ones the "YOU were allowed to have an innocent, untrammeled childhood, so your siblings should be allowed the same" lecture. Not that they understand me much...

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.