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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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  • WANTED, Carmen, mom to the Masses, for dangerous undertakings inside and outside the home. Last seen with her partner The Hubster, and six accomplices (Nikolas 22, Allegra 19, Mackenzie 17, Gabriel 14, Emma 12 and Riley 10). This fugitive is considered armed (with epi pens and inhalers) and dangerous, especially when she hasn't had her morning coffee. She has been known to hide beneath large piles of laundry. She has her Black Belt in Muay Thai and can be found reading, training Crossfit, boxing or running to the store for milk and bread. And coffee. Always the Coffee.