House Rules

My dad is a very good Catholic man but his strict rules can be quite maddening at times. We have a family computer downstairs- it’s located there so he can keep an eye on what we’re doing. Chat rooms, instant messaing, all that is forbidden. He even has a password to the computer that only he and my mother know so when he says “time to turn the computer off” at night, no one can get back on. We need to ask him or my mom to turn the computer on in the morning.

My brother is just starting college now. He has a lot of homework that needs to be done on the computer but my dad still has a ‘shut off’ time. My brother recently, by very clever means, learned the password to the computer and is keeping the secret to himself for emergencies such as last night after ‘shut off’ time he discovered a missing homework assignment due the next morning. So he quitely logged on to the computer when my dad was in bed and did his homework. I don’t think that is disobedience and I was wondering what others things. Education is extremely important. He wasn’t going online to meet girls, he was just trying to get his assignment done.:confused:

Sorry, but if I were your father and found this out, I’d be disappointed in your brother (and in you for knowing about this and keeping silent, too). :frowning:

Your brother has the option of discussing this with your father. He also had the option of ‘fessing up’ and pointing out that, with the time set as it is now, he would have missed an assignment. Instead, he is now patting himself on the back for deluding your father and convincing himself he was right to do so because it was ‘for his education’. Your father is being denied a chance to work with your brother and is also thinking you two are being honest and trustworthy with the computer, which you are not. What kind of education is this? An education in cheating?

And you’re being put in the situation of lying by omission, and also being subtly conditioned to the idea that your dad’s rules should at the least be circumvented to your convenience and your judgment, without any input on your father’s side.

This isn’t the right kind of education. And yes, it is disobedience.

Look at it this way: It’s Mom and Dad’s computer. They set the rules for it. If it was me, I’d put in a filter and a net-nanny, then set Content Advisor and block certain sites, along with setting the audit policies to “success” log. But not everybody thinks that way, or knows how to do it. They (your parents) are doing their best, unless you are withholding information about your dad that would change the color of this.

Your brother has other options. He could use the computers at the local library, the ones at his college computer lab, or he could save his money and buy his own computer. He could have asked Dad early in the morning to use the computer.

I would not run to your dad with this info. That’s up to your brother.

And you don’t know for sure that Dad is or isn’t monitoring log-ons.:rolleyes:

Wow…can I have your Dad? I wish my Dad was this concerned with his family’s spiritual well-being. I, the daughter, have to constantly be on the spiritual lookout for my older brother and father, both of whom are lapsed Catholics. If I am or am not around, they sometimes watch, listen, and indulge in the most sinful things. I love your Dad. Can he be mine?


How did he log on? You said only Dad and Mom have the password?

The other point I would bring up is that since he is a college student, he can get a part time job and pay for his own computer and phone line for it. That way, he can make his own rules about it.

As for anyone under 18 in the house, Dad’s house, Dad’s rules. Tough.

My brother is 20.

20 or not it is still your parents’ home. My husband works in detail with computers and he is constantly telling me about thier dangers!
I’m proud of your Father for trying so hard to protect you from the evils of this world!:thumbsup:

AND I would bet that if your brother apoached the subject like an adult (and not a sneaky kid) they could come to a reasonable understanding.

Shame on him for being dishonest and going against your father’s wishes.:mad:

Although the disobedience is minor, you should encourage your brother to not do this again. Hopefully your father will also change the password soon. What you shouldn’t do in this situation is snitch on your brother over such a minor thing!

If your brother doesn’t want to respect your father’s rules then he should move out and live by his own. It is just that simple.
There is no justification for deceit.

Maybe your dad is being unreasonable. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. The computer belongs to your father and he can set whatever limits he chooses. He is not obligated to provide a roof to a 20 year old man. He definitely isn’t obligated to provide computer access. It is a gift. Respect him enough to honor his wishes, even when you do not agree with them.

Agree with those above, he is 20, if he chooses to live at home he chooses to submit to the rules. He is acting like a sneaky 13 year old…

Could your brother not have knocked on your parents’ door to explain that he found an assignment that was due in the morning and ask if he could use the computer?

It seems that missing this assignment would teach your brother that he has to keep better track of his assignments and complete them in the appropriate time.

Definately should get an internet filter. We have two computers in our main room and an internet filter that blocks just about everything. You can’t be too careful as a parent. And if your brother lives in your parent’s house he has to follow their rules even if it doesn’t make sense to him. It’s tough being a parent in this society. Give your dad a break.

Even with an internet filter, if you have DSL, all that has to be done is that the person NOT go through the msn or aol or whatever has the filter, because when they go right through Internet Explorer, they bypass whatever filter is set up. These kids know their way around the machines, believe me. You get to find out where they have been AFTER the fact, if you look at the cookies file. Course, if your kids delete that, as well as the files on the Norton or other system, you still don’t know.

All you have to do to bypass it is contained in articles on the web itself, every computer system has a master password. There is nothing designed to prevent the problem if you have savvy kids. Been there, found all kinds of rubbish on my son’s computer, just 15 feet away from mine.

No way would I ever let him have it in his own room.

I also don’t understand why the assignment wasn’t done on time either. Could be one was searching for ways around the system online rather than doing the assignment? only ask cause that is what my son did.

If your brother believes he is not being treated like the adult he considers himself to be, then rather than sneak around your dad like a disobedient child, he should approach him man to man about his problem. Your dad is more likely to be flexible with a person who seems mature than a person who is sneaking around.

Look at it from your dad’s perspective. Maybe this time, your brother really just wanted to get the assignment done. But if he had access to the computer late at night all the time, eventually, something on the internet would tempt him to look at websites he shouldn’t, and it is hard to fight temptation over and over again, especially late at night.

There was a time, long long ago (tee hee - like in the 90’s), when most students didn’t have computers at home or in their dorm rooms or wherever. They relied on going to the campus library etc. to write their papers, do their research. Back in the day, if they discovered an assignment the night before it was due, the library would be closed and their assignment would be late. Do you think the teacher would blame the library for having consistent closing times? No, the teacher would tell the student that he is responsible for keeping track of his work. The same is true for your brother. If he really deserved the chance to get this assignment done on time even though he failed to keep track of it properly, he should have plead his case to your father. If he ended up not getting his assignment in on time, it wouldn’t be the end of the world - rather, he would have learned an important lesson about keeping track of his assignments more carefully.

Is it safe to assume the parents are paying for his college? In which case they are simply cheating themselves. It is absolutely imperative for a full time college student to have access to a computer. This day/age, you cannot get work done without it, and yes, sometimes it is necessary to be working late into the night. A required ‘shut-of’ time is very unreasonable. Perhaps the parents didn’t go to college and don;t know what the OP’s brother is going through? He should definitely talk to them and show them syllabi of courses, etc. so they can understand.
Unless they want him working part time and living at home at 30, they need to help him through college. It is very very difficult, especially is you go to a higher-echelon school. If my parents weren’t helping me financially and most importantly emotionally, I would be doing horribly. And by not allowing him the facility of a computer on which to complete assignments, they are telling him that his success is not important to them.

eta: depending on courseload, a job can be very difficult for a full time student. My work-study position is for 12 hours a week at a job on campus, and even completing that is not possible at certain times during the semester for me.

[quote=Fidelia]Unless they want him working part time and living at home at 30, they need to help him through college.

No way. My children were taught at an early age that I expected them to take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

If my son/daughter broke my rules, I don’t care if they were 20 or 30, they would be told plainly that while they live in my house, my rules apply. End of story. If they couldn’t accept that, they were freee to move out.

If that meant they had to drop out of college and get a job, so be it. Their choice.

As far as the OPs brother is concerned, if he were my son, he would lose the right ot use the computer at all for sneaking behind my back like a naughty kid.

But the situation is not allowing for any choice at all. Either the student is helped through college by family, or he is completely on his own and who knows when or how he will get through college, and could very well end up living at home at 30 still paying off his bills. The more help he is given now the sooner he is an independent and productive member of society. It is the parents responsibility to try to insure that this can happen. In today’s world, college is much more necessary than a generation ago. It is not some arbitrary decision the student made to be able to live at home longer. It is a necessity for most careers, especially ones that would allow a person to live comfortably. As well as enter into a marriage and begin a family.
I just can’t help but wonder how many of the people who agree with those parents have actually gone to a four year university and know stressful it can really be.
I would also suggest that the OP’s brother look into trasferring to a school away from home where he would live in a dorm.

If every man, who is a father, were this way, the world would be a better place…:smiley:

BTW, are you using that particular computer to post here?

If the computer is the only restrictive rule that is unreasonable you should deal. However, at age 20, if the computer is a rule in a long litnay of things that he can and cannot do then he needs to take initiative and be a man. Yes, he’s living at home, but he’s in college and at age 20 I assume he’s a junior or atleast a sophmore.
My question is why dosn’t he have his own computer? I have severe learning disabilities and having my laptop is a necessity for me, helping me to organize, record, research and use other programs. And although its not necessary for every student, it certinally is a handy tool.

I’m an independant college student, btw, and I earn every penny of my education myself. Its a VERY hard life to be on your own in college, and if your dad prefers people not to use HIS computer thats really his business.

Your dad dosn’t need to share his computer, and if this is the only thing your dad is restrictive about then its not that horrible. Computers are everywhere now. If its more than just the computer your brother really has to learn to be a man or he will be dependant on your parents until he’s 30.

It is not his computer it is the family’s. And having a turn-off time, while it is proper for young children, is completely irrational for an adult. If anything, there should be a definite time that younger siblings should get off the computer so that the college student can get is work done.

The student should have his own computer. And if he can’t afford to buy one himself, which may students can’t, the father should buy him one, or at least help him pay for it.

Completely independent college students are the minority, not the norm.

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