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Author Topic: I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand  (Read 373 times)

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Offline Dad0512

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I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand
« on: March 30, 2019, 10:26:12 PM »
Hello all. I am so glad I found this group. I am just looking for some general information and advice on how I can support and encourage my son. For starters let me just give you some background. My son is 16 and there was an incident that occurred that made him at risk for being a victim of a sexual predator online. I only bring this up as background as to why I am trying to monitor his internet activity. Today I needed to install som monitoring software on to my kids phones to restrict access to certain sites. He was very reluctant to hand over the phone. That made me suspicious and I did some digging to make sure he wasn’t at risk again.

Good news is that he is safe from what I could gather.

However, I was shocked to find that of the 1800 images I found about 20 were “plain” and the others were anime, the vast majority of which were of human/animal hybrids. I want nothing more than for my son to be satisfied in every aspect of his life as an adult. Tell me more about the lifestyle. The good and the bad (by bad I mean the struggles you have had being accepted by people outside of the community).

Secondly give me any advice you can. How can I encourage him? Should I bring it up? What were the reactions from family and friends (what they did right and what they did that hurt you)? Any general knowledge about the community and lifestyle would be appreciated as well... I am just trying to understand.

Offline Cheza

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Re: I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2019, 10:53:20 PM »

This thread might be helpful for you!

Personally, my mom has essentially just stated "I do not understand this, but I can accept it."
She's just happy this seems to make me happy. I guess that's the most important part.
Ultimately it's not really a big deal for most.

Offline John Red Beard

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Re: I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 03:03:09 AM »
The bad news is, a lot of non-furries hate furries. Your son is probably going to have to deal with a lot of misunderstanding and unjustified antagonism. So it's great that you're trying to understand and aren't pre-judging.

The good news is, furries are by and large the most friendly, welcoming, and non-toxic fan community around. That's not to say there's no bad apples. Those exist in every community, but we're mostly a good bunch.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 03:38:46 PM by John Red Beard »
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Re: I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2019, 01:40:39 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about what your son might've been at risk for, and I completely understand how you feel that you should be monitoring his online activity.

As is already said in the topic Cheza posted, a furry "lifestyle" (I'm enquoting this because I believe being a furry is more of a hobby than a lifestyle to most people), or their activities consist mostly of socializing with others in the culture, sharing, and sometimes also making art and literature.
Furries do occasionally meet up in conventions, but those are almost always official events with many people attending them, and security present. So those would be a very silly place for predaters to try their luck at, I guess.

As for the negative parts of the lifestyles, there's no way of getting around it but it's just considered as a bit of weird thing, and people can try use that against you, often by ways of shaming, if they so please.

I've personally found that it's really not too bad, though. There's no need to declare being a furry at any given oppertunity, so most people only find out that I'm a furry once they're atleast somewhat befriended with me and already have a solid impression of who I am, and although they may sometimes demand a bit of an explanation because it's occasionally a bit of a controversy, once I've talked about what it means to me they're always okay with it.

And if your son is someone like me, with a decent amount of self-confidence, then that shaming thing is an innefective method, as being a furry just isn't a bad thing that one should feel ashamed for.
My older brother, for example, has tried to use it against me a couple of times, but because I just shrug it off since there's nothing wrong with being a furry there's just nothing he can do with it.

As for advice on encouragement, and whether you should speak to him about it:

I do believe that it would be very nice for your son if you were to just tell him that you are aware of his interest and that it may be a bit of a weird thing, but that it's not a bad thing, that you accept it and that he shouldn't have to feel ashamed about it.

My own father, when I admitted to being a furry, said something among the lines of "And some people go to a stone building every sunday to pray to a man hung on a cross over two centuries ago. People are weird, it's what they do, but I'm just happy your past-time isn't something like gambling, or being junkie." And it was just nice to hear for me that it didn't influence how he thought of me.

Fathers are quite influential figures that children often look up to, so I'm sure it'll just be nice for your son to hear that you still support him, and that he don't have to feel ashamed or hide it.

If you want to give a bit of encouragement to your son, I would suggest looking mostly towards helping him with self-confidence, and encouraging him to find a community of other furries, and just in general to socialize. (Because people are better together)

But, your son may wish to do this on his own, so if you feel that he doesn't want or need much encouragement, there's no need to push. He'll find his way around.

Lastly, a couple of things of notice.

The word "furry" is a very wide-encompassing term. There are a lot of diffirent sub-cultures within it, all with diffirent interests and standpoints, and as John said, there deffinetly may be bad apples between those.
But, that really does not neccecarily mean that your son is one of those bad apples, or is being influenced by them.

And, for some reason, a thing that losts of people that dislike furries tend to use is the notion that they are into bestiality.
This is simply not the case. As we've mentioned, sadly there are bad apples, and this case is especially a rare one, but as a whole furries do not partake in and do not support this!

That'll be all from me, I guess. I hope I've been helpfull!

Offline anoni

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Re: I am pretty sure my son is a furry. Help me understand
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 01:26:41 PM »
Being a furry is a hobby, it's basically nerd culture. If your son was hugely into star wars you probably wouldn't be as suspicious even though in the star wars fandom just as much toxic behavior and predatory behavior could occur. I guess what I'm trying to say is, you shouldn't see your son being a furry as a big deal, he might see it as a big deal and that's OK, but it isn't something that is going to negatively affect his life that much. So just remain calm on that aspect, and let him enjoy what he wants to enjoy :)

For the predatory aspect, monitoring your kids data I would advice against, it's an invasion of his privacy and while I understand you're doing it with the best of intentions it won't be seen that way to your child. Instead your child will see it as an invasion of trust if you use his activity against him (for example, punishing him for going on a not safe for work site, when it's a common form of exploration for teenagers) and may make your child feel like they can't talk to you about things (for example meeting an older person online) because of fear of punishment. So my advice is to instead of monitoring your sons data I would speak to him directly and make sure he realizes it is very serious that he takes into account good online safety.

If your son is defiant and believes you don't understand, you need to respect the fact that he does believe he knows what's best, nothing bad has happened to him and he might think you don't understand the internet, even when you do. So in this scenario the best thing to do is to ask your son to just talk to you if he wants to meet up with a person or video chat with a person, just so they can talk to you and discuss it. For example, if he wants to meet up with a person and is really adamant in doing so, ask if you can talk to that person first to make sure the person is on the up and up. If you're not sure ask if you can accompany your son. Be respectful of your sons desires, explain to him why you are concerned and what red flags you may have come across, consider your son an intellectual equal and they will respect your wishes a lot more than if you simply say "No".

The worst case scenario is your son goes behind your back and does these things without telling you because he feels if he does he will get in trouble or you will give a huge reaction (example: Taking his phone from him so you can install spying software). You want to be supportive of your son, realize that he might have met someone he really likes online and you should respect that could be the case, you want to build trust and to do that you need to make your son feel like you're on his side. Because your son is more technologically advanced than you are, he will find ways to get around any measures you put in place, so the only way to make sure you know what he's doing is if you build trust so that he will tell you what he's doing.

I hope that helps!
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