Should parents get all up in their children’s business?
Or should they mind their own?
I grew up in a home where my business was going to be known – like it or not. My mom is known as the “Queen of Questions.” She was when I was 8. She is now that I am almost 36. But she REALLY was the years between 12 and 18. When I came home from playing golf, or school, or church, or a date, or a friend’s house, or taking out the garbage, or going to the bathroom, or taking a nap, or playing Nintendo, or feeding the dog – she was going to ask me at least 20 questions related to the event. Me and my sisters always knew – no matter what – it was coming. We either were going to have to tell everything or we were going to have to lie about it. Mom always got all up in our b’ness.
But the Pearson kids grew up before the internet hit. I didn’t send my first email or surf the web until college. The first cell phone I saw was a bag phone my older sister got for Christmas my freshman year at Auburn. [By the way, the bag phone was slightly smaller than a carry on suitcase that’s too big to put in the overhead container on an airplane. . . Remember those?] An MP3 was my initials with a 3 beside it, not a way to listen to music.
Today access to information is TOTALLY different. Sharing stuff with friends isn’t done through a phone with a chord attached to it in the den of your home. Looking at questionable material isn’t done by flipping through the channels when no one else is in the family room watching TV. It can all be done anywhere, anytime. Laptop. Tablet. Phone. Kindle Fire. DS3’s. And on and on the list goes.
You know this stuff. Heck, you are probably reading this one on or more of the gadgets mentioned above. So back to my question. . .
When it comes to this stuff, should parents be all up in their children’s business?
I read this horrifying article yesterday about children in a culture of pornography (I encourage all parents to read it, but beware – it will cause you to need yesterday’s post on dealing with anxiety!). Reading it truly was a frightening dose of reality for this parent.
One (of many) quote that stood out related parents and their involvement in their child’s online interaction. The author writes:
“If your child was going out with somebody you thought was taking drugs, you would feel you had the right to intervene. Somehow, we don’t feel we have the right to do that in the online world. We are on the back foot.”
This, of course, spawned the question. In my mind, nothing is off limits when it comes to our children and what they are doing. We should not only be the “Queen of Questions” or the “Prince of Probings” – but should NOW also be “Internet Nazis,” “Phone Find-it-alls,” and “Text Tyrants.” I know what I was prone to when I was a teenager WITHOUT this stuff – I shudder to think what would happen if. . . . too scary.
I don’t have teens . . . yet. According to the article, I can’t be so naive as to think it will all wait until then. Other than pray for Jesus to come back, what advice do you parents have for parents like myself? How much should we get in their b’ness? How much trust should we extend? How many questions should we ask? How do you build a culture where ‘everything is on the table’?
Got a Xanax I can have? 🙂