Gettin’ All Up in Their B’ness

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.

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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’?

Thoughts?

Counsel?

Advice?

Practical help?

Got a Xanax I can have? 🙂

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10 thoughts on “Gettin’ All Up in Their B’ness

  1. Ilene Harral says:

    Parents shouldn’t quit too soon or give up too easily, especially when children start pushing back. Hollywood comes into our homes daily now, but this is the real world where morals still count. Parents who rear their children in the church have a great advantage over others. AMEN and THE END. Hang in there, Matt.

  2. Nikki Garner says:

    Being smack dab in the middle of have 2 teenagers and one over achieving, early developing 10 yr old (plus Tali, who = 6 people), let me tell ya… BALANCE IS HARD!!
    Random, unannounced phone checks are the norm around here. Keeping in close contact with the moms of our kids’ friends is also a regular routine. Checking in with them to get more info is a way to create a safety net. Is it enough??? Probably not, but we are trying and praying and praying and praying…….

  3. Dad says:

    I say be up in their b’ness! Your Mom’s methods paid off and although it may be harder to stay on top of all the tech stuff, teenagers need lots of accountability. Letting up might be akin to texting and driving.

  4. Mom says:

    I THINK there’s a tiny compliment buried way down deep in this post. At least, that’s the way I’m choosing to view it. I love you, Son.

  5. Juan M. Delgado says:

    Hey, that was very interesting. We don’t have kids yet but I think that while children are in the house is the time to be up in their b’ness because mature christian parents have an opportunity to impact in their lives so they can depend on God as teenagers but for the rest of their lives.

  6. Libby says:

    First, you have to know your kids. You have to be present in their lives and involved in their activities.

    Second, you have to talk to your kids, with no subjects being taboo, and LISTEN!. Be real.

    Third, your kids must respect you. You have to walk the walk and talk the talk. You have to admit when you’re wrong and apologize when needed.

    Fourth, START NOW! The relationship with your kids starts at birth.

    And lastly, be in all of their business! Do it with love and respect! Be the parent. They can make friends at church!

  7. Magen says:

    Love this. I am definitely all up in my kids’ b’ness and so wish that other parents would be as well! I get all my 12 year old’s text interactions on my phone that he gets on his iPod. He cannot browse Safari on it (uses a safe browser that I can see history of). He is only allowed to use his laptop in family areas. Never in his room. Trust is not the issue. The issue is all the traps that kids can fall into.

  8. Jen says:

    I found this very interesting looking at it from the “child’s” view ( im 21) … Yes I believe parents should always have a say on what their child watches or looks up on the internet but they’re parental controls specifically made for this. I also believe that parents should know where and who their child is with at all times. if you communicate well with your children on daily basis and are always honest as well as open to your/their opinion on things then I don’t think your child would ever want or nee to hide anything. however some parents take this overboard and completely strip their child from learning about themselves personally and how they feel/believe about certain things. I only have one disagreement with staying in your kids business… when your child becomes old enough ( teens to twenties) to start shaping into a young adult step back on the whole tracking the phone/ blocking internet and tv channels and just let them learn to judge this on the own just put faith in them and let them grow into who they decide to become… its going to happen one way or the other.. why not let it be with them staying close instead of rebelling

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