I have to tell you that I am scared shitless to be a parent in this age. Sometimes I wish I parented in the Cunningham years. Things were so simple. Maybe Chachi copped a feel over Joanie’s sweater set, Richie never lied or did anything wrong. If Potsie or Ralph Malph had a problem, they would work it out at Arnold’s for all to see.
But If the Cunninghams were around now, Joanie and Chachi would be sexting, and Richie would be locking his door while he searched for things on his computer that would make even Pinky Tuscadero blush.
We are living in one scary world and while I have thought about going the Amish route and not have any technology, I realize I wouldn’t be able to on-line shop and I like my UPS guy too much to give that up.
We have to parent with the times. Now, everything is at our kids’ fingertips to find. My son Jack wanted a new screen saver, did a search for “Really Fat Winnie the Poohs” and found numerous sites. Why he wanted a picture of a really fat Winnie the Pooh will have to be a whole other post. Today, kids communicate differently. They text, they message on Facebook, and they email. So now, I check the computers, I check the phones and I check the profiles. I block sites.
Some would argue that I am invading their privacy. But, to that, I answer with the best parenting answer I can, “I don’t give a shit. “
It is my right as their parent to know what is going on. To make sure they are not doing anything inappropriate. To make sure that others aren’t sending them inappropriate things. I bought them their computers and their phones. I am trusting them up to a point, but they know that I can check their stuff any time I want.
I used to want to win Miss Popular with my kids. I tried that for years, I lost. I am now going for the title of Miss Aware, or at least Miss It Seems Like I’m Aware.
And how much privacy should they really have? I will still knock on their doors. I am not going to listen in on their phone conversations. I am a heavy breather and would totally get caught. I will give them their space, but they will always know that I have access to their communications and searches.
Sure I have cleared the history on my computer to hide shopping searches. And maybe my kids will try to do the same on theirs. (not shopping, probably boobs)
But I am smarter than them.
I think I am.