In talking about a conversation with her children, a friend of mine told her teenage son:
“I love you too much to trust you.”
Often as parents we take the stance that we will trust until our children give us reason not to trust them. However, I think my friend has something in her parenting idea.
In this age of computerized everything, accessing pornography and other questionable material is simply too easy. Keeping a watchful eye seems impossible, and you know what? It almost is. We take the position that it’s too hard, we’ll do what we can, and we’ll take care of the problems when they arise.
No offense, but this is probably the worst position you can take with your kids.
If you love them, don’t trust them. I hear what you’re saying at me through the computer screen. Of course you want them to like you and brag about how you’re the coolest parent on the block. But be honest, what do you think about the kids who do have the coolest parents on the block? Exactly.
Look, you are the parent. You can spot check their room without their permission. You can limit the time they spend on the computer. You can limit the amount of time with WIFI enabled phones, PDAs, and game systems, and if you think it necessary, can take them away.
Now before you think I’m some psycho parent whose children will grow up literally wearing chastity belts, hear me out. I’m not saying that you need to run through your house in a rampage of overturning every mattress and ruffling through every drawer. However, you need to ask good questions. You should have your child’s facebook passwords. You should keep the computers out of private areas.
You should be proactive and keep your eyes and ears open to your children as they navigate this sometimes insane world around them.