We have a responsibility to teach our children, even if we don’t WANT to, and we as parents have to keep tabs and track of the apps they have and are using. As a parent of an almost 18 y/o and 2 preteens I am adamant that kids will do the right things and use approved apps and such. Of course sometimes they wander so that is why I know all password for everything at all times. Or I can walk and their room and tell them to unlock it for me. If they don’t they lose said device or devices until they are ready to give the password. The very best way we protect our children is by being honest and explaining to them the dangers and things that can happen.
I do not believe that we can protect our children. I believe it’s a nice thought and something that many people go to great lengths to do. I believe this is more harmful over a lifetime then allowing and helping our children to use social media at appropriate ages. My son at 12 plays games where they can talk to each other over a headsets. I don’t do a lot of monitoring at this point because he basically has played the same games the last 5 years or so. Plus, I firmly believe that our children, unless already exposed to bad behavior and situations, act like children. If they go to school and cuss all day long you will definitely here that coming out at home. They don’t have enough control to hide to much of anything. Or they can for a little while but the truth always comes out.
I don’t know where as a society we got the idea that our children should be protected From everything we can possibly protect them from. We are raising children that are scared and that have no idea what they believe or believe in. The first time they are confronted with something they have never heard or thought of their path is changed, sometimes for a period of time, and sometimes forever.
I recently allowed my daughter, who is 11, to get her own Facebook. We have clear rules and she knows what they are. She is not allowed to add anyone that isn’t a family members or a friends from school. Thankfully I know who most of her friends are anyway because I spend time talking to her and listening to her talk about her life. Do I think at some point in the future there will be issues? Of course I do. But I also know that she will have the consequences of choices she made. Not decisions that I made for her. Don’t get me wrong, I want to protect her. I want her amazingly kind and generous spirit to never get lost or run over by life. But the truth is it will, if it hasn’t already. I have to help her learn how to interact in society. How to contribute. How to stand on her own when necessary and be who she is.
These are all things I don’t really remember learning but that I know my Mom must have taught me. Or that there are many of them that I had to learn on my own. I didn’t know that my expectations of myself were not taught to the next person in line. I had to learn the hard way that people are damaged and broken and that some of them are basically out to get you.
Protecting your child from everything only gives them a false sense of happiness and safety. I truly believe it harms their growth and that when they get out there in the real world it’s like they are babies who don’t know anything. And they are quickly blown one way or another because they don’t know what they stand for. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. But I do expect people to listen to each other and consider other people’s perspectives. Odds are they didn’t come to those thoughts over night or easily.
In the end I believe I am protection my children by teaching them and helping them make good choices at the place they are in now. My 17 y/o son is obnoxious and he tests me regularly. But I know that he loves me and I also know that there will come a day when he sees the strength that I have and the love that I have for everybody because I can see it in him. Of course, right now he hates and denies it. But I have learned to be patient and when it comes my reward will be great. I also get to work at the same food place that my son works out. There is no greater compliment than to have multiple people tell you your son is a hard worker and seems to be a good kid. And it’s not just them it’s anybody that I know that has ever met him. Maybe people don’t agree with my thoughts and the way that my husband and I choose to handle our children. But having 4 amazingly talented, smart, and above all friendly kids is a pretty great thing.
I am blessed that God found me worthy of these kids. That He trusted me to teach them and show them what it’s like to live a good life and stick up for those less fortunate. To do good and to love even the most unlovable because we all deserve love.
Yes, we should do our best to protect our children. But we should also be teaching our children to make good choices, run from the things that will harm us, and surround ourselves we people who we love and that love us. There will never be a way from us to fully protect our children from the “bad” things in life. But we can do our best to teach them and to show how to handle these situations as they get older. So that when they are adults they have knowledge, ability, and courage to stand up for who and what they believe. And to KNOW what they believe and why so they don’t get swept away in the waves of life.
Not sure if this all made sense. Was interrupted like 10 times. But I felt like it was important so here it is. Questions or thoughts are welcome!