Everyone’s an expert until they actually live something aren’t they? You know, non parents always telling you how to get your children to sleep through the night or behave in public. How about parents of young children who think they know what’s right and fair for teenagers? Up in arms about laws that have no effect on them what so ever. Because people like that give me a chuckle.
I probably had an opinion or two about things before my children reached certain stages of life, but time has taught me that you really do not know until you are living it.
I have a teenager and a preteen now and I would say I have gotten less uptight about certain things that the government does in an attempt to protect our children. It’s easy to sit back and say big brother is going too far when you aren’t the one who is desperately trying to protect your own children from the harsh reality that is raising teenagers today.
It’s A Different Time
When I was my daughter’s age just twenty years ago things were much simpler. The problems that came home from school did not spread like wild fire through the internet. It took a lot more work for students to inform others of what was happening. Heck, even call waiting was a new thing back then and not everyone had it. So you had to call people one at a time to spread the rumors. So telling the whole school your news was work and not just a few strokes of the keys of the computer to get the word out to hundreds of people in a matter of minutes.
While technology is a great thing and we have come to rely heavily on it it also has made things that much more difficult to parent. As a parent I can only do so much. We still cannot control the actions of others and I can only control my own children, but I appreciate whatever help I can get in policing my kids online activity. I have allowed my daughter to friend many of my own friends and family on Facebook because I know they can tell me if I miss something that’s happening.
Not that I think my daughter is up to no good. She is monitored very closely. Her computer remains in the living room where we all are. She’s not doing things without me knowing. I can check her Facebook at any time and she knows it, but the more eyes on her the better.
And if that means the school wants to monitor her online activity even when she’s not on school grounds, then so be it. And lets face it people, jobs are checking social media sites too. This is a great lesson for kids to watch what they say or do on the internet because you just don’t know who’s reading. People are losing jobs by blowing off steam or behaving in inappropriate ways so why shouldn’t schools be allowed to punish students?
The things that happen at home are spilling over into the school. It’s disruptive. It’s not a wonder that schools want to take a stand against this sort of behavior. Kids are committing suicide at alarming rates these days. Something needs to be done.
If You’re Doing Nothing Wrong There’s Nothing To Worry About
If my town were to institute a law which would monitor my daughter’s internet activity outside of school I wouldn’t mind one bit. Because I am aware of what’s going on. Because I know she isn’t doing anything wrong. And because I know that a lot of my daughter’s friends parents are not monitoring what is going on and I certainly can’t stop that. I only have authority in my own home.
My daughter had a girl teasing her on Facebook. It was nothing serious, but it was bugging my daughter so we blocked the girl. Problem solved, but I have worried about what happens in school between her and this girl. It is my understanding that the girl has only made one comment to my daughter about blocking her at school, but my point is this stuff does spill over into school. It is not a wonder that schools are beginning to want to monitor things more and put a stop to things before they get out of control. Before it becomes a school wide bullying thing. Before someone decides to shoot his classmates. Before someone commits suicide.
I know my daughter has nothing to worry about because I’m already watching things. But if something did come up, then she would know that she has to be more careful with what she does say. She can gripe about her teachers and school work all she wants, but it doesn’t need to be placed in writing. Just like I can’t make public statements about my employment negatively. These things have an effect in every aspect of our lives and what better time to teach our kids about that than when they are starting to get into social media?
For Those Who Don’t Have Teens
So to the parents who have a problem with kids freedom of speech being violated or parent’s right to parent their children before you are even dealing with this stuff, remember in a few years you just might be singing a different tune. You don’t know what these kids are doing and saying and you don’t know how it’s affecting children. You don’t know what is happening at the school because of these behaviors. It takes a village. Once upon a time schools were allowed to freely discipline children. Neighbors kept an eye on each others kids. Now we are getting further and further away from that in a time when we probably need more of our society watching what our kids are up to. As long as it’s protecting my child, then I’m all for it and I think once you are living it too you’ll feel the same way.
What do you think when you hear someone saying how wrong or unfair something is when it has zero affect on them what so ever?