- I need a cell phone, he says. He is 6, and he seems so offended, standing there, with his arms crossed, because he needs a cell phone.
- You need a cell phone…
- YES! he tights his arms around his body angrily.
- Who the hell are you gonna call to? Dora the explorer?
They say most things come on three, or something like that. In the afternoon I get scolded because I am browsing my 10 y.o journal, and as I walk upstairs, news on TV are discussing the children´s right to a private life.
What the hell?
I totally get that my girl, who´s 10, needs a break from her brother who is 6. I understand that when she is with her girlfriends she needs some privacy, in the same way he does not need his older sister busting his balls when he is with his buddies. And I understand also that kids need their own quite time alone.
I get that.
What I don´t get, is when I hear that there is not ok to see what your kids are up to, to be in a precise tune when it comes to a pre-teen girl. What I don’t get is that it seems to be perfectly ok for us parents to leave complete freedom and no boundaries to our children.
In a fast-paced life as we live nowadays, it is so easy to park the kids in front of the TV, the iPad or the computer. I am not saying that there is something fundamentally wrong with that – once in a while, I am grateful to be able to take a little “brake” myself also. What I believe that is fundamentally wrong, is not to follow what the kids do then. What I mean is that I, as a parent, need to check who does she talk on Mine craft or Moviestarplanet -and more important, who is asking her for her e-mail or phone number.
So hang on a second… Since when we parents have become so lazy?
I trust my kids… The point is that I don’t trust the predators of the world… Mobbing, harassment, pear pressure… If I am completely oblivious of what is going in their life, how am I going to protect them? How, if I don’t have control of what they do, and with who?
I am not stupid, -at least I´d like to believe that I am not. I believe my children will go and do that things we all did when we were teenagers, I believe they will have secrets, they will hide things from me… But I keep reminding myself that they didn’t ask to be in this world, that it was my decision to have them here, and it is my responsibility to protect them and to guard them until they are strong enough to do it alone.
There is simply no rush to grow up, no need to speed things up. The idea that mascara and heels and internet friends scare the shit out of me. Let the kids be kids and be alert, l keep telling myself. I understand their need to feel more grown, the need to “belong”, but that doesn´t mean I like it. I understand also that at some point I need to compromise.
He asks for a cell phone. I think fast. I have an old phone that doens´t work, I turn it on, set the alarm to 1 hour and I send him out. He can´t call but he has an alarm that makes him feel important and grown-up. He is playing out, and I am sure he will be back in 1 hour on the spot. Win-win situation, I guess…
In the meantime, I will keep being a lioness -because it is my job and my responsibility. I will keep snooping on my daughter´s journal because… Well, see the video and know why…