Did you see my post on facebook this week? Even if you follow me you may not have seen it- I don't understand why I see what when....the algorithm utilized amaze me and I get it- no way to keep up with all my friends- even in cyber world! Anyway I posted about the need to check on texts, social media of my teenagers/preteens. I pined (pine, not pin) for the days of telephones with cords and our parents able to overhear conversation.....and maybe they picked up and actually listened on another extension?! Do phones have that capability? Hmmmmm but that would mean kids are talking on the phones....reading texts and social media is the new way we parent.
Thanks to all those that provided cyber high fives, sent resources you use to navigate our new reality. Here is the scoop and what I saw...I won't put this on FB but I will blog about it. I will provide the "behind the scenes story" for those that click and follow and read my blog. And by all means give me a call to talk that is what is missing, that is my big take away as I reflect on my post and the real life happenings on NG Road.
So while icky homework battle happening on the 1st floor, on the 2nd floor I find the ipad mini that we got free or at some silly price at some point...it is on Peter's bed. His phone which isn't really a phone- it is my old phone with a million cracks- that can be used....we talked about this at grown up Sunday school last week- this is kids reusing, making things work- the today version- maybe they are not the disposable generation we think they are. Anyway I went right to the texts and found an exchange about "grinding" at an upcoming dance or the hope that this will be allowed. And then there was a phrase that could be interpreted incorrectly about location of pants....imagine that the 13 and 14 year olds are "talking" communicating about sex. Why am I shocked, surprised by this? Actually I wasn't horrified but not pleased. As I reflect I think about Dirty Dancing....love that movie...want to watch with the kids....but then I think of the topics, the scenes.....oh my...I probably need to watch it with them. 1987- that is when the movie came out by the way...it was part of my college escape. it is PG 13 by the way.
The next thing I found was on snap chat- Clare had to review with me to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. I guess it was a story so it stays up longer- maybe 24 hours? It was a "friend" someone I've seen in Homecoming photos but I don't know personally. She had two photos in particular that were not in the best taste and made reference to strippers and male bodily fluids. Yes back again to sex. Again nothing that should shock me..i saw Porky's the movie in the 7th grade!!! We snuck in and yes we got caught! Those Hagerstown parents were good...or we were stupid..actually we were young and our parents were committed. Just like I'm trying to be now. I'm not calling the person I know that knows the person who in my opinion used bad judgment. I'm not reaching out to the mother or father that Peter was texting with about grinding. What I'm doing is saying is help cyber world share the message that we have to watch, we have to be careful.
While Peter took a break from homework, he and I sat down and talked. I told him these concerns:
-it is easy to make bad choices but we still love you.
-be careful what write down anywhere, any how- the Internet for sure.
-phones/ cameras not in bedrooms or bathrooms. The snap chat was sharing photographs from the bathroom. Mirrors catch things we don't intentionally want caught- best policy is keep the phones out of the bathroom. Bad choice to send any picture.
We ended the talk with a big hug and I shared it on facebook. Then I went back to the homework situation...that is the ugly on NG road...and maybe my reaction.
It is good that our healthy happy teens are expressing themselves, it can be bad when they make choices to post or just let their developing brains react in not so great ways...and it is an ugly world that can result in criminal activity I'm afraid. Maintaining balance is the goal of the day, week, year...not overreacting- yes I do. Being as in touch and there as appropriate- keeping and eye but not hovering and most of all talking and processing. I'm glad I'm not alone, that in my busy world Facebook gives me a social support outlet and you dear reader are here for me, Joe our kids, their friends too...thank you.
I'll end with one last shout out- thank you teachers and staff at these schools with these ages.....Good grief! These kids and their hormones and today's world- thank you for all you do, the time you spend with our kids. So much more could be shared, talked, researched, thought about on these topics....but duty calls. I'm enjoying a lovely delay go to work due to travel- something I adore and took for myself...another good- like to end on a positive!