The ostrich effect is the easiest parental theory to implement. There are so many heart aches avoided, so many disappointments averted and peace reigns in our home. It’s just so much easier to look away. It’s so much easier to hide under the pretense that teens need to be trusted. It’s just so much easier not to pry…..
But my wife, bless her heart, pries, sticks her head out of the sand and pokes, pokes and pokes some more. She casually mentioned to a close friend the other day to check her daughter’s texts and Instagram in order to be aware of what her daughter is being exposed to. Her friend responded: But you need her Iphone code to do that!
I have a friend that says when everyone around you seems crazy, maybe it’s you that’s really crazy! My wife and I are in the minority regarding monitoring Iphone use for our teen. The Iphone is a wonderful entertainment piece and a very efficient business tool. However, it is also a conduit to all that is dangerous with the internet.
We have been flabbergasted with the texts we have read and the pictures we have seen from girls we thought were prim, proper and respectful. Many texts each other with regular use of profanity. They send provocative pictures that would destroy their reputations if posted on one of the many social media sites available.
They seem innocuous to the ramifications that could come about with their Iphone activity. Colleges are now scouring social media to find out more about applicants. Employers are doing the same. Schools have joined this effort to monitor for inappropriate behavior. The consequences are dire.
I know it’s easier to look away, but we MUST get involved. No, a young teen has not earned the right to be fully trusted. No, they do not have the life experience to properly asses a situation and deal with it accordingly. We are abdicating our parental responsibilities by turning a blind eye to the unfettered power of the internet.
You pay the Iphone bill, you have ALL the right to monitor its use. A few tips:
- Get the code and forbid them to change it without giving you the new one.
- Take the phone away for an hour at a time while at home.
- Do not allow the phone in the room while they are sleeping. Group chats keep them awake for hours!
- Do not allow the phone at the dinner table. Today’s teens have lost the art of looking people in the eye and holding a conversation.
- Use the taking away of the phone as a way of prodding the type of behavior you seek from them. Take it away for a week so you will see the attitude adjustment that creates!
- On a weekly basis take the phone away without forewarning. Look at the text threads, look at Instagram and Twitter. Search her camera roll.
Parenting is a full-time job. Teens need parameters now more than ever. They need our life experience to teach them how to deal with the constant moral threats they are receiving. At the end of our life, we will partake in the ultimate exit interview and final entrance exam! We will be asked what we did as parents to bring our children to God. What did we do to warrant the beautiful blessing we were given? How did we protect them from harm? Did we pry and poke?
I for one do not want to fail that exam! Eternity is in the balance…..
Mother Mary pray for us……