Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blogging, Social Media, Parenting Teenagers and our decisions

For YEARS I have been sharing funny and personal moments about my family on this blog. I even have a blog before this that was private and DARLING and I have so many precious memories from. One of these days I am going to use one of those print my blog applications and have an incredible keepsake.

That said - my kids are 14, 11 and 9 now and we are entering a new phase of our life. I have started and stopped SO.MANY.POSTS. I do have so many stories to share - funny and horrifying and things I have learned and things I want to tell you to try and things I want you to NEVER.EVER.DO but you know what? I am the Coach. Husband and I need to be on our absolute A game for the next 9 years and no successful coach in their right mind would ever release inside stories and details of plays that they are running while they are playing the game.

My oldest found this blog and has read it cover to cover. I would LOVE to share teenage stories with you but also - I need her to feel safe. I need her to know that each and every conversation that she and I have is not going to turn into a blog post.

There is also no WAY that I am going to release victory details on battles that been waged in this house to the next two soon to be teenage warriors who are warming up for the fight. Sorry folks - I love you more than my luggage but I seriously can't do that.

Now the nice thing for me is that this has never been a big blog and the folks that read this are my actual friends so ya'll - seriously - anytime - come and pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine and let's swap stories. I get some of my best stuff from other people and I really do want to share. I just won't share online.

That said - I have been asked on MULTIPLE occasions what our internet rules are so here goes - they are pretty simple:

1. We have all of their passwords. If you want to go on social media - great. We have access - to everything.  We are also smart enough to know that they are probably trying out some new secret social media thing as we speak. It's alright - bring it on - keeps us on our toes. ;)

Now right here in typing this I am actually putting myself in some danger because I happen to know for a fact that A LOT of my childrens' friends do not have this policy. If you are one of those parents PLEASE - I am really begging you here - PLEASE do not go to your teenage child and say "well Oldest Bowheads Childs' Parents have her passwords".

(I do love ya'll so here is the one and only thing I will say - your children have "rinstas" and "finstas" and snaprants and GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE. I am telling you - they have accounts that you don't know about and what they post there is really quite unbelievable.)

ok - I cannot say another word about that - on to rule number 2

2. All devices are turned in at 9:30. Period. End of story. We did learn from this lesson because the charging station USED to be downstairs in common area of the house. The charging station now lives in my room. By my bed. Lesson learned.....

3. We respect the family. Period - this family is a safe place. No picture is to go anywhere without permission. No story to be shared. No ranting - period. end of story. This goes for adults (read - me - Husband is not on social media) and kids alike.

4. We have implemented time limits and parental controls and we do use Circle by Disney. That is a whole other post so I will type that up and post next.

5. The last internet rule is a parent rule - we have vowed basically to never say never. We will not say "oh my child would never...." I would never...." "That could never happen to us...." because we have already learned - they will, we might, and it probably already has......

My final point is that all of this has caused some BIG fights but also some VERY amazing teachable moments.

Our mantra has been from the beginning to your children:

You are precious. You are the MOST IMPORTANT THING that we will ever ever do. We make you get shots and go to the dentist and finish your homework and eat your broccoli. We don't get to be the good guys and we are totally down with that. We completely own our bad guy role. 

We would never let you eat nothing but cupcakes (and we really like cupcakes). We would never let you sit around and only watch TV (and we like TV). We won't let you have unlimited time online (and we like online). 

It is our job to parent you and there is no way on God's big, green earth that we would ever let you loose on the big, bad internet without doing our damndest to parent you through it. Sorry - know that you are loved and know that we are trying our very best to do right by you. 

It would be SOOOOOO much easier to just sit around at night and eat bon bons and watch TV and eat fast food and not have to talk to any of them but you know what - we aren't taking the easy way out.

How will it turn out?

 I really don't know but I will tell you - we won't go down without fighting.