Being a parent is ……
Laying awake listening for the door to open
Knowing you can’t truly rest until the other part of your heart returns
Being a parent is ……
Setting a curfew for your teenager
Knowing at some point that your child will test the limit and forget how to tell time
Being a parent is ……
Allowing your child to mess up
In the safe cocoon of your home
Hoping they learn how to be a responsible adult
By enforcing consequences for their actions
Being a parent is ……
Having faith in a higher being to protect your heart
And releasing the breath you didn’t know you were holding
When you hear, “Mom, I’m home.”
2014 Michelle Rayford
School starts here in another week. That means its back to school shopping for our family. I don’t look forward to this at all. Here are the top five reasons I hate shopping with my kids:
1. Being female, people may assume that I would enjoy shopping no matter the occasion. Those people would be wrong. I am more of the get in, get out type of person. I don’t like to linger over the racks. I don’t like the crowds. To me, shopping is one of those mundane tasks you have to perform in order to be considered a civilized member of society. Like bathing daily. Or going to the DMV.
2. My girls, however, love to shop. All you have to do to make Diva’s life complete is give her an unlimited budget and a ride to the mall.
3. When did we decide that all clothes designer would only produce small, tight, and revealing articles of clothing? Why must every pair of jeans get progressively tighter under the guise of being skinny, super skinny or something called jeggings? It makes for some stressful conversations.
4. Speaking of clothing sizes, who are they making these clothes to fit? Barbie? I am really getting tired of having to explain to my medium-sized daughter that she needs a large because of the snug cut. A medium is really a small in today’s fashion world.
5. Auntie Ann’s Pretzels. I can’t walk past this spot in the mall without being compelled to buy a pretzel. Those things are evil. But oh, so tasty.
Do you have a back to school shopping story to share?
Facebook currently has approximately 800 million users. Two of those users are my kids.
When this whole social media thing started, I was like most parents. Clueless. That changed when I found out through another parent that Princess had a Facebook page. (For the record, you never want to hear something about your kid from another parent.) That lead to the “Social Media Rules”. Princess had to agree to comply or have her rights revoked. When Diva became of age, the same rules applied. Here they are:
- Never give out personal information (ie. address and phone number)
- Do not engage in FB fights or Twitter wars. Bully is not allowed.
- I must be their friend.
I felt I was really on to something by insisting on being “friends” with my kids. This would allow me to police their posts and see the type of people they were friending. I make it a point to not announce my presence on their pages. I want them to be free to express themselves but know in the back of their minds that Mom is watching.
Things have been working well so far. I’m not naive enough to believe that I can monitor everything my children do online. There are ways around the public post with instant messaging and direct messaging. And I can’t help but wonder……What happens when (not if) I am the subject of a post or twit?
For example, what if in a fit of teenage anger about the unfairness of having to listen to her parents, one of my kids post, “My mom gets on my nerves. I can’t wait to get out of here in two years.”
How should I respond? Should I pretend I didn’t see the offensive post/twit? Should we have a conversation off-line about respecting family boundaries and not airing petty disputes to the public? Should I take away the cell phone/iPod and demand an apology and a retraction?
What are the rules here? The Facebook policy didn’t think about the parent/child dynamic, did they?
I would probably have a conversation off-line. I understand that teenage angst is a legitimate feeling. I’ll allow that. Just don’t put me on blast.
What do you think? Any suggestions about how to handle Facebook/Twitter or other social media with teenagers?
I am the parent of two teenagers. As part of this mission, I have accepted the responsibility to keep up with the times. I am well versed in Lil’ Wayne, Drake and Trey Songz. I know about Jordans and snapbacks (baseball caps in my day). I understand the capabilities of Facebook, Twitter and iPods. I can text with the best of them. What I don’t understand are the words that are coming out of my kids’ mouth.
This past weekend I hung out my daughters. Princess and Diva (not their real names) are always good company. They joined me as I ran errands and window shopped. It was during this excursion that I learned that my girls are bilingual. The signs were there. They both take Spanish in school. But this language was something different. Example:
Diva: “Mom, I want a camo jacket for Christmas.”
Me: “What’s a camo jacket?”
Diva: “A jacket. All my friends have them.”
Me: “Huh? What is a camo?”
Diva: “Mom, you are so lame. I’ll show you.”
We go to the Sports Authority store and there we find the camo jacket more commonly referred to as camouflage. You know, something a hunter or the military would wear. When they go hunting.
After a quick exit from the store, our conversation continued.
Me: “I’m not buying that?”
Me: “It’s ugly and I’m not spending my money on it.”
Diva: “You don’t have to like everything I like.”
Me: “That’s true. But I have to like it if I’m buying it.”
Princess (who has been laughing and making comments the entire time): “Hunnerd?”
Me: “What are you saying? Hundred?”
Princess: “No. You say hunnerd.”
Me: “What does that mean?”
Princess: “You know, it means ‘true’ or ‘that’s right’.”
Me: “Then why don’t you just say true.”
Diva: “Mom, you are so lame.”
All of our conversations end with me being labeled “lame”. And I can live with that. At least I know what it means.
What do you think? Do you think speak another language? Any colorful phrases you want to share? I can’t be alone in this.