Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.
I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”
Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.
Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.
It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.
It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.
Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:
Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.
Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.
Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.
Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”
TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:
- You do not respect their rights as an individual.
- You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
- You probably haven’t been listening to them.
Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.
My mom actually took this a step further and wrote passages back to me in my diary - she could not understand why this made me so upset.
On other occasions I caught her on my Facebook account open on her computer while I was directly messaging friends on my phone/computer.
Please parents and future parents no matter how much you love your kids and want to protect them - no matter how good your intentions truly are, give your kids the privacy they deserve. Trust is built on give and take not just authority.
Because white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action, but no one calls that “special treatment”. #RaceMatters
You go girl. Exactly!
Let’s play Burn Read Rewrite.
It’s like Kill Fuck Marry, but with books.
Put three books in my ask.
This is so cool! But what country are they from? “Africa” is really vague.
Their names are Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola and they’re from Lagos, Nigeria. There’s a neat video about them here.
boost the fuck out of this, and make sure you include their goddamn names and country of origin.
"You stopped a live one today, honey. I’m an international cougar!"
Reasons why I’m excited for “Dear White People:”
- Black actors portraying 3-dimensional characters
- Honest social commentary
- Targeted to the college age demographic
- Thorough exploration of the various forms of racism in America
- Tessa Thompson’s voice and Tyler William’s afro wig
Reasons why I’m not excited for “Dear White People:”
- White people calling it racist
- Mainstream media agreeing with the white people calling it racist
get out your VCR’s it’s time to watch The Prince of Egypt. or you can watch it here.
please don’t watch exodus: gods and kings because it’s icky and racist. you deserve better. you deserve the prince of egypt.
It is safe to say that I will not be going to watch the weird gross whitewashing mess that is Exodous…
Great example of savvy media literacy!
i can’t believe people get so angry about a bisexual spider-man. whatever. have your shitty bi/homophobic opinions. you’re an asshole anyway. i just can’t believe you’re robbing everyone of all the glorious ‘swings both ways’ jokes
- What’s in your head when you’re trying to fall asleep?
- How do you get yourself to sleep?
- Are you the villain in someone else’s story?
- What are some phrases you say a lot?
- What’s something you don’t say anymore?
- Do you cry when you’re tired, or is that just me?
‘political correctness kills creativity' if you can't create something without furthering the oppression of minorities, you aren’t a very creative person.