We all swear we won’t do it. We say we’ll “never” or “over my dead body” be as horrible to our kids as our parents were to us. I was about 16 when I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would never, under any circumstances, be just like my parents. I would never refuse my daughter the experience of seeing her favorite band in concert. I would never be that uncool. I would never deny my daughter a life changing moment as my parents did when they wouldn’t allow me to see Bush in concert when I was 15. Just because Bush was a rock band known for violent mosh pits, and the concert was on a school night, 2 hours out of town and without parental supervision did not give my parents the right to deny me fun. Gavin Rossdale spoke to my soul. He understood me. I knew if I didn’t see him, I’d just die.
Well, I didn’t. Fast forward 20 years and here I am a parent to a teenager who wants to be involved in all aspects of the social circle. My daughter hasn’t asked me to go to a concert without a parent yet, but she has asked me to open an Instagram account. This is a tough call. On one hand, I want my child to be included with our ever changing world and that includes social media. On the other hand, I want to protect her from unnecessary exposure and dangers that so easily come with the internet. Thankfully, my daughter is highly mature and intelligent so I can have a rational conversation with her about it.
Me: Why do you want Instagram?
Highly mature and intelligent daughter: Because so and so has one.
Ok. I can appreciate that. We all want to feel connected to our friends.
Me: What would you do with an Instagram account?
Highly mature and intelligent daughter: Take pictures.
Ok. I still need a bit more.
Me: Why can’t you just share your pictures through text?
Highly mature and intelligent daughter: Because. That’s stupid
There it is. Her well thought out, persuasive attempt to get something she wants. She’ll never be a lawyer. After some careful considerations following my in depth discussion with my daughter, I’ve decided to shut it down. I’m feeling she’s still just a bit too young to take on the responsibility of social media. I want to protect her just a little bit longer before she is thrown to the wolves of reality. Is that so wrong?
So, here I am. This is what I’ve become. Exactly what I swore I wouldn’t be. Like Casper and Connie many years ago, I am being the out of touch, uncool, secretly trying to squash any chance of fun from my child, heartless and horrible parent. And I’m doing it because I love her.