In my regular Thursday nod to Tom Sawyer, I have Charlotte guest blogging (and painting my fence). I have a feeling this post might be about my strict Facebook and texting rules, so I just may weigh in here and there. Let’s see what the teen has to say. Here’s Charlotte!
I would like to say Happy New Year!! AND (drum roll please…) I GOT A COMPUTER FOR XMAS!!!!!!!
Ok, Ok, it’s Dad’s old one… but he is amazing with MACS, and he gave me his that still has internet, a battery life, and something to type papers with. (UGH PAPERS??) Which, is much better then a run down PC… no hard feelings.
OK, moving on, I want to talk about the kids dreams about once they reach their tweens… TEXTING and FACEBOOK.
I don’t have much to say about facebook, other then I thought is was really unfair for
other 11 year-olds to have a facebook page and not me. But the rule is 13, right? Or is it 16? I always thought it was 13. Anyways, when I turned 13 I got my facebook page and my life was amazing. That ship has sailed. But here’s the other thing…
In 6th grade, everyone was swapping numbers, and I couldn’t because my Mother forbid it. It was an “emergency only” phone. People drifted away from me because of that. I was OK with it at first, but when I saw that all the communication was happening over text, it was hard being excluded. Also, when my Mom finally let me get numbers, I couldn’t text. I could only make phone calls. No one picks up if there is a call, it’s too much work! Only my true friends ever pick up the phone and answer with more then 2 word sentences, even now! So. That ended communication with my school life for that time. All because my Mom didn’t want me texting.
I did not get IN THE LEAST why my Mom wanted me not to text. Well, that’s an exaggeration. I knew exactly that my Mom didn’t want me to date, so no texting with guys, and (also) not sending pictures too. (we all get what I mean? Pictures… think about it… thank you for not making me say it out loud, well, on the internet.)
So, I got that, but texting with other girls? I’m not lesbian, so why would I send pictures?
SIDE NOTE: When my mom first started letting me text, I could only text with a few people, all girls, and I couldn’t text a lot or my ‘privileges’ would be taken away. It was fine, but I was texting a lot because I found a freedom–it gave me time to think about an answer. You know, if you’re talking to someone, and you just can’t think of the word to say and you figure it out later? That kinda thing. Texting slowed me down and I communicated better. END SIDE NOTE.
But the real question is, why didn’t my Mom want me to text? Was it because my mom wanted me to talk directly to some one? Or was it that she didn’t want people to lie, which is much easier to do over text? Or maybe it was to make sure I got my homework done and I wasn’t wasting my time. Maybe it was so that to wouldn’t gossip. Who knows? But, what I really think it was… is…
She didn’t want me to grow up.
Which is TOTES fine for a mother. Yes, there are probably many factors, like the gossip thing, but really, I think it was that she didn’t want me to grow up.
On a whole different note, I also think that it was unfair for me. I was a ‘good girl’ if you want to use that term. I got good grades, I’ve never lied about boys or social stuff, I would tell my mom if something major was happening. you know, I wasn’t… well… normal in a sense. All my other friends have private lives behind their parents backs, and I don’t. My world is my family’s world. But, all those kids that were sending pictures, that were texting lies and having a private, ‘individual’ world. So, I didn’t get, why couldn’t I text? I was being punished for something my peers were doing. And… I just don’t think that’s fair.
But, I don’t want all of you to go to your tween and say, you can text, I’m sorry I was cheating you out of growing up and fitting in. It depends on the kid. If your kid lies, will go behind your back, etc. Then don’t let them text. But if you think they will be ok, then go for it. I’m just the blogisode you think about in the back of your mind.
Love, peace, and happiness!
The villain mother would like to weigh in on this topic, if you don’t mind.
Okay, first of all, isn’t it amazing how it is all blamed on the mother as if the dad had no part in any of this decision making? I mean….does this turkey ever even say the word Dad in this entire rant? I think not. Hey! It’s okay, I can handle it, and I can also admit that I was absolutely the driving force behind all of these decisions.
Yes. I was.
But, I’m also a gal who can admit to making a mistake, and I (as some of you might remember) posed the question on Facebook last year to get advice. The results were mixed, but a friend put it best when she said I was punishing Charlotte for something she hadn’t done yet. True, true.
And yes, Charlotte, it is hard for parents to watch their kids get older.
But it’s more than that. The Internet and texting is the wild, wild west of parenting. It’s more than Elvis bringing in rock and roll, or Woodstock, it’s about a whole range of people having access to your kid at a moment’s notice. Yes. I was thinking globally, and not specifically about Charlotte, who is wise and moderate and has self control. I was thinking about the kids who end up on Dateline being stalked on Facebook by predators posing as a 13-year-old. It scares me.
But, once Charlotte explained exactly how her social life had been impacted by the no texting/no Facebook rules we got it, big time, and we felt terrible. Then, a very wise man showed up, chewed Rob and I out, and changed the rules.
Here is the note he left on Christmas morning last year, (2010).
My Darling Charlotte,
I have been told that you no longer believe in me. Don’t worry, I am not offended, it happens sooner or later to everyone and I understand. It is true, my job is mostly for the “little kids.”
Every once in a while, though, I have to leave a little something for a non-believer (that’s what I call them) if the parents aren’t getting things quite right. That is why I am writing you this note.
I have come to understand that your parents are putting some restrictions on you. I must say, I was a bit surprised when I heard about it, because I have always regarded you as a most responsible and thoughtful young lady. Right at the top of my “Nice” list, in fact.
Allow me to explain something about parents. It is very hard for them to believe that their children are growing up and might be able to handle more responsibility. This is probably selfish on their part, they still want to believe that they are youngsters and that means you have to remain a child forever.
I spoke with your parents at great length last night and gave them quite a talking to, because I know, better than anyone, just what a good girl you are. I have been watching you for many years! It must make you so confused why all those other kids who do many things wrong get to have privileges that you do not.
All I can tell you, dear Charlotte, is that your parents love you very much and would like to protect you from all the things in the world that can harm you. I told them that what is harming you is walking around feeling left out. They were very sorry.
So, my dear, as of this moment, you have unlimited text privileges. Do not abuse it or allow it to dominate your life. I told your parents you will use it wisely because I know you will.
Yep, Santa Claus (that wise old guy) left the note. Please re-read the part about how we don’t want her to grow up….
She was overjoyed.
(For the next post in this series, go here.)