Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Snooping around

A writer friend has asked me to answer a survey about snooping on kids, particularly on teenage kids. I have a 15 year old so I was more than willing to participate.

The main question was : do you snoop on your child. Why or why not?

My answer to that would be a resounding, THANK GOD I DON'T HAVE TO.

Sure, my girl is a typical teenager. Typically hormonal at times, typically embarrassed to be seen around me when in the company of friends, typically into things a normal teenager likes (music, the internet, her Blackberry, fashion, etc). Although it's these things that cause our arguments most of the time, I'm thankful she's pretty normal.

Parenting a teenager is probably the trickiest thing to do. Not to mention challenging, too. I have to be her friend, and at the same time remind her that first and foremost, I am her mother. I go crazy trying to be both. But I'd like to think I'm doing okay, so far.

Just recently, she came to me with a concern which we dealt with for days. It was really a reassurance that my girl still feels the need to talk to me and values my advice. So even if I was slightly rattled by the problem (isn't this so normal for a parent to feel?), deep inside I was truly grateful for the chance to be part of the solution because she chose to come to me.

It's these situations that remind me that I don't have to snoop. Atleast, not yet. I'm really praying that I won't ever have to, but that's a long shot for any parent. If the time doesn't come at all, I'll be extremely grateful. Only a serious issue can make me let go of the "no snooping" rule, so I'll continue to pray that I won't have to cross that dreaded bridge.

My advice to parents of teenagers is quite simple : keep the communication lines open. And by this, I don't mean a one-way kind of thing. Parents must also learn to listen to their children and not over-manage them. Give them a venue to speak and LET THEM SPEAK without interruption. Hard to do? Maybe. But they have a right to say what they feel. As long as they do it within reason, they should be allowed to speak for themselves. But toe the line on respect, I think that goes without saying.

Here's to all of us parents of teenagers who continue to toil while loving our roles.
Parenting is such a thankful job, so don't believe anyone who says otherwise.
We get our rewards when we look into our children's eyes and see what great persons they've become.

A happy Tuesday to all!

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