Being a mom is a seriously hard job.
If I would have known how hard it would be 19 years ago when I was awarded the position, of course, I still would have applied! However, times are very different, and with technology everywhere we go now, the job got much harder.
Here are some of the hardest things to overcome, regarding parenting and technology.
What a literal web of chaos social media can be for any teenager.
My oldest daughter was harassed so badly on Facebook, I made her delete the page completely for three months to let tempers cool down, and to let the “mean girls” move on to the next hate topic of the school. It was truly awful.
To see children attacking each other on social media -- sometimes under pseudo names and aliases — is truly scary.
In my situation, the only help I had was to deactivate all social media, take all of her electronics, call the cell phone provider and take her smartphone back to dumb status.
Parents truly need to monitor their children. If they aren’t currently being bullied, they either have been, or are the bully. Unfortunately, those are the statistics.
Ease of Camera Access
A suggestion for parents: It’s not a fun game, but a necessary game. I call it teenager photo roulette.
I would take my daughter's phone periodically and go through the pictures. The majority of time, everything was innocent, until it wasn’t. Once again, this resulted in her loss of her phone completely.
No, I do not believe it is an “invasion of privacy.” She clearly needed to know boundaries, and as a parent, it is my job to teach her those boundaries.
Gone are the days of telling your teenager, “Talk to her about that at school tomorrow.”
Kids are in constant contact with each other, to the point of full planning without parental contact at all. Kids go from idea to making it happen without passing go.
Part of me is very jealous of this. I had one phone on the wall in the kitchen, shared with my two older sisters and older brother.
It would be quicker for me to walk down the road to my best friend’s house, try to make a plan, walk back and present the plan to my parents than it would be for me to wait for my turn on the phone.
Any form of technology presents the danger of strangers interacting with your child, and it is your responsibility as a parent to keep them safe.
From random people on mobile apps like Kik and Snapchat, to fake profiles and Google numbers, you never really know who your child is communicating with unless you are in constant communication.
The dangers are out there, and they are real.
Loss of Seeing Their Beautiful Eyes
Is it just me, or do all kids have a natural glow of cell phone light about them the majority of the time? Clearly, I am a little on the strict side, but the bottom line is, I love my daughters dearly.
I miss seeing their beautiful faces, and those eyes that melt my heart. I made a rule there are no cell phones allowed at the dinner table, myself included.
We talk every night about how their days were and how mine was, and I really believe time spent actually making eye contact helps to keep the lines of communication open, and they do talk to me about the important stuff.
I had my kids at a very young age and I try to keep up with technology. In all honesty, I enjoy it just as much as my kids do.
Yes, I am one of those moms who is all over social media because I enjoy it. I may have a kid in college and another in high school, but that doesn’t change the fact I am still more than a couple years away from 40 and am very young at heart.
Overcoming the grips of technology can happen.
Parents have to be open and honest with their kids about what is out there, what doors technology opens and how positive it can be when used correctly.