Parent monitoring

Thanks to all your input regarding my oldest and her own blog. I tend to agree that it is not the safest thing in the world to be doing and the old fashion diary with a lock and key as Henri pointed out, is the best way to go since she has younger sisters who love to snoop and bug! I know the pressures of being the same are getting to it's peak with her age group and no one likes to be left out. At the same time I agree that since J is totally against it, trying to talk him into it would not be a wise move on my part either!

Parent monitoring seems to be the best and only way to really protect our children and that is only as good as you are disciplined to do it! She had a msn and I am sorry to say that I didn't check her emails for a while and when I did I was shocked to see all the "winks" she had received from other msn people............all male............she responded to some of them thinking that they were winks as in the cute little animated characters you send. Nope these were winks as in hey I am interested in chatting with you some more I am a single male looking for 18-25 single female! Ya so I closed that account and now I know who all her msn people are and check her new email regularly.

We are living in such a wonderful age of technology and being that we are moving so far away from our friends and family, I am so thankful to have access to it! Who knew that this technology would be a new and easier way for predators to find victims? While I don't want to live in fear, I do want to keep my eyes wide open and not find out the hard way that I should have been more watchful. We only get one shot with our kids.

Part of the reason why we want to move to a "small town" is to give the girls a better life. I love the idea of them growing up in a community and not a city. I am so happy to give them animals to get involved with and 4-H clubs to keep them occupied and hopefully out of trouble! Both J and I were good teenagers, we never got into any real trouble. We are really hoping and praying that our girls choose the same path and are smart about their choices. In the end I realize that they make their choices and I cannot force or brainwash them into making what I see as the right ones. I can only pray that we have given them enough tools and wisdom for them to make the correct choices.

My sister Tam and I were talking yesterday about all this. About training our children right and then realizing that they still will be faced with all sorts of choices. We cannot protect them from everything. J and I have made the decision to have our girls court instead of date. There are many books available on the topic. We like the idea of group dating over putting yourself into a situation where you have made yourself vulnerable. I did this. I paid a big price for trusting my boyfriend at the time. The fact that he was a Youth Leader didn't matter. He took advantage of me and made the choice for me that we were going to have sex and he changed the course of my life forever. While I know that I didn't say yes and it wasn't something that I wanted I have always taken responsibility for putting myself into a situation where I should not have been. In fact leaving the door for that possibility wide open. Trusting a man I thought I could trust. I don't want that for my girls. I also realize that as much as we teach this courting concept to them and have been talking this to them since they were little, we still have no control if after they leave our house in a group that they will stay that way all the way thru.

My sister asked me "what would you do if you found out one of the girls was having sex?", good question and since they are so little it is hard to imagine, but we all know time flies and before I knew it my baby was 4 and my oldest 12! it goes by that fast! so what would I do? well if they were still teenagers, I would be upset and I am sure somewhat disappointed. Then I would make sure I reminded them of using preventive measures against STD's and pregnancy ( I am sure I will tell them much earlier than that). If they are adults, then what can I say? is it my place to condemn them? to make them feel guilty? while I would not allow boys to sleep over at my house and would be upset if they were doing it in my house, out of respect to their father and me and of any younger siblings living at home still. I don't know that I could say anything unless asked?

I know there are so many different ideas and beliefs out there and sometimes our age and how we ourselves were raised really plays a role in what our views are. Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Flip Flop Momma, talked about talking to some teens about protecting themselves when having sex and it raised a few interesting comments. People are all over the map with this topic. My question is even though you raise your children right, and teach them all about abstinence and the importance of waiting to protect yourself from STD's, pregnancy, and un-godly soul ties...........is it enough? can you be guaranteed they will do things the right way? how far can our parental monitoring protect us?

My sister closest in age to me and I were raised exactly the same, we are less than 2 years apart and taught the same morals and beliefs..........we had 2 completely different teenage years!! Making totally different choices and yet we had the same Godly guidance! So in the end....after all the teaching love and wisdom that was poured into us, we made different choices.......BUT in the end both are serving God and walking a good moral Godly life...... which is what I hope for my kids, no matter what choices they make that they never stray in their hearts towards their Maker!

9 comments:

Shash said...

Oh yes life and raising kids is not easy... I think the biggest thing is staying involved with their lives,being consistant and keeping them busy.

Mom and Dad were so busy with the "College and Careers" group that we were left alone alot it seemed. We vacationed together less as teens and I worked a whole lot when I turned 13. I think it was my escape from the house and because I felt like I HAD to contribute to the house or else our lights would be off and there'd be no heat. I remember I started buying stuff to move out at 14 years of age. I was the only 16 year old I knew with a full set of dishes, towels and sheets.

mom of 2 said...

Great post!! I agree that there is only so much you can do and then you have to trust that you did your best and hopefully they will make wise choices. I made so many mistakes growing up, and I hope and pray that my children doen't do the same! My parents worked a lot and being an only child I was left on my own for the better part of the day. It was so easy for me to do my own thing. I think staying involved is so important and communication is a must! Sounds like you guys are great parents!!!

Nikkie said...

I think you can only hope and pray that what you taught them will always be in the back of their mind when they face these types of situations.

I'm glad you are keeping such a close eye on them online. The internet is so wondeful and dangerous at the same time.

Amber said...

A wise man one said, "Teach your children correctly and then let them govern themselves." I firmly believe this! And hope I will be the kind of parent who instills strong values in my children who will thus be taught right from wrong!

mommaobrienx7 said...

This post was great. I wrote a little about this a while back. These are issues that are close to my heart, as most parents I am sure. It's a tough world to raise children in today. I am just glad there are other parents out there like you who are concerned enough to monitor your children and be an active part in their lives. You are a great mom!

Heidi said...

What an awesome post!! Your children are truly blessed to have such wonderful parents. These issues have been a concern of mine since Sam was born. Wondering how she'll grow up, who she'll turn into...and all because of what morals and values are learned from us. Living in today's world is scary and I can only hope and pray we do our very best in raising her and leave the rest up to her. Thank you for this post - I love to read about others' point of view, it's inspiring.

MugwumpMom said...

Great post Lala.
I agree with Amber, in that we can only teach our children, and then trust. Having said that, teaching your children means talk about it...the reasons, the whys and the consequences...STD's and "sin" are not enough...teach them deeper...spiritual consequences of shame, wounding, and soul ties...speak to the heart, not the head, and then their spirit hears it...and never settle for "they're just going to do it anyway, so...." If the attitude is already defeated that way, even before it's spoken in a word, then the battle has already been lost. It doesn't have to be that defeatest...start standing now, and proclaiming purity and hope over them, and start talking to them soon about the spiritual aspects and consequences of physical union...then all you can do it trust.

Ruth said...

This is something that I hope to be prepared for when we get to that age. We are already talking about different things, in younger ways with them now. Kinda hoping to prepare them a bit before they get to old...

Judy/Shashs sister inlaw said...

As a mom with 3 teens I must say God has to have a hand in their raising. By teaching them the best to your knowledge and understanding. By teaching them the right from wrong and from the secular world view to Gods view.

There is a great DVD series by Lisa Bevere on purity.The ladies at our church had a girls night out and watched the dvd with them. I have been blessed with 3 great girls, gone through some trials but I believe that you grow even stronger as christians.