Here we go, welcome to my world of living with a nine year old daughter who is starting with “all my friends can” or “all my friends do it” type of responses when I say no to having a Facebook profile, a cell phone or walking in town alone just to name a few topics. I really thought that these type of questions would not be coming up until my children were closer to their teen years, but alas children seem to be growing up way too fast these days.
When I was in her grade, I focused on reading and school sure I had a slight interest in boys, I think within the next couple of years but I had no clue about sex, social media, the internet, etc. I didn’t have a computer in my home until I was around 13 years old and even then it wasn’t like the access my kids have now. Even the five year old can easily navigate through a computer, I had never touched a computer until I was 13 years old with the exception of maybe a couple times when I was real young playing Oregon Trail at a babysitters home.
In my opinion, children have no reason to be on Facebook, it’s not acceptable until they are 13 years old according to the TOS on Facebook anyways. So to me it was a no brainer when my daughter wanted to be on Facebook, I replied “Facebook is not legally allowed to have users under age 13, so when you turn 13 ask me again and we will discuss but as of now? Nope you will not be on Facebook”. Then of course the “my friends have a Facebook” came up and I simply let her know that every parent has their own rules, but I am not lying about her birthday to get her on Facebook and there is simply no reason for her to be on it.
Next was the drinking of coffee, I know many parents who let their kids drink coffee, doesn’t bother me they are not my kids, however, I will not allow any of my children to drink coffee and they know this. Yet over the weekend when Ki found out one of her friends is allowed to drink coffee, she stated I was a mean Mom who never lets her have coffee. I just laughed and said “yes I am a pure evil Mama for not letting you drink coffee”, of course then I got an eye roll and a smirk.
You see, I don’t care if my kids get mad at me, surely they have in the past and they will in the future. Parenting is not about pleasing our children, it’s about teaching them how the world works, to follow laws and to live by the rules of good morals and common sense. You show your children how to be good members of society through your own actions, and when you make a mistake as a parent and face the consequences, you are teaching the child that even adults make bad choices but they learn from them.
So when my daughter gets all upset that she can’t have a Facebook profile, a public blog, or drink coffee I just smile and shrug my shoulders. I hope that in the long run she will realize that I am setting some ground rules that I feel will allow her to be a better adult with a good head on her shoulders. My daughter sees why I make a decision and even if she does not agree with it, she can respect me enough to understand where I am coming from and that I am not here to be her friend; I am here to be her trusted adult, her parent and someone to turn to no matter what, I am here to love her unconditionally and to smile & hug her when she needs it.