Not long ago I let the eldest two minions onto one of the social sharing sites that’s popular with the kids. While Miss Diva has approached it with interest, as with most things, she’s kept a fairly level head. She spends a bit of time on the site in the evenings, has only posted a couple of pictures of herself, and sticks to things like her nails, funny cat pictures, and videos of our chickens etc. She has no problem with our agreement of me having open access to her account and her friends do not view me as a creepy stalker-mom.
Parenting is never that easy.
Right away Mr. Smarty-pants got a bit too carried away with his posts. The number of bathroom selfies with his perfectly brushed hair threatened to break the internet. The little girl who showed her adoration, and a distinct lack of intelligence, and the other numerous girls, I do believe went to his head.
Why do I claim she lacked intelligence?
Girl- Your mom is following me!
SP- Yeah. I know.
SP-You just told me. (insert smart-ass comment about me longing for youth)
Girl- But, how does she know me?
Even though I had no idea where anything was on the site, I figured out in under a minute that by going to my son’s “followers” I could then send follow requests to them. Anyone can do that. No one has to know you. Still think I’m being harsh?
After about two weeks and a hundred cringe-worthy posts, Mr. Smarty-Pants listened to a friend from down the street and “blocked” me.
He seemed to forget that I used my email to set it up, which meant when I figured out what he’d done, I simply locked him out of his account. I unblocked my account as well.
He had the gall to later reset the password, as unbeknownst to me, my email was logged in on the tablet he’d been using. Then when I spoke with him on the phone informing him he was in trouble and that I’d posted this on his account:
He got attitude and had the balls to curse on the phone, although his bravado was very short-lived. I deleted his account and informed him of such afterward while I was grounding him that evening when I got home. After dinner he came up to me, all meek, with that whipped-puppy look.
“I’m sorry. You can keep the account deleted.”
“Well, of course. There isn’t an UNdelete. We’ll try again when you’ve shown you’re more responsible.”
Since then, some things that he’s said and his apparent unconcern now that the account is gone lead me to believe that he was socially way in over his head and is actually relieved he has an excuse to avoid all of it. He caves to peer pressure like soggy cardboard under a brick. He isn’t as “adult” as he likes to pretend.
When kids are toddlers, we think nothing of imposing boundaries, and in fact the experts reinforce that bad behavior is simply children seeking boundaries. I think sometimes people forget that when kids get older. We begin to see little adults and take comments personally, rather than remembering that they are still kids who are more bluster than anything else.
I don’t take it personally– ever. I sometimes get mad, but more often, I’m doing my level best not to laugh at them, especially when they think they’ve cleverly gotten something past me. Yeah, sorry kid, better luck next time.
I rather expected a sullen, grouchy kid, but he’s actually more himself than when he was online interacting with kids whose parental oversight I seriously question. It isn’t always fun being mean, but they thank you for it in one way or another eventually.