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For parents who aren’t sure how to answer this question, no worries, hopefully this post will help you make a decision.  Often times, children and teens mistakenly believe that if you, the parent, trust them you will pull back on your guidance of them.  Many times a teen could be quoted as saying, “It’s like they [parents] don’t trust me, they are always trying to see what I’m doing.” On the other hand, some parents believe that because their children are “good kids”, have good grades, and give them no reason not to trust them, they need less guidance.

On May 12, 2013, a man, using a fake Facebook account, lured 15-year-old Nichole Cable out of her home to stage a kidnapping and eventual rescue so he could look like the hero.  He ended up killing her, according to a Maine State Police affidavit.

On May 23, 2013, a 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina, of Queens, NY, hanged herself in her family home, after being relentlessly cyberbullied by her middle school classmates. She was found hanging by a belt from a ceiling fan.

Parents, you may believe your child is trustworthy, responsible, mature, smart, and many other things, that over time, have led you to trust their judgement.  However, there is another word that describes your child…human.  Humans are not without limitation and fault.  Do you remember your childhood and teenage years as a human being on this earth?  Were those years flawless?  I bet for some of you reading this, you had a lot of freedom given to you because your parents trusted you.  I bet that didn’t stop you from making mistakes along the way. 

Since mistakes are part of growing up and children/teens don’t know everything there is to know about life, they still need your guidance, whether they want it or not.  Guidance is defined as “Advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty, esp. as given by someone in authority.” Another online definition stated, “leadership, instruction, or direction.”  

If you haven’t already, please review the internet sites your child may frequent. Get to know what is out there and monitor what your child is doing.  Technology can be a wonderful tool but there are two sides to every resource out here, good and bad.  We don’t need to fear our children using technology but we should guide them until they are at a place in life where they no longer need our guidance.  

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Maybe you thought your child or teen didn’t need advice, leadership, instruction, or direction when it came to internet, phone, and other technological use.  What do you think now?