I just call it good parenting.

I remember when I was about 12 years old and I would spend all day in the summertime at the neighborhood swimming pool. I would ride my suh-weet pink 10-speed there, by myself, wind in my hair, towel around my neck, a dollar for some snacks from the vending machines, and BAM! I was ready to spend the day with my friends.

This was around 1982. When there were no smartphones and no way to really track your kid’s every move. At the pool back in the day, there were only lifeguards and the moms of toddlers and a phone, with a cord, attached to the wall.

I would stay there all day sometimes. Had me a really nice tan, too, y’all.

I look back on that time and wonder how in the world my mom let me do that. How many times have we heard our elders say: “Oh, but it was a different time then.” Okay, so now I’m the elder saying, “It was a different time.”

Because it was. It was a time when you could let your kids roam the neighborhood and ride their bikes around town. And stay out till dusk and just give a holler when it was time for dinner.

Maybe it was because it was a small town. Maybe it was because I was basically a good kid. Maybe it is because back then, you knew pretty much all your neighbors and everyone looked out for everyone else’s kids. People weren’t so busy with their own lives (or so afraid of someone else’s mama) to prevent them from calling out some child who was misbehaving. “Hey, you, I see what you are doing there! You better straighten up before I call your mama!” It really did take a village, and the village actively participated.

It was a different time. Not so, now.

Now, in the 21st century, with all the social media outlets, internet, cable television and smartphones at our fingertips, and with all the crazies out there, documented for us daily on the world wide web and the nightly news, and where we live in neighborhoods of transient people whom we barely know, we have to be different kinds of parents today.

she calls it stalking

I find myself hovering and asking questions and needing to know things and having to tell my kids things that I don’t think our mothers before us had to do. Oh, don’t get me wrong—I thought my mom was the most interfering mom ever!  She wanted to know who, when, where, and what. And she wanted me to call her and check in. Oh, the horror!! She was, and is, a good mom.

There are things happening today that did not happen when I was a teenager—at least not to my knowledge, or not in the circle of friends I chose to have. There are things I might have done, but was too scared to do because, “what if my parents found out.” I valued my reputation. I valued the relationship I had with my parents. I respected them. And I did not want to disappoint them. But I was a moody teen and was kinda sassy, and of course, I wanted to try to get away with as much as I felt like I could.  I know there were times that I made some poor choices and did disappoint them. It felt terrible at the time. I learned some good lessons, thankfully, without any long term repercussions.

I had an interesting conversation with my 14 year old daughter yesterday. Emma is so blown away by the behavior of some of the kids at her school. She has overheard conversations where young ladies are bragging about their exploits. Emma and I have talked about sex and God’s design for relationships and I have said so many times that once your reputation is ruined, it is hard to repair. Emma said, “Mom, they don’t care about their reputations. They are not embarrassed about the things they are doing. They will be talking about it like it’s no big deal and the people they are talking to are just laughing about it. They just don’t care. I don’t get it. They are just crazy.”

SIGH.

I say it’s just sad. I am so sad for those young ladies. And it breaks my heart to think about the reasons why they do the things they do.

I am thankful to have a daughter who respects herself and who understands that she is a child of God and holds herself to a higher standard. She is so much more together than I was at her age.

So as I am calling or texting Emma and reading her Facebook wall and wanting to meet her friends and their parents and the boy who wants to take her to the Military Ball and making sure our internet browser has a good filter and asking her all the who, what, when, where, why and how questions, she calls it stalking.

I just call it good parenting.

‘Cause what else is a mama supposed to do in this day and age?

We have to be vigilant. We have to pray for our kids. We have to talk to our kids and know what is going on in their lives. Even if it seems intrusive—or stalker-y. We need to make sure they know the truth.

I am not perfect and neither is she. We are both going to make mistakes. But we talk to each other and I will continue to stalk her—mercilessly. And pray without ceasing.

9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy… Colossians 1:9-11 NLT

 

(This post was linked with Throwback Thursday.)

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28 Comments

Filed under Back in the Day, Faith, Family, Parenting

28 responses to “I just call it good parenting.

  1. I stalked my children and now they are all grown and I still stalk ;-). I had parental software on the computer. I knew every word they typed and every site they looked at. I had to know where, when, who, why and what time. We looked at their phones and searched there rooms. They felt I was over protective but now they are safe, respectful and most of all they understand. I’m glad I’m not the only over bearing parent out there.

    Great post!! Thanks for linking up at Throwback Thursday!!

    xoxo
    Denyse

  2. I call it excellent parenting! You rock! Reminds me of myself when my kids were growing up! They are all grown now and I’m so proud of the way they turned out. (Gosh, I sound like I’m baking a cake – the way they turned out). And thanks for sharing your memories. I grew up in a small southern town (70’s, not 80’s), as well.

    So glad you linked up to Throwback Thursdays!

  3. If stalking my child is wrong, well then I don’t want to be right. Cheyenne at almost 17 is a little more appreciative of it it now…well, maybe not appreciative, but definitely more understanding. Or reluctantly accepting. One or the other.

  4. I agree! You need to talk first to your children then if they will not follow, make sure to have rules and regulations!

  5. Just two days ago my daughter and I had a great conversation after I embarrassed the tar out of her. She and her teammates were goofing off out in the hall instead of cheering on their classmates who were playing in a volleyball game. In the end, some of the kids were downright rude, and I told the lot of them to get their rears in the gym.
    It is so hard to know when we should and shouldn’t tell a parent of their child’s behavior. I’ve told a few times, but I haven’t said a word a whole lot more often.
    Keep stalking. And talking. We have to, because so many parents aren’t.

    • Thanks, Christine! And you keep stalking your kids too…and those other ones who are acting a fool. If their own mamas won’t tell them, they need us to! I was fussing at some kids the other weekend when we went snow tubing. They obviously had no home training and were completely unsupervised (no older than 11 or 12) and I had to call them out. I am sure my Emma wanted to crawl under the mountain we were standing on, but I couldn’t help myself.

  6. Sounds like the recipe for a great momma to me! Keep up the awesome work! Found you via the Linking with the Ladies Blog Hop! 🙂

  7. Great post! Love it, and you’ve obviously done a wonderful job raising your daughter!

  8. I have two little girls, and I dread the day they are teens, but you have encouraged me in knowing that if you give your children the right tools, stay involved, and talk openly with them, they will be just fine and make good decisions. I remember the good ole days too. I can’t even imagine letting my five year old get on his bike and ride off around the neighborhood for hours like I used to!

  9. I posted thoughts because of Kenya’s Freedom post too. 🙂

    It really was a different time, and we’re doing it right to do it different. Today that’s just the best parenting, I agree wholeheartedly.

  10. Thanks for co-hosting Linking with my Ladies

  11. I’m not yet a mom – but I do lead a group of middle school students, and we discussed these very issues in a small group setting tonight. Keep up your vigilance! It’s admirable!

    Btw – I found you through the “Linkin With the Ladies” Blog Hop.

  12. I stalk my children! I will continue to stalk my children! And they love me for it… I found you on the Blog Hop. Check me out @ http://www.feelingtheemptynest.blogspot.com when you have time and keep up the good work Momma!

  13. Stalk on sister friend, stalk on…..

  14. I’m so glad your daughter thinks they are crazy. I used to have the mentality of I’m so glad I have a boy, but its those girls you have to worry about now. Geez! I saw some girls (sisters) riding their bikes up the street. I know their mom. I heard them cursing at each other and thought for a second about saying something to their mother then decided it was none of my business. I don’t know their mom like that. It’s not like the old days. The mother could curse me out for saying something. Those little girls are in the 3rd and 5th grade. Hate is a strong word, but for the record, I really disliked me neighbor who was always home and seemed to see EVERYTHING. It kept us on our best behavior though (at least around her house).

    • I should have linked to your post (the Freedom one) in mine, because it got me to thinking and then I had that convo with my daughter yesterday.which sent me to writing.

      You are so right about the fact that we worry about somebody’s mama cursing us out…because they very well might! I would hope if somebody saw one of my kids doing something they should not and I am not around, that they would tell them to act right.

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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