Why Didn’t You Listen?

    Over the years, those of you who have been following this blog know, that I have discussed my displeasure at the way that some family members were raising their children with regards to monitoring their online and social media activity.  More than once, I observed teenage family members discussing and posting provocative or inappropriate topics on social media that prompted me to discuss the issue with their parent.

    Unfortunately, all of my concerns and warnings always fell on deaf ears.  As a matter of fact, it almost seemed like there was resentment over the fact that I had the nerve to get involved in something that they deemed to be none of my business.  I’m not even sure how that works because I have always believed in the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality.

    There is no way that I could turn a blind eye to dangerous behavior that young people are engaging in, especially if those young people are related to me.  Sadly, nobody ever heeded my warnings and now the unspeakable has happened.  One of the young people in our family, whom I have always been extremely worried about and said as much, has attempted to take her own life.  As an educator, I can’t say that I am surprised that this has happened.

    You see, I have been teaching and working with teenagers for almost thirteen years and I know all too well what the signs are of an adolescent who is in crisis.  When teenagers act out rebelliously, engage in promiscuity, and generally behave poorly, it is usually a cry for help.  After all, logically, why would anyone willingly choose to do these things and simply self-destruct?

    After the fact, I feel very bitter towards the parent who refused to listen to me when I told her that her child needed more supervision.  I also feel bitter towards a society that teaches our young people no morals and celebrates their failures by enabling them to continue failing.  This same society is robbing children of their youth and making them grow up way too fast.  It is certainly a tangled web that we are weaving as keepers of the young people who will one day become the future of this planet.

    Don’t be one of those parents who hovers over your young children and then doesn’t worry enough once they become teenagers.  Believe me, they probably need you more during their teen years than they did when they were little kids.  Don’t be like my family member who is right now sitting in the hospital with her teenage child who doesn’t want to live anymore and is wondering why she didn’t listen…

*image credit-efoodsdirect.com

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  • Charlene Beaming Balance

    I actually just mentioned this in my most recent post… My 13-yr old just got a phone. She is not allowed to do Twitter or Facebook but I do monitor her texts and Instagram. She has asked why she can have the “privacy” her friends have and I have explained that it’s not about privacy, it’s about protection and making sure I am having the right conversations with her. http://www.beamingbalance.com

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Charlene, I completely agree with you, it is all about protecting her and supervising over what is influencing your child. I believe in my family member’s case, not being aware of her child’s internet and social media activity greatly contributed to their current situation. As an educator, I can’t begin to tell you how many unfortunate situations could have been avoided if parents were just more vigilant and involved in their adolescent children’s activities. I’m glad you made it clear to your daughter why you are monitoring her comings and goings online. It is so important to keep the communication going. Good job, mom!

  • http://www.faketillmake.com/ Sara Leanne – (Fake Till Make)

    This post really touched my heart. I dealt with this with my baby sister – who is unfortunately, not a baby anymore. I was very much a mom to her, but due to our age gap – I was unfortunately away at college for her teen years, and nobody in our family gave her boundaries, or really paid much attention at all. Now she’s 20 and suffereing from all kinds of issues that could have been avoided. I, too, wish people would listen!

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Hi, Sara. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You bring up a great point by saying how these issues have affected your sister into adulthood. It’s unfortunate that nobody joined you in intervening on her behalf. It’s sad when nobody is looking out for and counseling our young people.

  • Mimi

    My oldest is 21 and I remember watching her grow up with her friends and SO many of her friends’ parents let go more and more of the authority as their kids got older which made no sense to me. I was a huge proponent of keeping our kids safe and helping them make better choices, but like you, it continues to fall on many deaf ears. People think my views are outdated and we have no way to “control” what our kids do and it’s SUCH a cop-out! It’s a horrible shame that they only realize they should’ve listened after the fact. =( Thank you for standing up for those kids!

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Hi, Mimi. I have noticed the same thing, these parents are definitely giving up their authority with the older kids which is a big mistake. They need their parents’ guidance the most during this stage in their lives. I don’t think your view are outdated and it is my duty to stand up for those kids. :)

  • RACHEL TaoOfPoop

    Social media is so frightening. It gives the illusion of anonymity. Teenagers do NOT have the maturity to understand this.