Writing this blog today comes with a myriad of emotion....ANGER being number one. What I have learned through AA is that under that ANGER, that I cling to like a rabid dog, is FEAR.
I am a good mother. I have regrets, of course, after all, I am a mother. We live for these kids, don't we? We laugh and cry...our hearts break for them and our hearts live for them. They are 50% of everything we are. When my daughters laugh, there is NO better feeling on this earth, no greater sound I have heard.
I am a strict mother. There are rules and you WILL follow them. Your best friend doesn't have to take the trash out? too bad for her. Too bad she will never learn the importance of that task in her life....you WILL. I am a firm believer that kids live up to our expectations of them and if we are calling them names and treating them like assholes, they will give us what we expected. <I say that KNOWING kids will be assholes regardless. They are kids and human and have bad days....I am hoping you are following me here.>
I am NOT friends with my kids. Friendship comes after lessons. Years of learning and lessons. We have fun...pj day, movie night, board games, cake for dinner, running, sprinklers, waking up at midnight to play in the snow.....
I have bathed them, held them, cried with them, screamed with them, read with them, fed them, rushed them to the ER, kissed boo boos, laughed and laughed with these girls of mine. We have come back from bad, made it through stresses and I pray they are learning good from me. I say all of this because I know you are the same kind of parent. I write this because this CAN happen to ANYONE.
So I will begin with a question....If you were to pick up your child's iPod, cell phone/smart phone, computer, notebook, iPad...lifted up their mattress and go through their drawers, What would you find? Do you know? Do you know where to look, the nooks and crannies of a kids mind?
Do you know that they can skype, facetime, eamil, tumblr, Text+, KIK, facebook, message, instagram, all without your permission? They can hide that shit....they can create profiles and send out pics and have it all to be seen by the public. BY ANYONE.
They can do it all without you knowing. All for free.
Do you know the passwords to all of your kids shit? From iPods to smart phones to facebook? Do you know all of their usernames? DO YOU CHECK? Do you SURPRISE check? Do you go through drawers and under mattresses?
Are you laughing and running around with your innocent child/teen just to discover, hours later, everything she/he has said is a fucking lie? That when you checked shit out, you were not going deep enough, far enough to find the hidden truths?
Did you know that in Illinois, sending out underaged nude pics is child porn? The sender and receiver can spend the rest of their lives registered as a sexual predator. Let that soak in a sec. 12,13,16,18,24,38,45....a life sentence, really.
Did you know if your kid downloads that shit onto YOUR computer and you do not know, for some reason your computer is searched and it is found, YOU are now the one with kiddie porn?
Have you Googled your kids name? Have you surprised searched every single place possible? Is your answer NO because they are honor students? Never been in trouble, Polite, kind, funny, good citizen/sibling/person? They have never given you a reason to check?.........
CHECK. Go NOW. Go search through their shit. Go get those passwords, usernames....they play moshi monsters? Oh, they "know" johnny? Guess again....
I recently had to call my daughter's bestie's mother to inform her that her daughter, who "does not have access to those sorts of things like facebook" was talking to "someone" she met via Moshi Monsters. On the phone. For some strange reason, he did not want to facetime or skype with her, just to talk. How FUCKING terrifying.
She is a good kid. An honor student. Polite. Her mom is a teacher. Good family.
I will avoid the horrors of what may have been, what could have been, and the fact that the "boy" vanished after a call from her mom.
These girls can be blackmailed if sending out photos. Racy photos. Blackmailed by peers. Blackmailed into doing things so nobody tells their parents, manipulated and FEARED into doing things they would NOT normally do. Oh, your kid would come to you if being threatened or manipulated or was scared...Your kid knows what a bad guy is and what to do, what to look for. Your kid isn't "stupid" or "knows better"? Your kid has been "raised right" and can be trusted. Your daughter has high self esteem and feels too good about herself for that nonsense? You keep your kids so busy they have to stay out of trouble. We monitor everything and have parental controls.....
So. Did. I.