I was quietly evaluating my own policy against the one-sided feedback. The consensus was that parents should know their children’s passwords. I don’t. “What do you think about this? Should we get their passwords?” I asked my husband. “No. Let’s just have an open house where they feel comfortable talking to us. Besides, could your parents have stopped you?” He’s right and I’ve been trying to block out what we both did in our youth ever since.
Parent or not, I think we should treat children as we want to be treated. Being confident and trusting of our children builds their self-confidence for later on. This doesn’t mean that I won’t investigate if I have probable cause. Kids can sneak around and bypass parental oversight. They can create multiple accounts with different names and passwords. Monitoring them won’t necessarily preempt any missteps.
My parenting style is one of trial and error. I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t read parenting books or attend seminars. I pick up advice from different media sources, other parents, and my own parents. I talk to my children about bullying, sexting, the lack of real privacy in social media, as well as the privilege of having a device (they laugh at my verbiage.) And I can always threaten to bypass their privacy at any time. For now, I trust my gut. Sometimes being in the minority is fine by me. That’s also a lesson I teach my kids. It’s okay to stand by yourself.