Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.
I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”
Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.
Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.
It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.
It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.
Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:
Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.
Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.
Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.
Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”
TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:
- You do not respect their rights as an individual.
- You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
- You probably haven’t been listening to them.
Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.
Hey there fellow tumblr users! Boy do I have some good advice for you today! I know some of you have been troubled by Supernatural’s sexism/racism/homophobia/transphobia/etcetcetcetc, and a lot of your criticism has simply been dismissed with a “blahblahblah… if you don’t like it don’t watch the show”
I’m here to tell you today why that is exactly what you should be doing!! Because if something is problematic you should just shut up and ignore the problem. In fact, this advice is so stellar, it can apply to other areas of your life!
- Kids, one of your friends getting beat up after school? Don’t tell an adult! Don’t try to stop it! Just walk away and don’t look back. You don’t like seeing them get hurt, so simply don’t look at it! I would advise that you end the friendship completely, to avoid creating any more problems for yourself!
- Dang, are you the one getting beat up after school! I repeat: DO NOT TELL ANYONE!!! The only way to handle this situation is to stop going to school. You don’t like it, why go? Right?
- See a child getting abducted outside your house? Don’t try and stop it. You don’t have to give any details to the police to try and find the kid! Simply look away and dial up your realtor, you’re moving, buddy.
I could go on, but I think you get the point because you’re a smart person. And a smart person would do just as these messages that all these anons are sending to your inbox — in between all the death threats, insults, and hypocrisy — say. I’m sure this is advice any counselor or therapist would give you, too. Don’t try to change, don’t try to make things better, just leave it alone and stop bothering everyone else.
"How dare you insult this poor, defenseless, privileged, white, able bodied, cishetero actor when he says shitty things! I can’t believe this! I’m sick of people being offended when he consciously says offensive things or doesn’t think about what comes out of his mouth! It’s horrible that he has to deal with this kind of abuse from a small percentage of people on the internet whose words will never even reach his ears! I don’t care if they have to deal with the effects of bigoted mindsets like his every day, he shouldn’t have to deal with the fifteen minutes of vitriol from his supposed fandom! God, why are people such inconsiderate, rude assholes? He should be able to shirk any sense of societal responsibility he holds in order to express his opinions, even if they are shitty!"
How he had ever thought this was a good idea, Cas had no clue.
Dean’s hand was warm where it curled around his shoulder blade, the other wrapped firmly around Cas’ hand. He led Cas in slow circles that almost didn’t match the smooth strains of music. Their cheeks were almost touching, their bodies so close that Cas was dizzy with it. He hadn’t even had that much to drink, but he was drunk anyway, drunk on Dean, on this night, on all the almosts closing in on him from all sides.
Dean, of course, was just looking around the room, making sure that everyone believed their ruse and would give up on setting him up. Weddings were hell for unattached bachelors, he’d told Cas just a few hours before.
Ehm… You mean we should stop showing our enthusiasm for this ship?
For example like the fans of Once Upon A Time did with Captain Swan because they saw the exceptional chemistry there, then eventually the writers considered it and made it happen? Or like the fans of Arrow did with Olicity because they saw a special connection, then the writers considered it and are planning to make it happen next season?
It’s okay to see a relationship between a male/female and show your enthusiasm for it to the show runners, but when it’s a male/male ship it should stay in the fandom? Alrighty then… :p
I find it so fucking hilarious, men think about famous women and female characters sexually all the time, they masturbate to the thought of Scarlett Johansson and Black Widow all the time, there is an entire genre of porn dedicated to spoofing movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter
but women write (sometimes novel length) pieces of fiction featuring their favourite characters who sometimes end up in sexual situations and it’s “weird” and “gross” and “odd”
and I’m just, I didn’t see your double standard there, would you mind just shoving it a bit further into my eye socket that’d be great
Let’s just all take a minute to appreciate the kindness of our overlord.
Also, his shirt.
Jensen (about TSA America): When I saw it, y’know, oddly enough it did not shock me at all. The two of those together doing that kind of stuff, I was like, ‘yeah, that makes total sense’.