As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be happy, successful, and fulfilled, but parenting isn’t always easy. It’s a constantly evolving process that requires a lot of patience, understanding, and adaptability. As a 34-year-old mother of teenage boys, I know this all too well.
When I was a teenager, caller ID was introduced, and it made hiding information from our parents much more difficult. But why did we want to hide things from them in the first place? Back then, parents were often very controlling and saw their children as their property. They wanted to make all the decisions for them, from who they married to what job they had. As a result, children learned to hide things from their parents, which made it harder for parents to connect.
As a mother, I initially followed the same parenting style as my own parents, but as my children grew older, I realized that this approach wasn’t working. My boys weren’t opening up to me, and I was having a hard time connecting with them. I felt like I was failing as a mother.
One of the biggest challenges was managing social media. My boys were constantly online, and it was difficult to keep track of what they were doing. I was worried about their safety, and I didn’t know how to talk to them about the dangers of the internet without coming across as preachy or overbearing.
But I knew that I needed to stay involved in their lives, especially during the pandemic. With online classes, my boys needed more access to the internet than ever before. This gave me the opportunity to learn more about what they were interested in and what they were doing online. I started talking to them about their favorite YouTubers and TikTok trends, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed learning about their world.
When my oldest son hit puberty, it was still difficult for me to talk to him about certain things, but I made a conscious effort to normalize talking about relationships and dating. I started asking him about his friends and girlfriends, and I tried to be as open and non-judgmental as possible. It wasn’t always easy, but I wanted him to feel like he could come to me with anything.
We even started following each other on Instagram, and we share our favorite Reels. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s these little things that can help build a stronger bond between parent and child. I feel like I’m finally starting to connect with my boys on a deeper level, and it’s an incredible feeling.
The point I want to highlight is that our time was different. We didn’t have any access to technology, so it was easy for parents to bring up their children in the environment they wished to create. But now, your child is exposed to the world, a very dangerous world, and you can’t sit with them while they are using technology as everyone has 24/7 access to it. A better way is to connect with them via social media. Show your presence on every social media platform, not to scare them, but to build a comfortable bond with them. They shouldn’t feel that their parents are boomers and don’t understand technology.
As parents, we need to remember that our children are their own people. They have their own interests, opinions, and experiences. We can’t control every aspect of their lives, but we can support and guide them. By being open and honest with our children, we can build trust and strengthen our relationship with them. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort.