Toddlerhood is Training for Teenagehood
BEING A PARENT IS HARD. BEING A PARENT OF A TODDLER IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT IT PREPARES YOU FOR THE COMPLICATION OF TEENS. Any parents of teenagers agreeing with me at this moment? I’m not trying to scare anyone. Just tell the truth.
Amazingly, this post is not a rant about my teenager. The situation that caused this post — totally about what teen parents will face with this new generation. I want to say at the beginning that I am proud of my husband. He may well have had the patient parenting moment of the century. Let me explain.
Earlier this week my husband gets a FaceBook notification concerning a photo comment. The comment is quoted in his notification and it makes my dear husband fall off of his seat…figuratively speaking. The word and acronyms used are rude, vulgar, and are written under a family photo taken in November. Right there, under all the kind friend comments sits a real stinker of teenage stupidity from a young man who attends high school with our daughter.
My husband took a screen shot to preserve the moment of evidence.
Dave then begins to look for contact information associated with the comment. That’s when I get the phone call and we take a look in the school directory. It doesn’t take us long to have parent names and phone numbers. Thank you PTA. Dave calls late that afternoon hoping to catch someone at home. First time a voice answers and then quickly hangs up. The second time there is simply a pickup/hangup end to the call. Hmmm, I wonder who is answering…any bets on whether Mr. Facebook is receiving calls?
The next day Dave drops by the house after taking Will to baseball practice. The father comes to the door. Dave calmly says that apparently there has been an inappropriate FaceBook message. He goes on to say that although we pay attention to our daughter, we really don’t know everything she broadcasts to the world as a teenager. (And that’s just the honest reality of this digital age.) And then he ends by saying that he would appreciate someone notifying him if this issue ever came up in our household.
Truth be told, I had assumed there would be some defensiveness from the offender’s parents. Instead the calm, father-to-father understanding was met with appreciation. The father promised to get to the bottom of the situation.
About an hour later we were finishing dinner. The home phone rang and the name which flashed on the caller id matched the one seen earlier on FaceBook. I sushed everyone and then heard the tidbits of a very humble and polite young man. He explained that while at a party (and bored) he had logged into facebook on a friend’s computer, but never logged out. He apologized for the whole incident.
Whatever the cause of the remark, this lesson has taught us all new lessons. Parenting lessons, gentleman lessons for the offender, and a few examples of how we are paying attention to even the stray comment which affects our family name. The comment could have been simply deleted, but that wouldn’t have made the impression on everyone involved. The older my children become, the more complicated the situations.
I want to express my thanks to both my husband and the father of the offender. Those are the examples of behavior which will last beyond the temporary FaceBook post and affect the hearts of their children.
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