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February 13, 2012 / Tara

My Own Social Media Parenting Moment

So by now, most of us have seen the YouTube video of one dad’s answer to his daughter’s Facebook rant about her family.  I have to admit when he was reading her post at first I thought, “well, wow you kind of treat that child like a slave from the sounds of it” but of course knowing teens tend to exaggerate, I reserved judgement until the father made his comments at the end. I have two teens, I know how it goes.  Would I have shot my kid’s laptop?  Well my kid doesn’t have a laptop anymore.  My oldest, now 18 had one but we have gone through 4 power cords and it is old and sluggish so I’ve been waiting til she graduates from high school this year to buy her a new one as a graduation gift.  She would like one now but truth be told, she doesn’t deserve one.  My middle child, 15 does not have a computer of his own.  He may have one soon though because he is pulling his weight around here.  Does what is asked for him (most of the time) and gets decent grades. I would buy him a laptop.

They both have an IPod Touch though.  So either on their Ipod or my laptop, they are able to go on the internet.  There have been a few times when my dd posted things on Facebook and I made her delete them.  Only once was it a complaint about me.  She was required for me to be her Facebook friend but mainly because I wanted to make sure noone was harrassing her on Facebook due to some bullying issues she had in Freshman year.  I told her now that she’s 18 if she doesn’t want to be my Facebook friend, she doesn’t need to be.  So far she surprisingly hasn’t unfriended me! Of course she only just turned 18.

Now before you think this will be a heartwarming tale of how my daughter praised me on Facebook (well she did once… happiest day of my life?), let me bring you back to reality.  See we are having a little disagreement this young one and I.  She thinks she should live in my house rent free and do no chores unless she feels like it and I should do whatever she needs.  I disagree.  So over the last week, I have totally pulled away from trying to parent this child.  And yes she is still a child.  No matter what she thinks age does not automatically qualify her for adulthood.

She has a few easy chores we expect her to do around the house.  They are: emptying the dishwasher, cleaning her room, cleaning her bathroom, doing her laundry and taking care of the cat litter pan since she says it is “her cat”.  She is expected to go to school and do her homework and once in a while I may ask her to sweep or vaccuum or watch her little sister.  Pretty typical stuff, right?  It has become more and more of a struggle to just get her to do these things.  She recently complained that she no longer wants me to ask her if she did her homework.  So right now, my plan is that she will get a ride to school, a ride home, a roof over her house, food to eat and medical attention if needed.  That’s it.  She wants a ride to her friend’s house-out of luck!  If she decides she wants to start pulling her weight around here and agrees I am her parent, not her maid/landlord/chauffeur/cook/personal assistant then she can get back on the gravy train.

Well Saturday rolled around and my daughter spent most of it in bed.  She had been asked to change the litter box on Friday, didn’t do it.  She was asked to empty the dishwasher and “forgot”.  I asked her to come upstairs and log me into her FAFSA application so I could finish it (I’m pretty sure the money is for her not me) -nope, couldn’t be bothered. My son was sleeping at a friend’s house, so we took my youngest daughter to dinner and didn’t even say good-bye to oldest daughter.  Of course as we were finishing dinner, weren’t there two phone calls to my cell wondering where I was.  She was not happy to hear we had gone out to dinner and wanted to know why I didn’t wake her up to come.  You bet she’d have been up if I had said “Olive Garden”.  And of course when I came home, my first-born child wanted to know what she was going to have for dinner.  I gave her several options and showed her where the stove was.  She can boil water and make grilled cheese, she won’t starve.

So how does this all relate to the story of the dad who’s daughter posted on Facebook about their family?  Well thanks to my son, I found out that darling daughter #1 posted on Tumblr about her family.  Nothing too awful but she did use a few swear words.  Now if she was a little younger, I might ground her and take away the Ipod.  But at 18, I feel like grounding is almost pointless.  If she drove I’d take away car priveleges but she doesn’t.  I think instead I’ll just file this away for my “reasons why I won’t” box and next time she tells me how unfair I’m being, I’ll remember this and stay strong.  And I’m re-thinking that graduation gift.  Maybe I’ll buy her a book on karma instead.

How do you handle discipline for your older kids?



Leave a Comment
  1. wilde4art / Feb 25 2012 9:42 am

    I wish I could say it gets better as they get older. But I’m kind of in the same boat, except my problem child is twenty and going through growing pains that make all of us nauseous. They say that someday that they will come to appreciate us.

    • Tara / Feb 25 2012 9:56 am

      Thanks for the comment! I’m hoping that a little distance if/when she goes to college next year will help. But I know I could have it so much worse. So have to count my blessings I guess!

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