Parental Panic: How to Manage When the Script’s Been Flipped
You pride yourself on your parenting skills. You have studied well and followed all the basics. Your amazing kids are living proof that all your hard work has paid off. When you are not in the role of ‘Parent Extraordinaire’ you love to hang out with your friends and, well, have a little fun. And okay, maybe once in a blue moon you may over do it just a tad, but it is not like you make it a habit. Nothing wrong with that, right? Right, unless of course the events have been recorded and posted on Facebook or other social networking sites!
What do you do when your kids come to you mortified because all their friends are networking and blogging about YOU?!
How did this happen you may be wondering? We will get to that in a moment, right now it is important to deal with the fact that it has.
Here are some hints:
- Talk with your teens as soon as you are aware that this has happened. Even if they have not come to you yet, you are better off confronting the issue with them before they confront you.
- If you have been caught in a compromising or embarrassing situation, acknowledge your own feelings of shame and embarrassment. Now is not the time to go on the defense. The old “I am an adult I can do what I want” speech may not be the best approach.
- Taking the above into account, assess the situation. Were you caught doing something that is a bit goofy or embarrassing but okay given that you are an adult, or were you engaged in an inappropriate behavior regardless of your age? While you may not be proud of yourself right now, you are still your teen’s parent. Talk with him about your concerns. Are you worried for example, that you have sent him a mixed message? Address such concerns directly.
- Learn from your experience. Now is the time to figure out how this happened and make sure it never happens again.
If you are your teen’s ‘friend’ on Facebook you may want to re-think what you post on your page or how you monitor your teen on Facebook. Perhaps getting her password is a better choice.
Did your teen see this because someone else posted it? Has one of your friends, for example, ‘friended’ your teen? You may need to talk about not only who your teen is friending, but who is friending him. Let your friends know what happened, you may save one of them the shame and heartbreak you are currently experiencing.
And by the way, don’t stress too much, as I am sure you have told your teen at least once or twice that ‘time heals all wounds.’ Your faux pas will be yesterday’s news before you know it.