This post is not about putting down we parents who use social media to be actively involved with our adult children on a healthy level. We truly can be thankful for our adult children giving us old folks something entertaining to look at during our mundane days.
It is about having an awareness of how we as humans interact, as parents and adult children, who use social media. The question becomes...how much is a healthy interaction?
After reading this article I began to think what I would have done if my parents had been looking in on my every move back in the day. I think I would have went absolutely bonkers. Some of the things they may have seen might have been more than worrisome. Of course there was no way they could, as we did not have this type of technical advancement. They relied on friends, neighbors, and their own intuition, which I have to say was spot on most of the time.
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.
One is roots.
The other is wings.
Hodding Carter, Jr.
Of course many of the high technical advances were not there for us back then. Social media has given families who live far away from each other or dads stationed in the military overseas many ways to stay in contact. These types of instances are not what I am referring too and are a blessing to many.
I am talking about knowing TOO MUCH about our adult children's lives thanks to social media and our need to know.
Social media can cause a parent to feel less than important and worry endlessly. We have to realize as parents, we are not our adult children's priority anymore. Just look at Instagram and Facebook, they will confirm my findings. They have much bigger fish to fry. However...this does not stop us from having feelings of not being needed, hurt, abandoned, and even angry at times. We know we just shelled out money for something and they are on social media talking about their "Besties" and how much they love them, but we never get one shout out for helping them out! How unfair is that? That is where we as parents may need to step back a bit...just maybe the adult children will look up from their smart phones and realize they have not heard from us since noon. Pun intended!
I am thinking they cut those apron strings a long time ago but somehow we did not get that memo! I truly blame "the need to know" details on my great mothering skills. After all they are my babies now and forever! There is a thought that perhaps could solve this whole sorted problem.
I could concentrate on my own life and not be so absorbed in my adult children's business! I may actually start to enjoy it!
Is it just me or does women in general have more of a problem in this area. The men can be perfectly content sitting in their easy chair watching their favorite TV show. They seem to NOT have a care in the world. We however are sitting there stressing about what we saw on our adult child's Facebook page. No wonder we are sliver way before our men folk!
"Honey did you see what our daughter wrote on her page tonight?"
"Nope...didn't get on Facebook?"
"But...I think something is wrong!"
"Then call her!"
"I can't call her, she will know I was on her page!"
I am thinking of this old adage as I write...
"If you don't want to see it, then don't look!"
Yes I know...that is easier said than done. We women are the most curious and if it concerns our children, nothing will get in our way. We are just made that way!
However...pertaining to our health and sound mind, this could save us parents a lot of anguish and worry. I am thinking there were many instances back in the 70's that I would NOT have wanted my parents looking at what I was doing. However... we were smart enough not to take pictures for the world to see. If we did we made sure they were hid in a nice safe place!
There are some parents much smarter than I. They are the "sneaky stalker" types who are able to swoop in and swoop out and the adult children never see them coming. They seem to always know what's up!
Me...I have to leave a comment! Why do I do that? I want them to feel encouraged and validated! From what I read that is not what they are feeling.
Moms sometimes do not know their boundaries and what seems like a innocent comment may have the adult child running for the hills.
"What's wrong? What did I say? I was only saying your pants looked a bit flashy for that party and you should have went with the corduroy!"
Surely...I would learn to leave it alone! Now I have been detected and most likely placed on detention by not being able to see what they post. Of course since I am not that computer savvy...I have no idea I have been banned from their site.
Then there is the grandchildren...if I didn't have Facebook I may never see a picture of my grandchildren.
"Mom you can print out the new pic, I just posted it on FB."
So now I am forever indebted to Facebook for seeing my grandchildren. Does something seem a bit off with this picture?
So I will end my little post with one last bit of thought and advice. When it comes to your adult child...do you really want to know everything? Can we as parents find some middle ground? I hope so!
If not then this may be our best motto when it comes to social media!