One of my closest friends called me in tears after finding out her twelve-year-old daughter had secretly opened a Facebook account six months ago. She was devastated by the depth of sexual content that was openly being exchanged between her daughter, and her daughter’s friends. Not to mention the level of deceit that enabled her daughter to hide this Facebook account for six months.
I have to tell you that my friend who is an excellent Mother is also a bit of a control freak, so I was equally surprised that her daughter had been able to pull this off for this amount of time. My friend and her husband adopted their daughter when she was just two years old. They had tried for many years to have children. I cannot remember a single event in our own children’s childhood that they were not present for, always longing for the day when they would have their own child. So our kids were in their late teens when this beautiful baby girl became a part of our lives. I knew that our unique parenting style was a little too direct for their taste, but they would be the first to express their admiration for the way our kids behaved as children, and the adults they have become.
To make matters worse her daughter’s Facebook account was not set to private, leaving her completely exposed to the cyber world. This is of course the biggest issue regarding the entire situation. A twelve-year-old is completely unequipped to understand the seriousness of this kind of exposure. She very innocently shared information about her life that would have easily made her to be very easy prey in realms of the much less desirable cyber world.
So in what seemed like the blink of an eye, my friends have been ripped from the much less frightening world of parenting an eager to please my parent’s child, into the horrifying world of a preteen young lady. The juncture of parenting where parents are faced with the harsh reality that their child is no longer content with the safe perimeters of their parent’s design. The terrible moment where a parent is forced to let go of who they perceived their child to be, and come face to face with the person their child perceives themselves’ to be. 😉