Word of the Day: Friend


My son’s friend just “friended” me. That’s Facebook speak for all of you that aren’t quite as cool as me. Being “friended” means that now I can see photos, post messages and link to Facebook pages of the friends of friends of friends of my son’s friend.

The thing is, I don’t really want to.

I don’t want to see pictures of my son or his friends at college parties or posed Abercrombie and Fitch-style on the beach or hanging out in someone’s house. Frankly, I don’t need to know every little detail of  my son’s life. Or in the life of any of my kids.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that it’s important for kids to have some privacy – some part of their world that  parents aren’t privy to. I’m not saying that kids should keep dark secrets or that parents shouldn’t be interested in their kids’ lives  – I’m just saying that maybe we shouldn’t be quite so…interested.

But it’s not easy to butt out. Moms have coffee while preschoolers play within earshot, we attend every soccer game and we expect our kids to stay in constant cell-phone contact whenever they are out of sight.

I plead guilty.

But I wonder if we are doing them a disservice.  How are our kids going to learn how to cope with the world if we are always there to offer advice, directions and our opinions?  How are they going to learn to be independent if we never give them the opportunity to fly without a parental parachute?



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2 responses to “Word of the Day: Friend

  1. Barbara

    I plead guilty too, and have wished at times I could browse Facebook myself. That’s where my daughter has been as well, but when I mentioned how I’d like to see photos, etc., I got the impression she wants this thing all to herself. So I backed off telling myself I shouldn’t spend more time sitting at the computer anyhow. Your Word of the Day is still valid though. This quote is from a plaque given to me many years ago — “A good friend is someone who leaves you with all your freedom”.
    If only that was easy!

  2. My son’s not even a year and a half and I wonder what his world will be like when he hits the teen years…I’m sure it’ll be tempting to want to know everything that’s going on and would feel good if he friended me (or whatever the futuristic equivalent will be)…but you’re right about the privacy thing. I hope and pray that by that time he’ll have proven himself trustworthy so I don’t have to stress over what he’s doing when I’m not around. Sheesh…and I thought he’s already too independent just trying to toddle wherever he wants 🙂

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