Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get Off Their Backs...

I think we need to give our kids more space. And yes, this probably should fall under the, "Do as I say, not as I do" category, as I am the first person to climb on my kids' backs, firmly plant myself there, and hang out for long periods of time. 

My daughter just spent three days/two nights at a camp in the mountains with her 6th grade class. It was a bonding session designed to teach the kids how to work in teams and cooperate with each other - and have a lot of fun. They were supervised by their teachers and camp counselors by day, and at night were joined by parent volunteers who served as chaperones in the cabins (and eyes and ears for the rest of the parents.)

I'm not above being nosey; hell, I didn't earn the nickname of Mrs. Cravitz for nothing. And yes, I drill my kids on a daily basis to see what scoop I can get from them. We sit down for a snack after school and the inquisition begins..."So, tell me everything that happened in school today." I am certainly not above asking the tough questions and leading the witness. 

But I do think we need to let them have some secrets. (just a few). It's just not right that we know every detail about their 6th grade class trip. After all, it was their trip, not ours. But by the time the bus pulled into the school parking lot after three days of being away, there was not a parent in the crowd who didn't know everything that happened on that trip. Granted, I expect my daughter to behave while she is on a class trip, but if she was talking past curfew one night, I'm not sure that it has to get back to me via the Mom Network. If it does get back to me, I would rather it come from my daughter (or a friend narking on her) and not from a parent (who wasn't even on the trip) a full 24 hours before the trip was officially over. 

Does the need to know everything about our children come from the desire to protect them and keep them safe? Or is it simply a way for parents to re-live (and perhaps re-do?) their past? (and why does that sound like a question that Carry Bradshaw would ask?) Either way, we need to give them a little breathing room. They shouldn't be under a microscope all the time. 

We as parents need to understand that we already had a chance to be 6th graders and we lived to tell about it; now it's their turn. 

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