It’s Hard to Strike a Balance Between Protection and Support

I discovered tonight that one of the older boys (who is 13 going on 30) tried to friend someone on Facebook that he doesn’t know. This individual is a friend of a friend, and wasn’t so sure about a child making a friend request. End result: I was notified late this evening.

The big question here is: How do Hubby and I as parents keep him safe from himself? Because oh. my. goodness. This child is convinced that he’s infallible. Some days, it’s truly breath-taking.

And irritating.

I delivered what I thought was an inspired speech the other day. Among other things, I explained that I’m not holding him back. I’m building his foundation. Anyone building a structure is going to inspect the elements for soundness, and if an unsound piece is found it will be replaced. So when it seems that I’m attacking, it’s actually the case that I’m trying to replace an unsound idea or practice.

He was not impressed.

Some day he’s going to come back and read this and recognize the truth of my words, most likely because he will have a child of his own who is repeating history. (deep sigh)

In the meantime. We have to figure out as parents how to make sure he’s protected and at the same time let him do some experimenting and going out on his own. This is not so easy. I want to just monitor every word, but that’s not going to prepare him for adulthood. Another idea is to friend all the people on Facebook that he’s friended. (This may have a desirable effect on a certain young lady who seems more than slightly smitten.) Do you think that’d weird people out too much? “Hey Dude, your mom friended me on Facebook.”

I’m thinking it’s not completely fair that parenting in the online world is so new and uncharted.

Earnest Parenting: advice for parents whose children are far too sure of themselves.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Andrew @ Blogging Guide May 31, 2011, 4:29 am


    Who’d want to be a teen these days? I certainly wouldn’t.

    Who’d want to parent teens these days? mmmm

    MIne are past the teen stage…thye are now adults and make their own decisions. As parents, when they get to this stage, we can only advise!


    • Amy LeForge May 31, 2011, 5:26 pm


      I want to parent teens! It’s hard, but we’re just getting to the fun part. At the same time, they can certainly make my brain hurt some days. 🙂

  • Joel May 31, 2011, 9:10 pm

    I sometimes think that life has changed so much since I was a teenager that when my son is a teenager it will be unrecognizable. But then, maybe the basics are always the same, and just as difficult in whatever time period. I’m still waiting for my parenting manual to be be delivered, it didn’t come with the baby….

    • Amy LeForge May 31, 2011, 9:48 pm

      LOL. Joel, good luck with the manual search. I never got mine at all!

  • Debbie @ Happy Maker June 1, 2011, 4:58 pm

    Wow!! As for the parent manual, don’t wait any longer for it. Babies don’t come with instructions. I still waiting for my manual on adult children. LOL

    Sounds like you are doing a great job Amy. As for friending his FB friends. I don’t think that would work to good. He might try to hide more from you. Maybe you could sent up one day a month where you and him site down (dad too) and he shows you what is going on, on his FB.

    As for the foundation, get out the leggos and show him a solid foundation and one not so solid. Sometimes when we talk to teens they have to see the picture. The visual just doesn’t make them a believer.

    Just a thought of mine from experience. All kids are different, what works for one doesn’t always work for the another.

    Thanks Amy for sharing and you my lady are doing a great job.
    Blessing to you,

    • Amy LeForge June 2, 2011, 7:09 am

      Thanks Debbie! I might just do some of the Facebook friending, a few at a time because there are plenty of parents of other kids who have friended him. I figure I can point innocently to them and say, “Well, so and so’s mom did it”. 🙂

      • Debbie @ Happy Maker June 16, 2011, 5:59 pm

        Good reply, ““Well, so and so’s mom did it”. Amy you have this parenting down 100%. You go girl.

  • Beat Schindler June 13, 2011, 10:16 pm

    Your post and your blog are testimonial to the fact that parenting is the world’s most difficult job – just after self-mastery :-] I think your kids are lucky to have the parents they have because you’re into continued and neverending improvements of your parenting skills. It isn’t easy because you always have to be prepared … but you never know for what – they grow up soooooo fast :-]
    – Beat

    • Amy LeForge June 16, 2011, 12:05 am

      🙂 Thank you, Beat. I can always count on you for just the right encouragement.

  • Tyrone Shum June 16, 2011, 5:07 am

    Hey Amy,

    That’s a normal reaction from a concerned mother like you though I agree with Andrew, you may only advise since they’re now on the “more knowing stage” where they prefer to learn on their own and learn from their mistakes as well which will make them better persons – or better guys. 🙂

    Good luck, you’re a great mom!
    Tyrone Shum´s last blog post ..OL 003- Outsourcing Vs Offshoring Philip Kooijman- CEO Of Microsourcing Says There Is A Difference…

    • Amy LeForge June 16, 2011, 5:55 pm

      Tyrone, when you have kids this age, I’m going to remind you of this wisdom. 😀 You’re absolutely right, and backing off from the fight is one of my main goals right now. It’s not so easy, especially when I know that they’re going to learn thing the hard way. I don’t like to watch them struggle. But it is what they need. Someday they’re going to realize that I suffered along with them. Right now that means nothing to them.