Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.
I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”
Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.
Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.
It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.
It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.
Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:
Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.
Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.
Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.
Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”
TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:
- You do not respect their rights as an individual.
- You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
- You probably haven’t been listening to them.
Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.
So my university had a ‘stress-free resort’ station set up today to help students combat the stress of finals week.
There was a coloring table
complete with Lion King coloring books
There was a lego table
also, free massages.
This is the most wonderful thing that ever happened in four years of college.
Our school should do this
ALL SCHOOLS should do that
I know what our art club is doing.
i was waiting for my snack wrap but everything changed when the fire nation attacked
this looks like something out of a freaking sims game
The fact that the ALA shared this link is so gloriously bitter and angry and I love it.
Is there a portmanteau for that? Angritter? Bangry?
My library card already gets me multiple “real” books, e-books, audiobooks, magazines and movies per month. For free.
Kindle Unlimited offers nothing from big presses, and no guarantee the authors will get paid fairly for their work. Libraries buy the book up front for a higher price (and a better binding). Kindle Unlimited offers the authors a variable percentage of a as-yet-undetermined-and-unannounced amount of money.
While Amazon touts Kindle Unlimited at “Netflix For Books!” the reality is Netflix signed contracts with everyone whose work they offer so that actors, screen writers, best boys, and the rest of those people get paid for the shows and movies you watch. Amazon does not.
That means your favorite author isn’t being compensated for their time or work. If you love a book series and want to see the next one get published: buy the book or hit the library. Starving authors quit writing because they like eating.
Not only is your favorite author not being compensated for their work, but the editors who help shape your favorite author’s work, the marketing departments who work really, incredibly hard at getting the word out for their authors (in an increasingly glutted marketplace and often, in smaller and mid-sized houses, with low budgets), the designers who create beautiful covers and carefully lay out the interiors of your favorite books so that you can read them easily, etc etc also all lose out when Amazon strong arms publishers into giving them huge discounts that can—and have!—put small publishers (particularly vulnerable ones like LGBTQ and feminist presses) completely out of business.
I really, really encourage everyone to do the following two things:
1) Order books from Powell’s, not Amazon. I bought Edan Lepucki’s “California” from them, and they offer flat $4.95 shipping on orders under $50, and free shipping on orders over $50. They have used and new books and they offer discounts on big sellers. The prices aren’t AS low as Amazon but they’re comparable. I know it’s impossible to completely eliminate buying things on Amazon, but at least try a little bit.
2) Check out your local library. I lived in LA for about 6 years before checking out the LA Public Library System. I was a fool! Now I get ebooks on my Kindle without ever having to go to the library. (pssst - If you don’t finish the book in the three weeks you have it on loan, turn off your Kindle’s wifi and it won’t go away.) I pick up physical books at the location less than a mile from me. I get audiobooks for long drives. I still buy physical books that I want to have for more than three weeks, but for most of my reading, the library is the way to go. If you’re cynical, think of it as getting a better return on investment from your tax dollars.
This old lady at Barnes and Noble is staring at us like she’s never seen wild lesbians in their natural habitat before.
i will return for the child within one month
this is your warning
These photos were taken a few seconds apart.
My parents are both pastors and once I was fucking this one dude who’s dad was the pastor of the rival church and he whispered ‘talk biblical to me’ so i started reciting Psalms 23 and we ended up getting into a competition of who could recite the most bible versus before they cummed
you need less jesus