I love Beverly Goldberg. I feel like I am the modern-day Beverly Goldberg wanna-be. I grew up in the 80’s, I love big hair (although, try as I might, my hair is too fine to give me that fantastic big-hair look), I love big hair rock bands, I love colorful sweaters with padded shoulders (I do still own one, that I purchased circa 1989), I love pastel colors, and floofy skirts.
And I love my kids. Almost as much as Beverly Goldberg loves hers.
And you know what I mean by that.
My problem is getting close to that line….and crossing it…when it comes to Nosy-Mother-Syndrome.
For years I have heard and read articles on “make sure you communicate with your children…..know where they are….who their friends are…..who they are with…..build a relationship with your kids so there will be mutual trust.” For the most part, hubby and I have succeeded in developing fantastic relationships with our boys. We have always eaten dinner as a family (unless hubby is traveling or we luck out and go on a date night). On weekends, I cook up nice “fancy” breakfasts that we all eat together. We’ve gone on vacation trips together and seen things and hung out together….instead of shipping them off to a vacation “kiddie camp”. We go out to dinner as a family once a week. And for 98% of the time, both parents are at each child’s sporting event. We ask them about school, we (ok….I) can sense when something isn’t “right.” And they talk to us. It’s great.
But we have now entered the teen-age years with the twins. And they have mobile communication devices. With social media apps. Parenting has become a whole lot more sophisticated in terms of technology, and keeping up with it.
I remember the teen-age years. A teen-ager wants (and needs?) to be left alone to sort out feelings and friendships. A teen-ager doesn’t want to have a clingy mom hanging on or spying or questioning every move. Teen-agers typically push parents away.
Luckily there hasn’t been any pushing or shoving away YET. There’s been some “MOOOOOOMMMMMMM, leave me alone.” And I can handle that. But I want to continue to stay involved and have the lines of communication open, but without crossing the boundaries.
For example, T-man has been texting with a girl for several weeks. I am *dying* to know what they write about (and I know T-man well enough that it is all clean, and platonic, and most likely bordering BORING). But I want to know. So I have to think back 20+ years and remember that my mom (for the most part….that I know of or can remember) respected my privacy by not listening on the other phone or reading my diary.
As for M-Man, he’s a lot more secretive and sneakier. He is always on the verge of pushing boundaries or acting slightly suspicious. I feel the need to Spot-check his device for inappropriate stuff or breaking rules–and I have caught him on 2 occasions with breaking rules.
So for now I have to continue trusting my kids, keep talking with them, keep trying to be the “cool mom” ……without crossing the Beverly Goldberg line.