With all the talk about bullying in and around the Amanda Todd case much has been made about the bullying itself, the publics insatiable appetite for revenge despite the fact that most of us had never met Amanda and much hand wringing over the seemingly heartless actions of some of Amanda's peers. If anything at all that’s positive comes from this tragic case let’s at least take this moment to re-examine a parent’s role in the complicated life of a teen ager.
No one will ever know the relationship in Amanda’s home. But we as parents can certainly take this as a wake up call to pay closer attention to what our kids are doing on line. Too many parents I encounter are only too willing to close the bedroom door of their teens and preteens and say that they have a right to their privacy…they also have a right to some parenting. When your parents closed your bedroom door years ago and left you alone, you didn’t have the ability to plug in an iPad or laptop and enter the world of information, woner and anyonymous cowards that we call the internet.
If you don’t know who your teen or preteen is talking to on the home computer then you aren’t doing your job, you’re taking the easy way out.
Showing an interest in their lives may seem an intrusion right now in their lives but I would bet most will thank you for it in years to come. No one is suggesting that you follow your kids or tap their phones…but if your kids are 13 or under and they have a computer in their rooms where they can do and say whatever they want to whomever they want, then you are letting them in to a very dangerous place all by themselves. And that isn't good parenting.