Rites of Passage…

…or, Why Parents Should Block Their Kids on Facebook.

There are all manner of rites of passage that we go through in our lives. Events that we tend to hold in common with the rest of humanity. Our first car, weddings, the births of our children, dealing with a toddler in the grocery store for the first time when that toddler has seen a brightly colored shiny thing and you said “No.”, or watching your kid walk into the kindergarten classroom for the first time without you. Stuff like that. Stuff that ties you to the larger community of people on the planet and makes you feel like you are a part of something larger than yourself. Sure, some of these things are cultural or generational, but more of them are universal. We still hold the big ones in common.

The one I am experiencing right now is the one called, “Oh God, My Now Emergent Adult Child Is Out On Her Own And Posting Scary Pictures and/or Updates On Facebook.”

Now, I know, I know. This is normal. I am experiencing the same thing that other mothers experience. I am one with the mothers of frat boys and sorority girls, young people off at college and living in dorms, or out on their own for the first time. It is a universally painful experience that goes something like this:

Look at the Facebook update.

Wince.

Twice.

Take a deep breath.

Restrain yourself from posting a concerned comment (I fail at this step a lot.)

Restrain yourself from posting a witty comment (I fail at this one too, though I think the young adult in question would say the comments are more “horrifying” than “witty.”)

Restrain yourself, period.

Sit on your hands.

Take another deep breath.

Turn off the computer.

Turn the computer back on, look at the photos again, restrain yourself more (FAIL), and then pray very hard that your parents (the grandparents) are not checking Facebook today (invariably doomed to fail) OR think to yourself, in horror, “Oh sweet creeping Zombie Jesus in the berry bushes, I can NOT KNOW THAT.” (but now you do and you can’t poke holes in your skull to let the bad spirits out) OR both.

Reassure yourself that you survived your early twenties and that doubtless, your offspring will survive too and that this might all one day be a Valuable Learning Experience.

Reassure yourself more.

Make a cup of tea.

Take a Xanax.

Being the parent of a young adult is really difficult. You can’t make their choices for them. It was easier for our parents I think, because mostly they just had to speculate about what we were doing. We weren’t putting up evidence on the internet. There wasn’t an internet. Sure, we never wrote, we never called (except to ask for money), but was that such a bad thing?

I’m beginning to think, not so much.

There is such a thing as too much information. Especially when it comes to emerging adulthood.

I think I am going to go with the theory, “What We Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Us.” and for the sake of my sanity, I might just block my young adult’s Facebook for a few years.

Because there is not enough tea in China and probably my doctor is eventually going to stop giving me Xanax.

Your mileage may vary. Lalalalalalalalala…..

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About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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10 Responses to Rites of Passage…

  1. Shawna J. says:

    You might try hiding her updates from your feed. That way she can still get ahold of you and you can still get ahold of her via Facebook if you want or need to, but you don’t have to see the updates every day.

    • Rainy says:

      *hugs* yes. I know about hiding posts on my feed *LOL* This was mostly meant to be humor. I’m not actually blocking my child in Facebook. :-PPP

    • lono says:

      I can just imagine what would have happened if there had been a facebook or an internet when you were 19… deep breaths… deep breaths… at least in terms of what she is doing, fairly innocuous. She’s gonna be just fine, and (as somebody close to me pointed out recently) sometimes bad decisions make great stories… 😀

  2. Laura says:

    I saw the update. I thought your reply was very subdued. I was proud of your restraint.

    • Rainy says:

      Oh thank you. OMG. I think she’s trying to get me to bite off all my new beautiful fingernails. That’s what it is. Sabotage!

  3. Knitnana says:

    You’re on Facebook? Are we friends yet?

    And to this post? “AMEN.”

    (and mine’s in her 30s!)
    (((hugs)))

  4. Knitnana says:

    And I just accepted!!
    (((hugs)))

  5. Marilyn says:

    Funny! I have been thinking about commenting on my sons FB about the way he treats his mother. Now that would be an eye opener to his friends and I would for sure get deleted as his friend. Maybe that would be a good thing.

  6. Sharon says:

    Hi
    I just came across this blog and was entertained by your Rites of Passage entry. We (husband and I) are blocked from our daughter’s facebook, myspace etc. She says she doesn’t want us to read what she’s been up to – and frankly I don’t want to read it!

    I got through both my children’s university years by imagining them in bed (ALONE) at 10.00 pm reading a text book and drinking a cup of hot chocolate. I stuck with this picture despite evidence to the contrary. If a child said they were going to a party, all nighter, rave, nightclub, I would listen politely, say ‘That’s great – hope you have a good time’ and think to myself ‘that’s ok, it’s sure to be cancelled or they will change their mind, they have a lot of studying to do’. Don’t think that every happened, but I slept well!

    Good Luck!!

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