Last week involved a bunch of new stuff for me as a mom. My oldest two are definitely entering new territory. It’s kind of freaking me out. Okay, it’s totally freaking me out.
First, I’d been promising Big Man since his birthday he could get both a Facebook and a Twitter account. We set the bar at fifteen, although all three already have Instagram. So, we set up his FB account the other day. It is extremely weird to have one of your children enter your social media world. The first time he “liked” one of my posts, I had a moment of panic. It is interesting though to see what he shares, what he posts, what photos he puts up, and what he cares about. He’s developing his own opinions, political, religious, and otherwise.
We have some strict rules for social media…..He has to be “friends” with both Spouse and me. We have his passwords. We set the security on his account. He’s not allowed to friend anyone he doesn’t know. We will double-check anything he posts until we know he knows what he’s doing and the dangers that exist. He’s not allowed to check in at his school, nor pretty much anywhere else, unless we’re with him. We’ll revisit the rules as he gains more and more social media experience. This is the world we live in though, and we feel we’d be holding him back if we didn’t let him test it out while still under our roof and watchful eyes.
Over the summer, we opened teen debit accounts for Big Man and the Princess. We never did anything about activating the debit cards that arrived soon after opening the accounts, and both had money to deposit. When the kids were off school last Wednesday, we headed to the ATM to activate and give them a lesson in ATM machine usage. I’m thankful the guy in line behind us was both young and super-patient. I’m sure he had himself a good laugh over it anyways. It was very surreal to hand the cards over to them, and even more surreal when both used them while we were shopping later that afternoon. Again, we want them to learn how to manage money, keep track of their accounts, balance checkbooks, and use debit/credit cards responsibly while still under our roof. I learned after I went away to college and was on my own. Trust me, there were a few huge, and costly mistakes.
At lunch that same day off school, the conversation turned towards high school and college. We were discussing schedules, what classes they would take when, the benefits of summer school, of taking language courses at the local junior college, and of taking the PSAT and SAT multiple times, as well as where and how sports fit into all of this. I had a moment of panic as I was reminded how few years we have left with them all at home. My goodness – Big Man is nearly halfway through his Freshman year already! We talked about making the appointment for him to take his learner’s permit test in the spring, and his driver’s license test in the fall. We’ve begun letting him back the car out of the driveway just so the first time he takes the wheel in driver’s training, it won’t be completely foreign.
What is comes down to is, my babies are growing up. Everything is new after so many years of status quo. They’re gaining new freedoms, testing the waters, making their own way, developing themselves, learning the world, preparing to become adults. It’s rather terrifying. But also, as I told the Princess last week, it is one of the greatest gifts to get to watch them and guide them with so much exciting stuff ahead of them.