Do I have trust issues? It is such a thing with control and trust, isn’t it? On one side you want to trust, blindly, and on the other side you just want to be sure. You want to make sure that nothing happens but where do you step over this line between trust and control?
I don’t consider myself a helicopter mom, but I am a mom who rather looks one time to many than not often enough. Better safe than sorry, right? But then there are other aspects where you just need to trust. You need to trust your kids, their friends, their environment, basically you need to have trust in the world.
When I grew up and especially where I grew up, all you needed was trust in your child to do the right thing. Everything “bad” was far away and my childhood was considered easy. Now, it is no longer the case. Where we had to deal with the teasing or bullying on the schoolyard and could easily take care of it, the issue is so much bigger nowadays. And that is my problem right now. I believe that trust is no longer strong enough. But then there are simply things I can not control and will never be able to. And that makes me feel pretty helpless.
For a while now we try to teach our kids about the cyber world and the dangers involved in going online. Many of my son’s friends already have their Facebook accounts or use twitter or any other social network. He is not allowed to yet. But it will only be a matter of time until he wants to enter this world as well and honestly I am not so much bothered about him doing the right thing and acting responsible out there.
It is our little girl I am worried about. She is so outgoing and so totally social. That combined with her big heart and the idea that everyone is good out there is a dangerous combination. I can control what they do here in our house to a certain point and I can control what I teach them about safe behavior in the web. But in the end I need to trust (again) or I need to become a control freak.
If I become a control freak, I will cut back her wings and she will not be able to spread them the way she would like to. And that will in the end lead to issues. Same with my son. And what would I teach them? That their mom is not trusting them, although they might do exactly what they are supposed to do and are never ever breaking our trust? I don’t want that! I want them to grow up with the feeling of being trusted. Of the feeling of being seen as responsible individuals.
So I need to trust (again). Trust in my kids. Trusting that we taught them well, that we taught them the right things. Trusting them for making the right decisions, to stick to the safe things and not take silly risks. But I also need to trust in others. I need to trust in my children’s friends. I need to trust in the fact that they accept it when my kids say that they don’t want something to happen, that they don’t want them to put pictures online or videos with them in it on YouTube. I need to trust my kids to be strong enough to tell their friends that they don’t want things or that they don’t like stuff to happen. I need to trust my kids and hope that they will come and tell me if something went wrong, even if it was them, who did something wrong. I would have to trust in everyone out there to do the right thing and accept my children’s privacy. And in a perfect world you should be able to do that.
Unfortunately this world is not perfect and there are too many bad people out there. People who just wait for their moment and chance. Or a victim… And what they can do to someone we know latest since the Amanda Todd case.
So, yes, I have trust issues. As much as I want to trust the world, the universe, it is not that easy. But it is all I have. Trust. I guess life in itself is a leap of faith and you just have to hope that everything turns out right. And for the control: All you can do is give your children the right tools and teach them how to use it. And then it all comes down to trusting again…