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Lisa's Blog

Checking Children's Phones and Laptops..?

“Surely you check your child’s laptop and mobile phone?” Was the question put to me by a mother yesterday. Initially, my eyebrows almost left my face in a surprised cartoon style response, “What on Earth for?” I replied. And as the conversation unfolded, the mother’s perspective of children, life and the world, for me, consisted of little more than passive (but widely accepted) terror. A world overflowing with fears that are, for her, as real as the nose on the end of her face. She described the dangers of potential: stalkers, professional groomers, non professional groomers, bullies, cyber bullying, con men, paedophiles, gang members, drug dealers, serial killers, unauthorised downloads, misuse of credit cards, history of viewed porn sites or other inappropriate footage... the list went on. I struggled to form a response and the mother was unable to comprehend how I could be so ‘naive’ and ‘calm’ and ‘stupid’. To her, she is being sensible

I am acutely aware that the world isn’t full of fluffy bunnies and unicorns trotting in slow motion through long grass on a summer’s day. Acutely aware. But, as the mother with whom I was speaking has decided that the world is full of dangerous people with horrible intentions towards her child, who she must protect at all costs, I prefer to think otherwise. Instead, as well as seeing a rather lovely world, I choose to raise my children’s awareness to the potential dangers through open, honest and mindful communication... because at my core is a commitment to parent mindfully

Several years ago, I raised the necessary finances and took the time to learn how to ‘read’ my children. I have since developed a sophisticated awareness in the art of understanding non verbal (unconscious) communication. Including how to notice and (cleanly) interpret micro muscle movements, unconscious patterns of behaviour, physiology and how to create internal shifts in order to meet outcomes. In short, I know my children, consciously and unconsciously. Objectively and subjectively. To me, this is sensible!

Knowing how to communicate with my children in this way (and teach them how to do the same with others) has been invaluable, for all three of us. I could go on and on about the differences theses skills have made but that would be to digress. The thought of ‘checking’ my child’s laptop or phone would be to compromise both my integrity as a mindful parent and that of my children. To check ‘what they’re up to’ is to disbelieve them without cause. It is to question trust, to belittle who they are and to insult their sense of identity. It is to doubt in their ability to respond to the world. And for what? For the sake of surrendering to a bunch of imaginary fears, conveniently disguised as intuition. I am to invade my children’s privacy because I am scared of monsters?

 

No, thank you. Instead, I prefer to focus on what we actually want for ourselves and each other. My time, skills and energy is channelled into exploring what kind of people we want to be... creating opportunities to express and refine the qualities that are desirable to us... and connecting my children with the endless resources within them. Life happens. Rotten things happen to nice people. Undesirable people enter our lives. And we, on occasion, behave in undesirable ways. The skills, knowledge, multiple perspectives, philosophising, understandings, trust, integrity, mindfulness do not constitute an insurance policy against life but these are qualities that encourage independent thinking. Becoming mindful is, in my view, the greatest gift I can ever give to my children. Mindful parenting is to ‘get over oneself’ and one’s demons in order to give our young people the emotional capacity to recognise and overcome life’s undesirable aspects, whether these are internal struggles or external circumstances. Check up on my children? No. I’d rather expose them to life and show them how to effectively make sense of their experiences