This has been in my mind for a few days now…
It’s been trending in Spain this kind of debate, and I think we are not the only ones to ask ourselves this question. But recently, someone close told me something that brought the question back.
Giving you some context, let’s say Ann has a daughter called Mary. Ann got divorced, and for many years raised Mary by herself. Then, one day she got remarried, and had another kid – let’s call him Dan.
Ann has always been terribly busy with her work, so Mary has always attended to a private school. It wasn’t too much of a problem when it was just the two of them, but when Ann got married again, and had Dan, time together with Mary was little to nothing.
After many years, and following the advice from family, Mary and Dan start to attend to public schools (there was some abuse and bullying in the private one) and now Mary, 17 years old, starts a new life in which she doesn’t need to pretend what she’s not – say, at that private school she had to control her words not to offend the “rich and well mannered” kids nor their parents. She was prevented from being herself.
So, in this new life, she gets involved with people who don’t care where or how she grew up.
She’s is in this difficult age when one starts to explore oneself, when one is curious about oneself’s sexuality… But she doesn’t have any privacy at all.
Whenever she shuts the door to her room, her little brother will come and open it. If not, it’ll be her mother. She also can’t have a diary, as her mother will look for it in her entire room. Doesn’t matter where she hides it, her mother will find it. Because of this, Mary doesn’t trust her mother… And they won’t talk about anything personal. If Mary has any problem at school, won’t ask anybody. She guesses by herself what to do, but of course… She didn’t have the chance to develope her own criteria, so her choices are poor. Which brings her a lot of trouble, thus the arguments with her family are a norm.
I don’t blame Mary. In the most crucial years of a person development, Ann neglected her daughter. How does she think Mary would told her about any issue, when she doesn’t listen at all? She doesn’t have the time. And the little time she has, is all to her little kid Dan, who has been spoiled from the very second he was born, both by his parents and his father’s family. The moment he was born, Mary was always prevented from voicing her problems, giving all the attention to the little one. At the beginning it was jelousy, yes, but after some years, Mary started to not care.
That lack of care was what brought her mother’s attention back to her, as she started to use Instagram to connect with her friends. She found there a place where she could express herself. Problem is, nobody talk to her about the risks of uploading pictures in there. She didn’t upload pictures of herself naked, but they were suggestive. So, one day, her mother took her phone when Mary wasn’t around, and started to log in all her accounts (mail, Ig, FB, etc.) and when she found those pictures, Ann deleted her daugther’s Ig account. Also took her phone for a good while.
I think this is the typical problems parents are confronting nowadays. But under my point of view, this all situation could have been prevented to a certain point pretty easily. There are two factors here people seem to be oblivious to.
First, if Ann wouldn’t have neglected her daughter, Mary would have pretty much gone to her whenever she was in doubt about anything at all. They could have talked through all this and maybe sexuality wouldn’t be an issue.
Second, and most important, parents nowadays love to pretend they didn’t do anything at all when they were teenagers. There might be some, there’s always an exception to the rule, but when you get to 15/16/17 years old, your hormones go wild. There’s no barrier in nature to prevent teenagers from being curious when they are experimenting all those changes in their bodies, and the effects of the hormones they don’t know about.
Instead of reprimanding the kids, they should be talking about the questions they may have. Otherwise, they will look for the answers the best way they can.
So now, the biggest question of this entry. Do you think is it ok for a mother to leave her job and go running back home cause she has the guess her daugther is in there (instead of school) having sex with her boyfriend… and finding them both naked?
Is this genuily parental control, or control abuse?