Going to take a departure from my usual running musings today to briefly describe my philosophy of being a dad, especially as it relates to my dear sweet Allison & Katie. Seventeen and fifteen, they both attend Millard West. I like the school for all the right reasons. I’m also very careful about it for a completely different set of reasons. I’ve professed my Old School parenting approach previously, fair, firm, consistent, with emphasis on the firm. I’ve never put being their friend above being their dad. I’d rather they occasionally be upset but understand they are completely safe and loved, whether or not they realize immediately is another story.
The recent viral video of the dad responding to his daughter’s facebook post prompts me to today’s column.
I’ve had some parents question as to whether I’m too strict. I insist on complete knowledge of my daughters’ friends, facebook, tumblr, texting, etc. I feel I’ve done a good job of raising the girls and trust them to make good decisions, but also understand the influences of a generation that is largely unsupervised, spoiled, and otherwise unattended, especially here in West Omaha. Of course that is not a blanket generalization but there are plenty of kids these days that would bristle at the thought of “sharing” their e-accounts with their parents. The fact that they think they are entitled to that level of privacy says as much about today’s parenting mores as it does the kids sense of privelege.
No such thing at my house. I even had a mother tell me recently that it was OK for her daughter to stay out all night as long as she knew where she was, her justification being that at least she wouldn’t be hunting for her in the middle of the night. These are the ones I have to protect my own from.
Its tough to be ever vigilant, my credo of knowing Where they are, Whom they are with, and What they are doing, 24/7 might seem a bit extreme. And honestly as they demonstrate good judgement that paradigm does soften as they mature.
But I’ll always be their daddy and they’ll always be my little girls.