When We Talk About Privacy
by Ruth Suli Urman
When we talk about privacy issues with teenagers, what are we really talking about? Most importantly, trust. It's only natural for adolescents growing into their teen years, to want some privacy, some alone time, where they can think about who they are becoming, who they want to be and perhaps, just to relax and be out of earshot of the rest of the world. Teens, like adults, work hard too. And when we consider how much socializing they are forced to do, when they attend school all day, sometimes they just want to come home, go into their room, close the door and just listen to the music of their choice. As adults, it helps to remember not to take these things personally.
We also need to remember that teenagers can experience "bad" days, too. In giving them the space to beirritable or sad, without demanding that they put on a cheerful face and façade - as we certainly can't expect anything from them that we don't expect from ourselves! - we are honoring their feelings, as we honor our own feelings.
Keeping journals, having private conversations with their friends on the phone, and wanting some alone time is a teen's way of becoming who they are. They are slipping into their bodies, their minds, and their distinct individualities. It helps to remember what it was like to be a teen: the writing we may not have wanted to show our parents, the conversations with friends about "crushes," the times that we wanted to listen to The Beatles when our parents only wanted to hear classical music.来自www.Examw.com
It is helpful to think about how we want to be treated, as an adult. Remember: respect is earned, not taken for granted. In order to expect our teenagers to be respectful of us, we must be their teachers and their guides, so that they can mirror our behavior. They will give us back what we are giving them, even without consciously thinking about it. What happens if they "hole" themselves up and we never see their lovely faces? As a beginning, in balancing their alone time, we can reach out and make the time to gather the family together, such as meal times, to create communication. This way our children don't end up living their lives behind closed bedroom doors (where we miss out on their childhood years).中华ope体育网站网
Coming together as a family is important, too. There is an immense feeling of satisfaction knowing that we are not strangers to our children, and they are not strangers to us. If there is any concern about what they are doing when you are not with them, find a good time and place where they are comfortable (and you are feeling relaxed about talking) and tell them about your concerns. Life is a series of balances, and in the instance of privacy, we can balance that too. Let them know in a loving way how much you care and perhaps share one of your own teenage stories.
In teaching them to balance their privacy needs, there is nothing wrong with asking them questions about where they are going, and expecting them to honor our house rules about curfew, etc. We are still the parents and if we decide we need more information about their friends, by all means, take notes on where they are headed off to, or better yet, offer to be a part of their lives, as much as they are willing to let you in: personally meet their friends' parents; become active in their school. It's a great way to find out about their friendships-which are invaluable to teens, and to foster a close relationship with our teenagers - especially if we come from a place of love and caring and not from a sense of snooping or spying.