Is It Parenting or Just Surveillance?
We all work hard to keep our children safe from unwanted influences and dangers. We put filters on computers, tracking software on phones, parental codes on TVs and GPS tracking devices on our teens’ cars. And while all of this policing is an important deterrent that keeps your child accountable, what happens when you’re no longer around to be “big brother?” Will your child have understood the “whys” behind the rules and adopted those values as her own?
It’s in these questions that we find the difference between surveillance and parenting. Not only must we put protective boundaries in place, but we must have a regular dialogue with our children about why some choices aren’t right, and others are. We have to point them toward a moral code that is timeless and can answer the questions that our culture has yet to even ask. Good parenting gets beyond mere rules and teaches values that stick.