Paranoia over what evil “the teen” is up to is gross parenting.
Worked at Radio Shack long ago and I hated the paranoid moms + dads that would buy these “telephone recording” things. I hated having to sell it to them and tried to talk them out of it.
Do bad things happen? Sure but 99% of it the teenager can deal with themselves.
Desperately grabbing onto a level of control they had when their kids were 4 is sad and drives their children away, deeper into secrecy so that if that rare 1% SUPERBAD thing actually happens, they won’t go to the parents for it.
If parents don’t trust their kids, why should their kids trust them ?
“What will the neighbors think?” is probably *still* the #1 concern of too many parents.
“Don’t embarrass me.”
I was lucky. My mom didn’t *want* to know what I was up to. As long as I wasn’t up to anything that would embarrass her too much, she was fine.
She was not a helicopter and I’m still grateful for it. She never bought into the news paranoia about “what kids are up to these days”. Just “don’t go off with anybody you don’t know” and “stay close to the driver because they have to take you home.”
I give my n (now ) the same respect I got. He comes out almost every day with some crazy new thing, tells me what he’s up to a lot. I give u type warnings about bullying (about him not being one in his case because he has those tendencies), and so far kept him from going too deep into *too* big o ted things. Just meme level stuff. [two of his friends have been on 4chan since 4th gr a de and are deeply alt right-y but so far, n ‘s not diving in with them. He thinks they’re nuts].
I keep communication lines open – might not be open forever – and I consider it an honor that he tells me what he does and that we get into meme debates.
Will he come to me if/when he turns into what he calls “emoteen / edgiboi”? No idea. But it’s his journey.
Don’t forget this. This parent attitude is around forever. Paranoid parents get continually fed with more reasons to be paranoid constantly about “the teen” – the strange creature living in “their home.”
Always hated this kind of trashy reporting.