Maybe I’m not the person to be writing this post, I’m not a parent, I really have no qualifications when it comes to giving advice to parents.
Maybe you’re a parent and you’re reading this and already think I’m rude and immature, maybe you’re wondering where my parents are.
Maybe you already feel disrespected by this post although that is the farthest thing from my intentions.
Maybe you want me to be silent. To you my age means that I cannot think for myself or speak for myself, so I should not be addressing you at all.
Children are to be seen and not heard, right?
Where are your parents? You might be thinking, but I am here to ask you: where are you?
Where are you when there are adults commenting sexual things in the comment sections of videos of your nine-year-old dancing to an explicit song on tik tok?
Where are you when your fifteen-year-old daughter is posting sensual photos on Instagram looking like a twenty-five-year-old?
Where were you when your son got addicted to pornography?
Where were you when your daughter got pregnant?
I know it’s not fair to blame it all on the parents, y’all are human too, but where were you?
Where are you?
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m glad my kid isn’t doing stuff like that.”
Are you sure?
I am here to tell you that as a peer of your children and as someone whose younger siblings are peers to your children, that there’s a lot you don’t know.
I see twelve-year-olds with iPhones with full access to the internet, and I shutter.
Because I know.
Anything they can imagine at the tips of their fingers, all they have to do is go to a search bar.
If you’re not looking over your child’s shoulder, if you’re not picking up their phone and going through it, you’re dumb.
I trust my child, you say.
Ok, but you are their defender, you’re their advocate, and you’re just going to stand aside and let them be attacked like this?
I scrolled through the accounts a boy that I had been talking to followed on Instagram, account after account was soft porn… he followed over 2,000 people.
He wasn’t a minor anymore, but he had been on social media for years, where were his parents when he followed the first accounts?
It’s discouraging as a seventeen-year-old girl to realize that I am the one having the conversation with your sons about sex outside of marriage, pornography, and all these other issues because you didn’t.
I look at my generation, a generation of boys and girls who are ruining themselves and already ruining future relationships, and I am so thankful that my parents loved me enough to not trust me fully.
I’m thankful that the first phone I got only sent texts and calls and barely even did that.
I’m thankful that when I finally got a nicer phone, my parents took off safari, didn’t let me get social media, didn’t allow me to download apps without them looking into it, approving, and putting in their password. I’m thankful that they read through my texts, and went through everything.
Was it embarrassing at the time? Yes.
Was it hard to feel left out when all my friends downloaded snapchat, Instagram, and everything else? Yes.
Would it have been worth the exposure to sex, language, and worldliness that floods my eyes now when I make the mistake of clicking on some people’s profiles? No.
I am so thankful that my parents were there. I’m thankful they’re still there. When I check my Instagram and see who viewed my recent story, my mom’s name is always the first to pop up, and I am thankful. I need accountability, I need parents, not another friend.
I am so thankful that they are there for my brother, hopefully, he’ll never make another girl feel terrible when she looks through who he follows and sees naked girls with unattainable bodies–hopefully, he won’t have an account to follow them on for years, if ever.
I can’t imagine how hard and overwhelming it can be for y’all, but just like your children can access information in a second, so can you.
I’m asking you this, no, I’m begging, please be there.
Please put parental controls.
Please look through their phone.
Please don’t let this go on.
This is coming from a seventeen-year-old, we need y’all.
Your sons need you.
Your daughters need you.
We need you to be there.