Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ethics: Would You Read Your Child's Blog?

What would you do?

My 18-year-old daughter left her weblog minimized when she left the computer. If this had been your child, would you have closed it without reading it? Would you have read it? If you would have read it, would you have admitted reading it?

Here is what I did and why.

I read it. But, no, I didn't admit to reading it. I rationalized it this way. Yes, technically she is an adult. She's 18. But she isn't "out on her own" and independent; she is a freshman in college, and I still pay her bills and provide her with a vehicle. I have been given a rare opportunity to help protect her while she tries out her wings. I consider it a gift and I will not take it for granted! I made the conscious decision to keep my discovery of her weblog to myself, so that she can continue to become an independent young woman. I will not meddle in her everyday affairs. But, it's a brand-new world. There are dangers and pitfalls which simply did not exist when I was her age!! I want to be aware if she begins to get into deep trouble or if she does something which may endanger her life. I will reveal myself if I must, but not unless it is a dire emergency.

Example: This is finals week. I found out through her weblog that she had planned a trip to New Orleans this afternoon with some friends . To me, this represents a monumental lapse in good judgement, but not a danger. (Quite frankly, her timing sucks.) She could have spent the entire afternoon studying for her Chemistry final tomorrow. But, part of becoming an adult is making mistakes and accepting the consequences. So, if she does poorly, she will wish she had done the New Orleans trip another time! And the consequence may be that she will have to transfer to the college closer to home, if her grades fall and she loses her scholarships.

We shall see when final grades are posted.

She eventually told me she had gone once they had started back.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.

So, what would you have done?

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