My Father Invaded My Privacy

“I’ve never told any of y’all this but I recorded every conversation y’all had.” He went on to say, “You are my children, this is my house, you were using my phone and it was my responsibility to know what you were doing and to protect you, “ he said and then he fell out laughing.

I just hung up the phone with Daddy – he’d held that all this time. He said, “What’s it been now Baby, over 20 years since you moved out? I figure I’d go ahead and tell you now,” as he cracks himself up laughing!

What was I doing as he shared this? I was laughing hysterically with him. Why? Because that is who my Daddy is and, while I didn’t know he was doing it, I’m not, at all surprised.

Parents, please DON'T!

I’m always troubled, okay let me just tell the truth, PERTURBED by what I call “loosey-goosey ass parenting” – more concerned with being a child’s friend than their parent. As a parent there should be times when your child doesn’t like you, at all! Times when they want something really badly, but don’t have the wisdom to know how it won’t be to their advantage because they’re not developed enough to understand, but you;  and when you refuse to bend because you care more about protecting them than being disliked (for a period of time) by them.

We repeatedly heard, “I don’t give a damn how you feel about what I’ve told you to do, just do it!” Daddy didn’t bite his tongue, and every threat he ever made he followed through on. We were very clear about where “the line” was with Daddy and we wouldn’t dare cross it!

Was it fear? YEP! A very healthy fear. Fear based on respect for the man who worked very hard to provide more than we needed, but never all that we wanted – balance is so key!

He never told any of us he loved us (while we were young) and we never doubted that he did because love is an action word. One that is not always about what you do for your children. It is also about what you won’t permit and allowing them to do.

Too many parents want to be the “cool parent” and they fail to discipline and establish/reinforce rules. Children will have a lifetime to develop friendships, but only a sliver of time to be parented and that’s sliver prepares them for a lifetime!

Every one of us has rules to follow in life, so should your children. And they should understand that, early!

Respect wasn’t something my parents had to ask for, and we were more reverent of them than we were afraid. When a child doesn’t learn to revere at home, they’ll not just grant that honor on anybody when they leave your house.  A child know their loved when there’s boundaries, rules and discipline and when they get into the real world and see that the home prepared them to respect boundaries, follow rules and has given them the tools to then discipline themselves that’s when the appreciation kicks in.

No they don’t like it when it happens, but they love you more when they have points of reference later in life and that’s what parents are supposed to provide!

Daddy was always a step ahead of me and my siblings. Along with having the village who was quick to tell on us (even whip our tails if we really deserved it) he also had the recorded conversations which he kept downstairs in their bedroom out of clear view (and we wouldn’t DARE go through their things). So when we asked to go somewhere and told a story about where we were going and with whom, our recorded conversations would confirm our truth or reveal our lying asses and Daddy would permit us or deny us based on them.

No, he wasn’t invading my privacy. He was protecting me from my own stupidity and I love him all the more for that! He used the latest technologies to keep us safe. Parents today have far more tools available to them and I think they should use them…all of them!

Who knows how much of my youthful stupidity he protected me from? All I know is that his answer was “no” a lot more than it was “yes”, and he established with us early that “No” was a complete sentence.

So thank you, Daddy for using whatever means necessary to invade my privacy! Maybe if more parents would, they’d have less surprises about what their children are REALLY doing and can better guide them, and protect the rest of us.

Tell me what you think…do you think your underage children should have privacy – something in their lives that you should not know about?

If you enjoyed this, please share it with your Social Media friends.

All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

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About Zara Green
Hi, I'm Zara Green, A "Do Better" Fanatic and Your Advocate...I'm glad you're here! As a personal growth Author and Speaker, who's Individuality & Resilience-Focused, I spark conversations that expand thinking, encourage effective & productive responses and produce better individual decision-making and better interpersonal communications in relationships. Growing Up with Zara because life is meant to be enjoyed ;-)

4 Responses to My Father Invaded My Privacy

  1. Diamond says:

    I am a “tough loving” parent even though my children are 19 & 25 and making their own decisions. They still come to me and ask questions about life. No, I did not allow them to get what they wanted, go where they wanted to go, or do what they wanted to do. Since I was the only “active” parent, I had to draw many lines. I caught my son stealing books at the grocery store and made him face the manager. My daughter threw temper tantrums but understood my body language that made her shift her position on spot. I recall yelling at Joseph for something one time and he looked at me and said, “I don’t like when you yell at me Mommy. I can’t hear you.” He was 9. Mirror moment for this Momma. (*_*)))

    As a child, I didn’t like being beaten with anything within reach because it didn’t make sense to ME. I decided at 13, that if I had children, I would NOT beat them in that manner. I stayed true to that decision and our relationships are just as strong if not stronger. Joseph & Braye knew I was parenting and still am parenting the best way I know how, to shape their character.

    I’m still learning how to parent Z because it never stops. I’m a life-long member of villages for other children as well as my future grandchildren. Parenting is a journey that I have always enjoyed because I learned how to communicate with my children. Parents do not always have all the “right” answers. Joseph & Braye are my gifts that continuously open me up.

    Thanks for sharing Z.

  2. honestwit.blogspot.com says:

    I’ve fostered teenagers for over 12 years and love IS an action word. Sure I’m “The Bitch” to them sometimes – but I can’t tell you how many times kids have left this home, grown, and eventually called me at some point (months or years) later to THANK ME for the way I parented them once they understood it was from a good place. I get invited to graduations, birthdays, and other milestone occasions – and they never forget mine (or my daughter’s)!

    The social workers scoff at my “no internet or cell phone” house rules and try to get me to bend. But I can’t “bend and pretend” – in my home, real human connections are made as a result. It is strict, but teaches life skills necessary for success in the “real world”.

    Sure, I can be cool and take them to concerts – I create memories with them. Usher, Bruno Mars, Pink, Justin Timberlake, Christina Augilera, Madonna, Lady Gaga – you name it, we’ve been. Fosties or not, there is no lack.

    When a child comes into care during their teenage years, majority of the time it is due to a breakdown with parent(s). They are so disconnected, begin to act out and 9 times out of 10 the parent is left wondering “how and why” without recognizing that their lack of parenting allowed them to slack, and furthermore, they coddle them for their entire childhood and (unknowingly) create a monster. Parents of my teens are always shocked that suddenly, overnight, their child has no respect, no boundaries, no morals and a huge sense of entitlement. And it’s not limited to lower classes – I have fostered children of nurses, lawyers, and yes, a professional psychologist!

    Parenting needs to be taken more seriously. Kids should not be left to raise themselves or handed freedoms on a silver platter that were not EARNED. And we need to love our children enough to know better. Common Sense and Manners need to be resuscitated and instilled in our youth today!

    Let me add that children these days are willful, determined, and strong. They want to be respected to respect. They want to know why, and how come, and demand that all their questions be answered. But, with proper guidance, boundaries, and consistency, they will grow into amazing adults. They are (rightfully) demanding of our time, energy and efforts – but they are worth every second.

  3. Zara Green says:

    @Diamond – Thanks for chiming in. People are so different and I’m grateful for choice. What one chooses to do, another won’t and there will always be those who criticize your choice. What will work for one, won’t work for others and whatever one starts with is probably not how they’ll finish…that’s called life. 🙂

    There is a distinction that I believe parents need to make and that is knowing and expecting that while they will always be a mother/father they should not always be a parent. 🙂

    Again, thanks for chiming in.

  4. jean says:

    I guess I am different from all of you all, because while I grew up with parents who instilled good values and morals in us, they did not invade our privacy. No dad should listen in on every conversation his daughters has on the phone or elsewhere, because their may be some girl talk that he does not need to hear. Anyway, there comes a point when a parent also has to let go and trust what they have taught their children.

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