Life Parenting
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Kids are on their phones more and more these days, whether it’s texting, Snapchatting, tweeting, tagging friends on Instagram and musical.ly, whatever. But the older they get, the more their messages become a mystery. Ask them who and/or what they’re texting and you’ll probably get the typical responses: “No one” and “nothing.” Which, of course, leaves parents wondering what exactly they’re hiding. The thing is, you might not know who your kids are texting but what’s even worse? They might not either.

Movistar, a mobile company in Mexico, created an ad called “Love Story,” and it’s sweet. At first. It starts out innocently enough, as a young boy receives a friend request from a girl, and the two become friendlier, photos are exchanged and eventually, they want to meet — in person.

They plan it all out, and just when you think their romance is going to continue after their face-to-face, it ends with a twist you definitely did not see coming.

The song playing throughout sounded lovely, but it’s titled “You’re Somebody Else,” which was revealing the truth all along. Shudder.

The more technology advances, the more in the dark parents can get. And as parents, it’s easy to be concerned — maybe even a little paranoid — about what is out there, whether it’s bullying, general inappropriate or irresponsible behaviour, or like Movistar’s video, much, much worse.

We don’t need to know everything. On the contrary, it isn’t about the details; rather, it’s about making sure our kids are safe, knowing that things are going well for them, that they’re being treated right and treating others the same way.

But if they’re not, that’s when you need to step in. How, though? You don’t want to scare them off and riddle them with questions but you can’t play it too cool or they’ll shrug you off. One thing you can do is let them know they can come to you with anything, and there’ll be no judgment (outwardly, of course). Hopefully that’ll be enough for them to let you in, even a little. Sadly, you can’t protect them from everything. But you can guide them and help steer them in the right direction and hope that what you’ve said or done or passed along is enough.