As my children are 7 and 3, I am waiting for the day when you have to stop watching them every second.
You know, the day when the silence from their end of the house doesn't mean a sign that someone is using permanent marker on the wall or climbing onto the toilet sat to get into the medicine cabinet to put "itchy medicine" on the members of the Calico Critters rabbit family who are itchy.
The day when they can be in the back yard and I can watch from the kitchen window. The day when I don't have to be on hand every second of the day.
Turns out, that day is never coming.
Because of Rebecca Ann Sedwick. And Megan Meier. And Jeffery Johnston.
All three were teens who took their own lives because they were bullied -- in real life or their cyberlives.
Their parents never knew how far the bullying went. How thanks to technology, it stalked their children day and night and they felt they could take no more.
Not another moment.
Something tells me that when those parents got their children cellphones, they never thought they were putting those who would belittle. abuse and denigrate their children right next to them all the time.
Did they teach their children the difference between real friends and Facebook friends? Do they know themselves?
And what did the bullies' parents think their children were doing?
Did they read their Facebook posts and texts messages? Did they teach their children that somehow it is OK to text a girl "why don't you just go kill yourself" when saying it to her face would be unacceptable?
DId they ever bother to tell their Mean Girls that in the first place?
Parents today have to teach our children coping skills with flesh and blood bullies, as well as their anonymous online alter egos. It is twice as much work in a world where the lines between real life and cyber life more every day.
Which means those parents have to know the difference too. And enforce it.
There is no SnapChat, Instagram, status update or direct message on Twitter that should go unseen by a parent.
The computer stays in a main, common area where Dad can get up and look over your shoulder whenever he want to. The cell phone gets turned into Mom nightly, when she will read all the messages you sent or received that day.
And I will be calling anyone who sends something I deem inappropriate.
I won't be able to catch it all, but rest assured, I'll be Facebook stalking my kids AND their friends.
The bullies are giving our children no privacy in the name of getting their message across.
Parents need to do the same.