Tag Archives: facebook

Rules for Dating My Son? No Thanks.

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent for several months. No, my absence wasn’t planned. Yes, I’m fine. I’ll probably explain in another post. But for right now, I have something else I’d like to talk about. 

If you spend any time on the vast stretches of the internet, especially social media, you’ve probably seen images like these popping up all over the place over the last however-many months:

Rules for dating my daughter

Rules for dating my son

I’ve seen people share these on Facebook and Twitter, touting them as being the Next Big Thing in parenting. As though any of this is actually positive.

Frankly, I think it’s awful. And not funny at all.

You know what’s funny? The way my son sings: “Shot through the heart, and you’re too late! You give gloves… A bad name.

That’s funny.

But publicly dictating controlling and sexist “rules” for your child’s emergence into adulthood? Not funny.

I have a number of issues with these memes, but let me stick to the main one . Also, since I have sons, I shall refer to that particular meme. I’m sure there’s someone else out there with girls who is, at this very moment, taking offence to the Rules for Dating my Daughter. (Solidarity, sibling-of-either-gender!)

My sons are currently 6 and (almost) 3. They are not even close to dating age. Nevertheless, I take exception to this meme for the inferences it makes about them, and about me.

It assumes that (a) my son isn’t capable of making his own decisions or standing up for himself, (b) because he’s a man, he will be unable to resist a woman who dresses “like a stripper” and sends sexts, regardless of any of her other traits — good or bad — and (c) I’m responsible for him and his happiness for the rest of his life.

Well, colour me silly (which is a shade of fuschia), but I’d like to think that by the time my boys start dating, I will have raised sons who are independent, intelligent, and discerning.

And I have zero desire to still be raising them when they’re in their twenties and thirties. Or forties. Or whatever age these “protective” parents think is the right age to release their beloved offspring into the wild.

It is not my job to choose my son’s girlfriend, wife, job, hobbies, financial plan, or living arrangements.

It is my job to teach my son responsibility and self-respect, and prepare him to make his own well-informed decisions.

(And to be there to support and comfort him when he inevitably makes a few bad ones.)

But if I absolutely, positively must create a list of rules for dating my son, it looks something like this:

  1. Have fun.
  2. Be safe.
  3. Respect each other.

What are your thoughts on these “Rules for Dating” memes?

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Filed under Life With Kids, Opinion

If it’s on Facebook, it Must be True!

They say you should never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. They also say you can’t believe everything you read. And, of course, they say the grass is always greener on the other side. But despite all the advice “they” hand out, people persist in believing that if it’s on Facebook, it must be true.

And I’m not talking about Jane Bloggs needing someone to fertilise her chickens on Farmville.

You know that Facebook Friend you’ve got? That one who only ever posts status updates about how drunk she is? If she’s not reporting that she’s had 7 jagerbombs, she’s asking people to join her for a Sunday Sesh at the Local or being tagged in raunchy drunk-photos. How easy it is to sit back in judgement and say, “Huh. Where’s her boyfriend in all of this? She’s so shallow and immature.”

You know that other Facebook Friend? The one who likes everything? You go to your news feed and see a cheery ‘Dane Danish likes Ice Cream, Sleeping with the Air Conditioner On, and 97 other pages.’ How easy it is to sit back in judgement and say, “Huh. Clearly he’s got plenty of time to waste. No wonder he didn’t get that promotion.”

Then there’s the Facebook Friend who’s always asking for someone to go on holidays with them. “I don’t know why I’m the one who always has to pay for coffee. Clearly he’s got plenty of his own money.”

In this Information Age, we have a tendency to believe things on the internet that we’d doubt if we came across them elsewhere. Especially on Facebook. But let me ask you this: When was the last time your own status updated accurately represented your life?

When was the last time you saw an update like:

  • My partner just left me, and I can’t bear to sit at home by myself. For the love of all that’s holy, please take me somewhere I can have some fun.
  • I’ve just been diagnosed with severe depression, and have anxiety attacks every time I leave the house. My doctor suggested it would be helpful if I concentrated on remembering the things I like.
  • I’m so broke, I’m going to have to pawn my wedding ring to buy food for my baby. But if I can just pretend that I can afford to go on holidays, maybe I’ll feel like less of a loser.

I’m not saying that people lie in their status updates. (Although I’m sure a lot of people do.) But I am saying that, although an update may be a truth, it’s rarely the whole truth.

Before you decide to judge someone based on their status updates, remember that you’re not the one living their life (or walking in their shoes), you can’t always believe what you read, and the grass is not always greener.

Sometimes “they” are right.

 

 

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Filed under Opinion