What is the U.S. of A.’s national symbol?
- A. Eagle
- B. Ostrich*
Can you imagine if “B” were the symbol of the U.S. Military? There’s a reason one of the world’s Super Powers’ wants to be associated with keen eye sight. It keeps us protected.
Observation is a powerful tool.
As a teacher, I have to report students’ observable behavior to case managers and guidance counselors all the time. It’s called “Progress Monitoring.”
Santa sees children when they are both sleeping and awake.
We, as a society, are under surveillance everywhere we go. Kind of creepy, until you become a victim of a crime and law enforcement can pull up video to catch a suspect.
How observant are you regarding your own children?
- Can you tell when he or she is sick, tired, or had a bad day at school?
- When was the last time you went through their backpack?
- Their room or the things in it?
- Their cell phone?
- How about any prescription drugs in the house?
I’ll admit, there seems to be a fine line between observing and spying. But your children are under your charge. They are minors living under your roof and you do NOT need a warrant in order to seize and search the items you pay for.
I think there’s a right and a wrong way to do it, though.
I was under strict surveillance growing up. I think it was too much. I had no voice at home (more on that later) and everything I did was criticized. I wasn’t a bad kid; my dad was paranoid. As a result, ironically, it backfired and I did and hid things just to have some part of my life that wasn’t under their thumb.
My father’s observation was unwarranted (figuratively!) so it was a major source of stress in my life. He also was sneaky about it and didn’t just keep a watchful parental eye over my life- he snooped. So did my mother. As a result, I felt very violated. And I did the only thing I could think of: I rebelled… but I had to in a very passive aggressive way, or I’d get in BIG trouble. That’s not the tactic to take when observing.
Rather, you set up the parameters and boundaries AHEAD of time. You articulate consequences BEFORE infractions. And you let them know that if you ever suspect something concerning, you will TELL them what you OBSERVED and then request to observe more data to either dispel or confirm your fears that they may be doing something that is putting them in harm’s way. And, of course, you say it in a kind — rather than threatening — tone.
It’s called transparency.
If you children think that you can see right through them, your conscience will guide them when you are not physically around.
How are they behaving in school? Who are their friends and what are they texting? Are they are where they say they are? Do they eat their lunch you pack?
Make it your #153Promise to be an eagle; not an ostrich.
*I did the research, and technically, their heads are in sand a lot to check on their eggs… which are buried in the sand. So you still get a gold star for the day. I was focusing on the popularly accepted metaphor. (Just in case some ornithologist is reading my post!)