Parent Life: New School Rules

It was a Monday night and it was time to go to bed. Though I wanted to stay up to watch two more episodes of The Walking Dead(I’m currently halfway through season six so do NOT post spoilers in the comments please), I knew my body would hate me for it in the morning. I closed out the episode and returned to the Netflix home page but noticed something odd in the ‘recently watched’ list. Someone had watched episodes 1-7 of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. That someone was my daughter.

Now I usually don’t have an issue with my child consuming entertainment in limited quantities. But I have a major problem with her doing so when 1)she doesn’t have an A in all of her classes and 2) she has a significant amount of schoolwork to complete over spring break. “This child”, I muttered to myself, a phrase I find myself repeating frequently as the mother of a teenager.

The willfulness, the desire to do what she wants to do has tested my resolve to parent without physical discipline.

In spite of my frustration I didn’t want to go there. I was also hesitant to wake her up and bombard her with a lecture. But some form of discipline was necessary. And then it came to me:

I logged her out of Netflix and Hulu on both her MacBook and iPhone.

I then hopped on my laptop and changed the passwords to both services, ensuring that only I have free access to them and my child can only use them with my permission.

Parenting has never been an easy task, and parenting in this era comes with unique challenges. I’m learning that I must balance instilling old school values in my child with occasionally implementing new school rules in discipline. It’s an imperfect process, as this stage of development is new to me. But through the hormonal ups and downs, the testing of boundaries, and conflict I remain confident that we will get to the age of eighteen with our sanity and relationship intact!

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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