Today is the last day of school.
As I was getting Little Bit ready to walk out the door, I told her, “Today is the last day you will be in Kindergarten. After today, you will never be a Kindergartener again. You’ll be a First Grader!”
She is so excited about moving up to the next grade.
But, as I said it, I realized – Today is the last day I’ll be the mother of a kindergartener. My baby girl is growing up.
And, with that, comes a whole host of new challenges and discoveries – for all of us.
But, life is like that – once you think you have it all figured out, they go and change the rules on you.
Big Girl is wanting to branch out more on the internet. Which is a scary thought for me. She wanted her own email account, so I set one up with copious protections. She wanted her own laptop. Ammi & PopPop took care of that one – and then I set up a bajillion protections on it (which drives her crazy and makes me happy because I know she is safe)
Now, she wants to be on Facebook.
That one is just a little far out there for me.
Now, granted, the reason she wants to be on Facebook is because she wants to play the games. But, goodness, that is like opening Pandora’s Box to me. There are ALL KINDS of things on Facebook that I don’t want her exposed to. And I’m not sure I’m savvy enough with FB’s settings to shelter her from them.
But, I also know she is savvy enough to figure out how to create her own FB account and if I’m not careful that is what will happen eventually.
So, do I cave and let her have one?
Right now, she plays the games on either SuperMan’s FB account or mine (so if you see me reaching some awesome level on Farmville, that’s Big Girl, not me.) That stopped the requests for her own FB account temporarily.
But, I know it is coming. She’ll be haunting me (again) for her own. “All my friends have one” is the current mantra.
And my response is the tried-and-true parenting classic “If all your friends jumped off the bridge, would you?”
But, this does bring up the question – when will it be time to loosen those reins just a little and let her try some things? I can’t keep them in Kindergarten forever, as much as I want to. I can’t keep them tied to my apron strings (and safely tucked behind me) for the rest of their lives. And, I don’t really want to – not really. I want them to fly free. I want them to experience new things.
I just don’t want them to run smack into the realities of life that are out there – the weirdos who prey on kids, the inappropriate content that is everywhere and that no one seems to care about – all that stuff will come soon enough. Why should they rush into it?
So, what’s a mom to do?
If you have kids, how are you handling these things? I’d love to hear your suggestions.