Pet Peeve #3: Over-Protective or Just Rational?

I get really annoyed whenever I see that cell phone commercial where the dad is at “make-out mountain” and he is apologizing to his daughter for knocking on car windows in search of her because due to his bad cell phone service he missed her text message saying that she was staying at her friend’s house. I mean, where do you even start to pick apart everything that is culturally wrong with that commercial?

The first thing that comes to mind is that the daughter is allowed to sleep at a friend’s house without actually talking to one of her parents and asking their permission. Maybe we’re a little over-protective but our girls have never even been left in the care of a non-family member. And I guarantee that when they think they are ready for their first sleepover it will only be allowed if we have met the parents. I’m tempted to even go to the “No sleepovers” rule of many conservative parents because sleepovers usually involve girls waiting around to torture the first person to fall asleep. It doesn’t matter if the girl fell asleep due to a high dose of allergy medicine because she was allergic to all of the cats and hamsters at the house. But enough about me…

Secondly, if your daughter is missing and your first instinct is to look at the local teenage necking spot rather than checking with her friends first, you’ve got a big problem. Maybe it stems from the fact that you let your daughter dictate where she will sleep at night via a text message!!! And if you truly believe that is the most likely spot for your teenage daughter to be found, then why in the world are you apologizing for ruining her dating life???

The sad part is that there are probably a lot of parents out there who do not think that commercial is so far-fetched. It amazes me how many parents just entrust the care of their kids to total strangers and shirk parental responsibilities because they don’t want to be labeled “over-protective” or make their kids “uncool” at school. (According to Gavin de Becker’s book Protecting the Gift, accusing a parent of being over-protective is a tactic of predators because then parents are more likely to do dumb stuff to prove they are not over-protective.)

I don’t think I can or should shield my kid from every bad thing in the world, and I don’t want them growing up to be scared of the world beyond their own front door. But I see nothing wrong with being cautious and aware and teaching my children to do the same and keeping very close tabs on their location. In this age of cell phones, it should be even easier to do so. And when the time comes to give my daughter more room to spread her wings away from me and her father, I hope that if a miscommunication occurs my first thought is not that she is probably making out with some guy in a car at an over-look. My girls are going to have to be very creative in order to become a negative teenage statistic. Just call me over-protective; I really don’t care.

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One Comment on “Pet Peeve #3: Over-Protective or Just Rational?”

  1. Laura Witten Says:

    At least I think that’s my blog site… 🙂

    Rational, Barb, and I’m with you. NO WAY I’m letting Luke go to someone’s house I don’t know, even for lunch, much less all night.

    Go Big Red!!!!

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