When Our Parents Become Children

"Don't Talk To Strangers!"
 
This is one line that will take all of us back to our childhood days. Something our mothers  used to repeat on countless occasions. Yesterday, I found myself in a weird reversal of roles where I was telling my mom that she should not be talking to strangers online and she was demanding the reason for  my apparently outrageous restriction.

My desperate  pleas of  " its dangerous"  and "its not safe" fell on deaf ears. She probes me further on my displeasure. When I tried to tell her that, she might get conned or cheated of money, she nonchalantly replies, " I have no money to be cheated off". I glance to my left at my dad who had just woken up after dozing off while watching the TV and was beginning to pretend to be irritated at both mother and son for disrupting his TV time, in a bid to get us both to quieten down.

I glared at him and yelled, "Appa!!! Can you tell your wife to listen and not ask 101 questions?" and stormed out of my house. Why couldn't she just listen? What was up with the endless questions? Why was there a "why" to everything? Urgh!!!

As I tried to make sense of what had just happened, it finally dawned upon me. The child has become the parent. What used to be me questioning my mother for the rationale and explanation of every rule and instruction she had imposed during my adolescent years was biting back at me.

Back then,  " I'm your mother and I know what is best for you" was constitutional law that could never be challenged.  It irked me that I did not have this weapon to  get my mother to simply listen to me.
 

I had to think of a way to get my mom to listen to me.
Well, to be honest, she was not committing a sin.  At the crux of the matter, she was just making a new friend. But the fact that this was an online friend who was based in another country was just setting the alarms bells ringing. Perhaps the fact that my mother is on Facebook and is crushing candies all day long is just disturbing me.  Am I being paranoid? Perhaps I should just trust  her and keep a distance.

When I was exposed to the internet during my secondary school days, I quickly learnt the golden rule. Do not get caught surfing porn by your parents. It was a test I survived, unlike many of my peers who were blessed with tech savvy parents, unlike mine.

Now that she has self-taught her way into this world via her iphone, I do feel feel the urge to supervise and monitor. But with  any stubborn teenager, I know she is not going to make things easy for me.

May God help me !


 

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