As a mother, when you first meet your beautiful baby, you want nothing more than to keep them safe. You spend your days taking care of their needs, teaching them, and loving them. There may be times that these tasks feel overwhelming, but as they grow and become more independent, it can be quite scary. As a mother, we all too soon miss the days when then needed us for everything.
I was never more reminded of this when my son casually told his father and me that he had a new girlfriend that he met in the chatroom of his favorite online game.
My first thought was absolutely not; he is too young; I still wash and fold his underwear. He still sleeps with his favorite stuffed animal on his bed. As I was pondering all of the reasons, his couldn’t be the case. I overhear my husband congratulating my son and telling him how proud he was of him. I believe I managed to mutter something of a congratulatory statement; I hope it sounded more supportive than I was feeling.
After my son excused himself from the table to play his game, he most likely spent hours talking to his new girlfriend. I expressed my concerns to my husband. I mentioned to him that we do not know this girl, we have never met her, what if she is older, or younger, or is not even real. My husband was no help. He mumbled something about how he is happy that his son is becoming a man and letting him be.
I couldn’t shake the feeling though, as I went to bed that night that I needed more information about this girl and what was going on in my son’s world.
When I woke in the morning. I decided that I was going to need to talk to my son today about everything. I had woken to realize that I couldn’t stop him from making friends and socializing online as this was just the norm for them.
First, I needed to talk to him about how he met his girlfriends and what he knows about her. I realized that this might be met with resistance, but I wanted to make sure that he realized that there are people out there that can pretend to be people that they are not.
I also needed to talk to him about what type of information he is sharing with people and the importance of making sure he was not providing people with anything too private.
I really want to know more about her and how they have been communicating, do the video chat. Is he friends with her on other apps. It may even be a good idea to talk to her myself.
Just as I am finalizing the list of things I need to talk to my son about, he walks into the kitchen and asks me if I can take him to the store to get him some things he needs for a class project.
Bingo, this car ride will be the perfect opportunity to talk and find out what is going on.