How do we as mothers know when to give our daughter her space? And when to get more involved – to gently, but firmly press her for more details and make sure we know the whole story?
For example, you ask her how school was today (right?).
Sometimes school was just “fine” today. That’s actually it. She’s tired. Let her crash.
Sometimes there’s a deeper story waiting behind the crossed arms, or behind the busy distracted thumbs scanning Instagram — or whatever social app is hip right now, this week, at school.
How do we as mothers know the difference between our daughter’s privacy, and, well, frankly… dangerous secrecy?
Dangerous is a big word — and we want to be careful about how we use it in a media culture that looooves to spin towards negativity. However: the truth is that when the adults don’t know how and when to step in, and when teen world gets out of control (the blind leading the blind), well then, yes, it can be dangerous.
Today we’re diving into the difference between privacy and secrecy, and how, as a mom (and as a woman) you can learn to trust your instincts — knowing that there is never a secret that is actually FUN to keep from mom (read: secrets make us feel awful).
Click the video below to watch.
Even if “secrets” don’t feel like they’re an issue for you with your daughter, there’s a golden nugget for you in this episode on the sacred nature of privacy. It’s also about how we can sink into have gosh darn good it feels to have our precious and healthy boundaries up (whatever age you are!).
Once you’ve gotten a chance to check out the video, leave a comment below —
Do you know the difference between privacy and secrecy with your daughter?
Share your answer below — because collective wisdom rocks, and we want to hear your take. We need each other, mama.
Sil & Eliza
So when your intuition radar is going off, and you sense secrecy and you see stress, what’s the best way to get your daughter to open up without causing a big rupture by “intruding”?
Good Question Kathy! Love that you know that your intuition radar is going off and that you are clear about what you are sensing. What does that same mother’s intuition tell you about how to get your daughter to open up? (Hint: maybe she wants you to “intrude” even though she doesn’t know it consciously. As you say, it is stressful for anyone to hold a secret (especially a kid.)
Feel like my daughter is being sneaky with her social media I have limits set but she is always asking for more time. She will use friends phones to log on to her accounts. This behavior shifted as she entered 8th grade. She has a BF who snapchats her all the time. She says she wants to only be with friends, and we (parents) are too needy. It is really hard to navigate this social media, if I check all the time I feel like I am invading her privacy yet I need to make sure she is being safe. We are supposedly the only parents that set limits but I just can’t stand her being on her device so much. Would it be too harsh to get rid of snap chat? Also most of her meanness is directed at me (mom) I am really trying to be non-chalent but she is so hurtful these days. Thanks.
Hey Liz, I so got your concern, hurt and frustration! It is so challenging raising kids in a digital world when they just aren’t developmentally ready.(Like 8th, grade, for instance) How old is your daughter now? I have some ideas…
Liz, you are NOT the only parent setting limits 🙂
I have similar question. I’m not too concerned about invading my 15yo daughter’s privacy, but I don’t have time or ability to oversee/investigate everything she’s doing. Also, my technology learning curve is greater than the younger generation. Suggestions? I’ve barely figured out Instagram and they are onto Snapchat!
I am in the same boat as Liz and Michelle. How do you set social media/texting limits and engage constructively so that your daughter doesn’t feel like she is losing her privacy? I don’t think my daughter is being secretive yet, but I expect that she might as she gets older, and I want to help her make good choices when it comes to social media.
Hi Deb- Thanks so much for joining the conversation! I feel that your best bet for setting social media/texting limits and engaging constructively so that your daughter doesn’t feel like she is losing her privacy is to keep your bond strong and your communication open and effective. That is why we devote a whole chapter in our book on communication that both Eliza and I wrote. As your daughter gets older, it is not inevitable that she become secretive with you. There is a good Facebook thread in our private Mothers Facebook group where mothers are discussing this very topic. If you are on Facebook and want to be part of this discussion, you can join our free Mothering Summer School at: motheringanddaughtering.com/summerschool
Hi Sil and Eliza
Thanks for this video – it is such an interesting topic. As you know I recently posted about this on the Facebook page and felt very supported by you and the other moms. Social media is a whole other arena. I do set limits too although I am not sure they are enough. For example, I don’t allow any devices in her bedroom after 9.30pm (Anji is 14 yrs old and entering High School in Aug). This is now a little challenging as she does not get tired until late (around 11-11.30pm) and likes to listen to music (which I do approve of) so she turns her Wifi off at 9.30pm and draws in her room with music. I am not 100% sure she adheres to this but I think she does most of the time and I am trying to trust her more (bit by bit). During the day, when she is not out with friends she watches Netflix and there have been many a moment when I wanted to cancel my sub but she then just goes in you tube. I feel somewhat frustrated with both the internet & phone providers and companies like Netflix who do not provide us parents with the ability to control or limit access times to Wifi.
She tells me I am also the ONLY parent who limits screen time which I do not believe. I also periodically go through her phone. She knows this and I have found some quite shocking stuff which we have discussed however mostly I am OK with what I am seeing for the moment. I tell her I can respect her privacy however part of my job as her mom is to keep her safe, and because she is 14, she may not realize what is unsafe sometimes.
Anway thanks again for this circle and community! It is so good to not feel so alone in this magnificent and challenging endeavor!
I am so appreciative of your insights and your commitment to setting limits with your daughter. You are an inspiration to us and our mothering circle! Love, Sil