Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

This morning, I was finalizing an article for MomsGetReal about mSpy Spyware before the kids left for school. Parker was sitting next to me on the couch (I work in the living room when they are home in the mornings because they like me being nearby). I asked him if he would be bothered if we could read all of his text messages and see what websites he went to if he had a cell phone. He said it would be “creepy” which immediately found its way into the blog – at which point I looked at him and said, “Is it ok if I include that?”

Yes, I write about my kids a lot – sometimes about things I’m sure my nearly 13-year old son would prefer didn’t hit the Internet. But I do have a rule: I don’t quote them, I don’t write about them, and I don’t use pictures of them that they don’t give me permission to use. And, they have the power to say no, no guilt added.

The cool thing is that we’ve been writing about the kids since Anika was four months old. For 2.5 years from 2002 – 2005, the kids’ lives were documented weekly in a column in the local newspaper. In small town New York, when your parents faces are on the front page of the lifestyle section of the paper every week, everyone knows who you are. Everything from our consternation over Derek getting a driver’s license to Parker’s potty training moments hit the paper.

So, they’re used to it. And they say yes. And as they’ve gotten older, they’ve seen the benefit of our open conversations on MomsGetReal and DadsGetReal about everything from sexting to bullying to allowing individuality to why it might be ok to listen to Marilyn Manson.

There have been moments we haven’t shared, out of respect for our kids’ feelings, but for the most part, by sharing the experiences we have as parents, we help other parents know they are not alone. And that’s pretty cool.