Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I found out that my 15 year old daughter has a girlfriend. I can’t let her know, because to do so would give away that I was reading her tumblr, and that’s sort of like reading a diary.
So I’m pretty cool with it all… I’m not going all psycho “Oh no, is my daughter really gay? My life is over!” melodramatic or anything. (I honestly think she’s just in an experimental stage, and even if she’s not, I’m not freaking out. She is what she is, and I happen to think she’s really awesome.)
The problem is this: her girlfriend also has a tumblr and posted a photo of herself kissing my daughter. She also talked about her beautiful girlfriend using my daughter’s real first name. So there are photos of my daughter kissing “Beth”, along with my daughter’s first name on “Beth’s”tumblr.
A tumblr is totally public. Anyone can see it, and follow their way from one to another like I did. I am worried about someone from their school finding it and potentially making her life difficult, but I can’t really discuss it with her without letting her know I was cyber-stalking her. Help!
Troubled by Tumblr
First things first: I’m thoroughly relieved to see that you are approaching this situation with an open mind, love, and acceptance. Without those ingredients your task would be even more daunting and problematic. (As if dealing with a teenager of any kind isn’t daunting and problematic enough to begin with.)
That said, I think you have answered your own question here. Her tumblr account is public, right? So, why should you feel ashamed that you TUMBLED upon it? (See what I did there?) This can actually be a really great teachable moment for her when it comes to online privacy and safety. For us parents, it’s easier to see the dangers of the online world, but for our kids, who have grown up entrenched in the culture, it can be more challenging to gain that perspective.
But before you proceed with a plan, I think there’s one question you need to ask for yourself: is it really her online safety that you are concerned with? Or do you feel that you need to reconnect with your daughter in light of this new information? Maybe it’s a bit of both? Because I think the answer to that will dictate your next course of action.
My worry is that there is the potential of distancing your daughter if she feels judged or manipulated. In other words, if she is self-conscious about her sexuality, we don’t want her to think that you are using “online safety” as a front for discouraging her homosexual PDA.
You know your daughter better than I do, so you will be the best predictor of how this discussion might go. If you still feel uncomfortable, or simply want some support through the process, don’t hesitate to seek out a family therapist for some further guidance on the issue. They may even have some insight on this generation’s need to ELIMINATE VOWELS FROM WORDS WITH WILD ABANDON.
Keep us posted,