So, this past Friday night, Corey was pondering what we should do as parents in our approach to our teenagers. In a recent conversation with one of them, it was shared that the boundaries we put up make it seem like we think they are bad kids, with them protesting that they're not! and how they just want freedom and trust from us. For example, they are not fans of Net Nanny and they get a little irritated when it makes the internet slower or won't let them open certain safe websites sometimes when they're trying to do their homework or the blocks we put up on other social sites they use. So Corey was thinking, what can we do to help them know that the boundaries we put up are not cause we don't trust them or think they are bad, it's just to keep them safe and to help them learn to use their time wisely and resist temptations. So, pondering this, Corey picked up the March Ensign (the monthly magazine for the LDS church) and opened it up to find this article that was totally inspired ~ a story about President David O. McKay's horse Dandy:
But Dandy resented restraint. He was ill-contented when tied and would nibble at the tie rope until he was free. He would not run away; he just wanted to be free. Thinking other horses felt the same, he would proceed to untie their ropes. He hated to be confined in the pasture, and if he could find a place in the fence where there was only smooth wire, he would paw the wire carefully with his feet until he could step over to freedom. More than once my neighbors were kind enough to put him back in the field. He learned even to push open the gate. Though [he often did damage that was] provoking and sometimes expensive, I admired his intelligence and ingenuity.
But his curiosity and desire to explore the neighborhood led him and me into trouble. Once on the highway he was hit by an automobile, resulting in a demolished machine, injury to the horse, and slight, though not serious, injury to the driver.
Recovering from that, and still impelled with a feeling of wanderlust, he inspected the fence throughout the entire boundary. He found even the gates wired. So for a while we thought we had Dandy secure in the pasture.
One day, however, somebody left the gate un wired. Detecting this, Dandy unlatched it, took [another horse] with him, and together they visited the neighbor’s field. They went to an old house used for storage. Dandy’s curiosity prompted him to push open the door. Just as he had surmised, there was a sack of grain. What a find! Yes, and what a tragedy! The grain was poison bait for rodents! In a few minutes Dandy and his companion were in spasmodic pain, and shortly both were dead.
How like Dandy are many of our youth! They are not bad; (see kids, it's not cause we think you're bad, you are not bad!) they do not even intend to do wrong; but they are impulsive, full of life, full of curiosity, and they long to do something. They too are [restless] under restraint, but if they are kept busy, guided carefully and rightly, they prove to be responsive and capable; if left to wander unguided, they all too frequently violate principles of right, which often leads to snares of evil, disaster, and even death.
So we decided to keep the blocks up and the Net Nanny installed and are glad that we don't need to feel guilty about supposedly not trusting them. They agreed that this story was a perfect example of how we both feel and so are glad to all know and understand that this is not a trust thing. We parents are just trying to make sure you all don't wander unguided. And it's also not cause we think you're gonna kill yourselves by using groupme or anything. We do want to make sure you don't waste too much time on it though. We're all on the same team, be patient with us as we figure out how to parent in this digital age, and we'll be patient with you as you try to survive the teenage years in it!