As a Step Mom, my role in disciplining my Step Kids has been different with each kid and changed as the kids have grown. The biggest change has been with my Step Daughter Little Hart. She was just two years old when we moved in together and is now almost fourteen. In Little Hart's younger years the bulk of her care fell to me and so did the bulk of the discipline. We were very close during that time - it was a natural fit.
When Little Hart entered the teenage years, my husband took over the reigns of outlining and enforcing the rules of our house and the rules we have partnered with Greta as universal between households. When Little Hart asked to have a Facebook page, it was at an younger age than her siblings which gave us pause.
After conferring for a period of time, we agreed that she could have a page, but under certain rules. If she didn't like the rules then she could always choose to not have a page. The number one rule - Little Hart had to be friends with a parent who would monitor her page. If at any time the parent felt anything inappropriate was posted - it would be immediately removed at the parents request and restrictions would be discussed in using social media - possibly losing social media privileges. She agreed to the rules without complaint.
Although my role in disciplining had evolved to lesser level, I was designated as the "Facebook police." Mostly by default. Neither Raylan or Greta had a page. I had become accustomed to consistently checking in on Jax and Elle so adding Little Hart seemed easy enough. I had never had an issue with either of them! It seemed like an easy enough gig to add Little Hart to the mix. Until last week that is...
I couldn't believe my eyes last when I looked at my news feed. Was I reading that right? Little Hart had posted something inappropriate. After conferring with my Hubby about the post, I called and asked her to delete immediately. She initiatlly responded with I didn't write it! In a calm manner I responded - Doesn't matter - you posted it. Please remove! She did.
A few days later, Raylan, Little Hart and I were watching a movie. I felt prompted to check Facebook - at the top of my news feed Little Hart's most recent post. Another inappropriate post, this time written in her own words. Without stopping to think or consult my Hubby sitting next me I acted as I would with my own child.
I firmly asked Little Hart to remove her latest post immediately. She curtly responded it's just a joke - don't get your panties in a wad! Without even knowing what the post said - Raylan jumped in with authority - it's not funny to the people who are reading and if this is what you're going to post online - you won't be using Social Media!
Raylan handled the bulk of the conversation about the post. When we finished - Little Hart crying got up from the couch - Hubby looked her in the eyes you can cry and pout all you want, but I'm not budging on this issue EVER!
Little Hart went to her room - screamed at the top of her lungs - then called Greta. She wanted to vent about just how wrong it was for Lisa (Step Mom) to force her to remove a silly joke off Facebook and for involving Raylan in this meaningless situation. Of course, Little Hart conveniently didn't share the details of the post with Greta- as she knew her mother would not approve.
Without knowing what the post in question said - Greta immediately called Raylan. Greta's demeanor was to support not criticize me or Raylan. Specifically she didn't want to undercut Raylan's authority by picking up Little Hart as she had requested. Raylan shared with Greta the details of the post. She was in agreement that it was a problem and was grateful to me for being on top of the situation.
Greta's response was not typical of the bulk of our 13 year relationship as Mom and Step Mom. Although my relationship with Greta has grown in recent years - I had no idea how she would react to my bold action. It was a gut reaction that I didn't stop to think about how Greta would take my actions until she called - then my heart dropped!
I believe Little Hart called her Mom hoping to play off the tension that had exsisted in our earlier relationship - shifting the focus from her actions to me overstepping my authority. Raylan seemed to get a free pass in this scenario - even though he handled the bulk of the discussion about the post. Thankfully it didn't work and a strong message was sent to Little Hart - her parents(bio and step) were united!
Greta thanked me in person the following day for my vigilance in monitoring Little Hart's online activities and jumping in when I needed to protect Little Hart. She supported my actions and told Little Hart she did as well.
Greta's support or lack of support wouldn't have changed how I acted instinctively, but it felt validating to know - she understood why and how I did what I did without me having said a word. Another positive to our new relationship.
Although I have taken the bulk of the anger from Little Hart from the Facebook situation I was thankful to know that my Hubby and Greta had my back when I acted out of love to protect a daughter that we love.