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“Data Protection”

When we met yesterday with the family of a friend on their stop-over, our friend reacted quite astonished when we told him that we don’t constrain our youngest son (14) to tell us where he is going. The friend said that he is clearly expecting his sons (16, 19) to inform him or his wife about their wherabouts, and that they have to come back latest at a pre-fixed time.

Of course, they are living in a big city in Northern Germany and we in a small suburb, and there are no serious dangers around. But there is something more about it. My wife answered him: “Unlike the older son, the younger one has a great urge for freedom. When he feels restricted, he shuts himself up on a subtle level. When he feels I am trusting him, he experiences I am supporting him, and he keeps open towards me. For me this openness also in the subtle is more important than trying to check upon him. And up to now nothing has happened.”

Our son doesn’t like telling us what he is doing. When we ask him, he answers “data protection”. And when he wants to know something particular from my wife or me, we retort: “data protection”.


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