Luv Doc: To Search or Not to Search?
How did you fail so spectacularly as a parent?
Dear Luv Doc,
Every morning when I go to wake him up, my teenage son's bedroom is locked and there is loud metal music playing. I always have to knock several times to get him to open the door. He doesn't look like he is doing drugs, but he's always kind of sweaty and grumpy. Should I do a room search? – Metal Detector
Whatever you do, MD, don't search his room. There is probably some seriously unsettling shit in there that you don't want to know about. Trust me; I used to be a teenage boy. You may think, "Oh, there's probably nothing in there but a few old issues of Playboy with the pages stuck together," but you would be wrong. The last time a kid masturbated to a Playboy magazine centerfold, the centerfold actually had pubic hair (and for everyone under 40 who reads this column, pubic hair is what grows out of those scratchy bumps you get when you miss your waxing appointment).
Kids nowadays can masturbate to a mind-boggling smorgasbord of Internet porn in dazzling 1080p HD, which makes masturbating to print the equivalent of getting a hand job while wearing an unlubed condom. Of course, this doesn't mean that kids don't occasionally wank it old-school; it just means that when they do, they're doing it ironically – like when they wax their mustaches or listen to Skynyrd on vinyl. If for some reason you actually do find a Playboy in your son's room, it probably just means that he's selling it on eBay. Vintage bush is really hot right now.
However, as I stated earlier, I don't recommend you go rooting around in there – at least not without prior consent. Why? Because whatever you find in there you're going to consider to be a direct reflection of you and your predilections, attitudes, and beliefs. And that, as we both know, is one hairy Pandora's box.
Will you find weed? What did you do to drive your kid to drugs? Craft brew? What did you do to turn your kid into a beer snob? Infowars? What did you do to make your kid paranoid? My Little Ponies? Yeah, you get the idea. There's also a chance you could find a rotting corpse (didn't know what to do with that squirrel he killed with a slingshot back when he was 10) or an undocumented illegal alien (how many times did you force him to watch E.T.?). Or worse, what if you were to find out that the metal blasting out of his room was just a cover for watching Glenn Beck? How did you fail so spectacularly as a parent?
My advice? Don't go snooping, or you will fail even more spectacularly. Talk to your kid. Honestly tell him your concerns – even if it's just that Slipknot is all right, but they're no Lamb of God. If you can't manage a little honesty, why should he?