Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Be a Parent Or Get Rid Of the Dog

"He's hot!" says our eleven-year old.

"He's hot!" says my cousin's daughter. She wanted me to be her wingman and fall out in the halls of ICU.

"He is smokin'!" says my neighbor's six-year old.

"At your age, aren't they supposed to be cute?" I ask.

Our culture's preoccupation with sex and bodies has permeated the minds of our youth. Do little girls even dream of white picket fences anymore? Or do they think just as crudely and temporarily about boys as boys tend to think about girls? Is this what the Women's Rights Movement was supposed to accomplish?

Or is it some twisted sense of empowerment that says, "However base your thoughts about me, it gives me power to think the same way about you"? After all, we are supposed to empower our daughters, right? Is empowerment being just as wrong as "the other guys?" Why is it wrong for men to treat women like sexual objects, but it supposed to make our girls stronger to do the same to men? If children who grow up with abuse, abuse younger siblings, is that empowerment? What if they abuse that parent when he/ she ages, refusing to feed them or provide proper care? Is that what we want?

And what about "hook-ups"? I was sexually abused. As I reached adulthood, my attitudes about sex were warped and my actions casual. In my mind, "Do unto others before they can do unto you," was the safest and truest aphorism by which to live. But I was broken! I had been hurt and was self-medicating -- breaking myself even more! And yet, children today are growing up with the same set of ideas without the catalyst. Or maybe it's just not the same kind. Maybe it's not abuse. Maybe it's indifference.

My sex talk consisted of me, sitting on the floor in front of the TV on a Saturday afternoon (most likely watching Dr. Shock), my mother handing me the Childcraft Encyclopedia open to  "Reproduction," and telling me, "If you have any questions, just ask." She then walked upstairs. Well, I'd already had The Talk -- twice, at two different schools. I'm sure my mother held her breath for, like, the next twenty years -- "Please don't ask; please don't ask." But all of that was basically the physiology. Until parenthood, I'd never realized how much everyone had left out.

When school's began lobbying for the right to teach sex education -- "So they won't be learning it on the streets, you know" -- that DID NOT absolve parents. Physiology. Morality. See, two different things. They're not even spelled the same way. Instead, we have a bunch of sexually informed, but morally deprived children running around. Listen, I'm not real keen on schools handing out condoms or birth control, but that aside, I DO NOT want my local public school teaching morality without me at least, getting a say in it at home. These schools were never established to substitute for parenting, but the more we expect them to, the more they will!

Turn that garbage off when you're driving along. Forget DVRing that crap! Pay attention to what she's wearing when she goes out. Meet his friends. Ask questions. And if you don't like the answers, do something about it. We prioritize being "politically correct" and curbing our dogs, but shouldn't we be giving some thought to intentionally raising our kids? If you can't do all three, forget being popular, and leave the dog with a friend! An entire generation+ is running around with some very twisted and flat out wrong ideas about their bodies, relationships, strength, protection, adulthood. Good kids with bright futures are out there floundering in a sea of trial and error.

The next time your child says, "He's hot!" ask her exactly what that means. I'd love to hear.
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