Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Man, parents are opinionated, huh...

There's been a lot going on in mom and dad blogs lately. Lots of letters to our kids.

Here's this one, Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you, which reads in part,
"...If you ever even consider doing something like that, I promise you that I will run up and twerk so you will see how ridiculous twerking looks. I will duct tape your mouth shut so your tongue doesn’t hang out like an overheated hound dog. I will smack any male whom you decide to smash against his pelvis – after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public..."
Then there's this one, Dear son, don't let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you, which reads,
"...I’m no feminist. Miley Cyrus is an adult and should be held responsible for her actions. But where are the men in all of this? Have we so completely given up on chivalry that we don’t even see what’s troubling about a GROWN ASS MARRIED DUDE singing a song about sexual domination while dry humping a young woman on national TV? Men in this culture need to stand up and be leaders. I don’t want to talk about the Miley Cyruses of the world. Enough is said about them. I want to talk about the legions of cowardly, amoral adult men who graduate college and still carry on like frat boys well into their 60′s. The girls that behave like Miley Cyrus do so because they want to attract men. And it works..."
It doesn't stop there. How about this mom who's upset with all the teenage girls posting half-dressed selfies which are sexually tempting her teenage boys? Check out this excerpt from FYI (if you're a teenage girl),
"...We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that. I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra. I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know...And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts...I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that’s just the way it is under this roof for a while. We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls..."
It continues. Here's a rebuttal to that one called FYI (if you're a mom of teenage boys),
"...I get it – you’ve seen all those shameless hussies putting their pictures up on Facebook how our culture exploits women’s bodies, right? I can’t help thinking that maybe I’ve failed by trying to raise a son who respects women regardless of how they’re dressed.  Clearly, I should have been protecting his eyes.  I should remedy that.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize.  If you are the parent of a teenage son, you should definitely make sure he never, ever sees a half-dressed girl.  Half-dressed boys are okay, though, because naturally, none of your sons are gay or bisexual.  Posting half-naked pictures of your own sons flexing on the beach is also totally fine, since no one ever equates strength and virility.  We all know that unless we see a penis, it’s not sexual anyway.  Besides, it’s not at all exploitative to parade their bodies on the Internet for your own gain; everyone knows that’s much better than making one’s own choices about what to post..."
Well, here's what I have to say. Can we please stop shaming our children and shaming each other as parents? If you're a parent you know PARENTING IS HARD. Dealing with daily homework and activities and making sure our kids eat well rounded meals while hoping to sneak in personal hygiene for ourselves (I haven't washed my hair since Monday, I think, and I'm wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday, which I also slept in) is hard enough without even beginning to tackle the countless moral issues, bully problems, blended family issues and the devastation our children feel as the result of our terribly selfish divorces (please note the sarcasm in the last example). 

How about we all take a step back and stop being so opinionated about how others are raising their children, or even what overprivileged celebrities are doing in the media and just focus on raising healthy kids? There are certainly parts of each of the above blog post I've cited that I TOTALLY agree with, don't get me wrong. I've even posted my fair share of my opinion of Miss Miley's recent display on my facebook page. But Miley is a grown ass girl and can make her own decisions, and so is Robin Thicke, and I happen to like both of their current hit singles actually. And as far as raising self-aware and self-respecting young men and women, it's going to take a lot more than blocking certain friends on their facebook pages or internet to teach them to respect the opposite sex and themselves. I'm curious as to why any children this young need social media profiles in the first place, but that is YOUR choice as a parent, not mine and I said I thought we should keep our opinions out of this.

I think the real answer is in emphasizing to our children their own worth and beauty. I know for myself I am able to see everything more clearly in the light of God's love and grace and acceptance of me for who I am. When I know how precious I am to him, I can see how precious others are to him as well and it helps me treat them better.

How about we focus on who are children are and teaching them about THEIR worth to us and to God? I think this will clean up a lot of these other problems, including our own shaming of other parents and others' poor choices, don't you?

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

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