Monday, January 19, 2009

Here I was struggling with what to blog about, given I don't blog much lately and it always seems to be dull 'life' updates. Then I went and read Dana's Birds, Bees and Purity blog and got all opinionated and such (uh oh). Dana attended her churches healthy sexuality conference with her son. Brought back memories of taking Dude to this with his mom and the unrealistic expectations that goes along with it. What a waste of energy - all so a bunch of "Faithful to God one day a week every other month and all major holidays" parents can give themselves a false sense of security as they stick their head in the sand. These are the same folks that end up being appalled at all the other kids' behavior and proudly proclaiming their children don't behave like that.

Dana provide the 'Purity Pledge' that churches have kids sign - goes hand and hand with their abstinence only approach. I have to say I find the 'Purity Promise' list infuriating. How many of the parents having their kids sign this ridiculous document by these rules? "Mr. Smith - you think this list is so important to little Joey, how about you and the missus model that lifestyle for him - American Idol, Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy are not considered God honoring shows." Guess what - even when you do not want your kids to see something (like the SAW movies) they see them at their friends house anyway.

I prefer to speak to my kids openly and honestly about what they hear and see, whether it be Family Guy, South Park or other "objectionable" material. Amazingly enough, my 11-year old daughter was able to decide/determine on her own that these are not appropriate for her and we discuss it. She is not an adult and I do not treat her as such but I do not pretend she is in 1st grade either.

Same with my 15 year old son. We talk about sex and drugs - even when he acts all embarrassed and grossed out with his dad. I discuss with him my challenges and mistakes I made at his age. Granted, many times it is not a discussion, more of me talking and him grimacing, but I do know some of it does sink in.

I hope it is this way with Babushka's 13 year old son, although I respect her view and would never take an approach with BuddyLuv that she was not comfortable with.

Being a teen today is tough with all the dangerous behaviors being glorified. I prefer to discuss these dangers in real terms in hopes that it helps him when faced with these tough choices. They still may make a bad choice, but at least he is not burdened with some unrealistic expectations placed on him by hypocritical adults whose words have been "you can't watch this or do this but leave the room so you don't see us doing it" which reinforces to all of these kids that it must be something fun and we should try and do it but never tell our parents about.



Dana said...

For the record, although I will ALWAYS encourage abstinence as the ideal, I will also(and have been) address safe sex issues.

For every of the Purity Promises on that list, I wrote a Purity Promise addressing how *I* as a parent, will support my son's commitment.

I speak openly and honestly with my son regarding abstinence AND safer sex practices, and I lead by example.

I do believe there is a logical way to integrate a full spectrum of knowledge.

Big Kahuna said...

Dana - I applaud you and the manner in which you support Cam with this. This is the kind of 'walk the talk' support that I do admire.

I was not trying to sound negatove (although sometimes I do fail at that) I just see to many parents (ok - my Ex-Wife) who take a do as I say not as I do approach. Kids see right through that.

Thanks for you viewpoint and clarification!

Vixen said...

I really liked what you said here and as a parent of two (three including PC's son), plan on taking the same approach. I believe in honesty and providing them with the information and knowledge they need to make good decisions.