Recently there was a blog that went viral on facebook written by a mom of boys addressing girls and their attire and lack of modesty.. in a paraphrase... I read it and was impressed by the moms convictions and stand for her family... I scrolled over the photos she had posted and didn't really pay attention to them at all.. until I started reading the comments... and MAN were there comments! this well meaning mom trying to make a stand for her boys, family and morals was attacked due to the photos she chose to publish in her post.... I scrolled back up to check out the photos and then read more comments... then I read her response in the comments and she was really humbled and explained what her post was about... it wasn't merely scantily dressed girls... emphasis on the term GIRLS ... it was the sexy bedroom selfies that girls take and post and have no real idea what they are doing.. at least I don't think they fully grasp what they are doing and how very dangerous it is!!
Read the blog here! make sure you read some of the comments as well.
I am not really wanting this to be a dissection of her post ... but these are my thoughts about the topic that I believe does need to be discussed and as a mom to 4 girls opposed to her being a mom of 4 boys!
Today's teens have access to the world! I have actually blogged about this before! where my generation was really just impacted by our immediate community today's teens have world wide access carried around with them in their pockets no less! they can be reached and effected by others far more reaching. On top of this glaring fact we also are a society that seems to be becoming degrading more and more every year!
When my mom was younger Elvis Presley shocked parents and was censored on TV due to moving his hips for the world to see .. I say world but really I mean 1st world nations... A sign of teen rebellion included a tube of hair gel and a leather jacket!! (ok I know I am simplifying here but you get my drift.. I hope!) ...
When I was young Madonna hit the scene... parents were outraged! including mine when tunes like "like a virgin" and "like a prayer" came on Much Music ... we wore cuts in our shirts, showed a little bit of shoulder, wore loads of jelly bracelets and had BIG bangs!! Things were definitely becoming a lot more "sexy" then my parents generation!!
Now my girls are teens and they have the likes of Miley Cirus and twerking is all the rage .... sex sells and is in our face 24/7 and our moral compass seems to be nonexistent! Try to find a modest outfit for your teen girls to wear?! let me tell you it's a challenge! what parent in the last 3 generations has been able to control what their teenagers wear?? so on top of that gigantic challenge there is the fact that most of the clothing out there is inappropriate to say the least!
We are facing more challenges raising today's teens then ever before! I dread to think what my girls will face one day! pop culture seems to rule the day... community seems nonexistent ... families are broken more then ever ... "busy" doesn't even seem to be the word to describe the typical family and ALL their activities and weekly schedules ... and top it off with technology that is growing leaps and bounds by the day and access to God knows what is in our children's eager to learn hands.... and we need some major help!!
So what do we do? first of all I love Mrs. Hall's post b/c it is a dialogue that needs to happen! the fact that her point was missed due to some pics of her boys without shirts on on the beach and seen as a double standard... is absurd to me!!! total side bar soap box moment here but really if you look at other countries who do not look at the body as we 1st world nations do begs to differ the argument that men cannot "unsee" sexy images... I once read a book when I was breast feeding the girls called, "So that's what they are for", the author stated that if you walked into the maternity ward in India where women were breast feeding their babies they would scramble to cover up .... not their boobs!! but their heads!!! it is our culture that has sexualized the human bodies to the level it is today! Look to other countries where they walk around naked or half naked ...... it is our culture and society that has made things so sexual ... at this point I don't know if there is any going back?!
I think it starts in the home ... but I believe we need to understand that our "home" is larger then our 4 walls.. the world has become smaller and we need to know our children's business... that in itself is a challenge, as I know for me, my girls, have this belief that they are entitled to privacy... and in fact that belief is ingrained in our children by our new morally deplete society. We seem to have lost our sense of community and village and we as parents are fighting to stay in the drivers seat of control over our families... children now have more rights in schools then teachers... children have more rights then parents.. now I understand that abuse happened and things needed to change... but lets be real!! the pendulum has shifted way too far and children have more power then they are able to handle.
We have many conversations in our home about modesty and what boys think and about being responsible about what message they are sending out ... sometimes I think they hear and sometimes I think it falls on deaf ears... doesn't mean I stop trying or talking and I know to them it seems like nagging but that's my job and I take it seriously!
We try to monitor what the girls watch on tv... for instance they are NOT allowed to watch the grotesque show "family guy" in my house... but I know that rule does not follow them where ever they go! I put restrictions on the level of movies they can rent... but again they go to other peoples houses and the rules do not apply! now having said that as teens we were very restricted in what we could watch.. for instance when Dirty Dancing came out we were told we were NOT allowed to see it ... we ended up secretly getting to the video store and renting it anyways!! ... where there is a will there is a way and sometimes the forbidden becomes all too alluring to resist.
Kids are smarter today... mine figure out my passwords like nobody's business and most of the time I cannot remember them.. I have become password challenged!! :)
We try to have as many family meals as we can! I think having dinner together and family time everyday is soooo important... but this is a challenge and my girls are not even in organized sports this year!!
We have a pretty open door policy! my kids friends are very welcome here... and man do they feel welcome! we seem to feed quite a few of them on a regular basis and some friends show up and hang out even when my girls are not home!! I would rather they be here where I know where they are .. most of the time.. then out who knows where!!
I am open ... I have always enabled my girls to talk to me ... to share their feelings with me.. now I wish they were more respectful in their sharing sometimes :) but they do talk to me and I think this is huge! I know I don't know everything... but I do believe they tell me enough so I know where they are at and what they are up to!
I have people I trust speak into my girls lives ... I have a huge family and now with my new in-laws which is the biggest family I have ever known... and the girls other side of the family ... they have a ton of people who love them and have the ability to speak into their lives. I have told my girls that if they cannot talk to me about something they can speak to one of them and I don't need to know... just want them to be able to share.
I try to lead by example. Even in my mistakes I try to teach them... cuz I have and will continue to make mistakes.
I am constantly thinking of what more I can do... of how to protect them and guide them... of how to raise them to be in right moral standing even with the pressures and decay around them. How to be IN the world but not OF the world.
It is my life's greatest challenge.
What are some things you have implemented in your family?
What are your thoughts on today's society and the impact of pop culture on today's youth?