Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Self respect - it's worth the effort

I usually listen to 105.9 during the afternoon drive home because I like their show. They have my sense of humor. Whenever commercials or music comes on, I change, because the only time I allow not singing in the car is when I am listening to Mark and Brian in the morning and the folks in the afternoon. Unfortunately, in the afternoon, their isn't much talking, and the music on that station isn't consistently good, so I guess I don't listen to them THAT much, just enough.

So yesterday apparently (because I missed the original lead-in) there was a caller, a mom, who wanted to let them know that she is raising her daughter to enjoy sex whenever she can get it, and get really good at it, because it's fun and she should enjoy life. I think her daughter is like 12. This elicited much feedback from the rest of the listeners, of course, and all of it, of course, was anti-this mom. Of course. It should have been. This mom is a whack job that shouldn't be raising kids. But truthfully, some of the feedback had me a bit worried.

I'm not a mother (to human children, anyway) and never wanted to be one. Because of this I rarely opine about how people should raise their children. But I think that when people are raising their kids, it doesn't hurt to remember what it was like to BE one.

Not in the sense of "When I was a kid my parents didn't let me do ANYthing, so I'm going to let my kids do EVERYthing". More in the sense of "When I was a kid, my parents didn't let me do ANYthing, but I sure found some ways to do it all!" Kids are crafty and resourceful - their minds are not yet jaded and shrouded in the bitterness that only "real life" produces. So when a parent says to a kid, Don't do this, it's wrong and it's bad, and you'll go to hell, and it'll go on your permanent record, the odds are pretty good that kid is going to find out just how true this advice really is. So when the callers calling to say Oh my God, horrible Skank Mom! You're teaching this girl that she is rubbish and she as well as all others should not respect her!, I think to myself, well, if the kid doesn't think sex is all that big of a deal, then maybe she won't be that interested in getting it early and often. Reverse psychology, although that's a pretty big gamble.

I have a friend who read on her under-18 year old kid's FB page something about getting some pot for a party. The kid is pretty responsible (at the surface, I mean, really, who knows? I made a pretty good impression myself back in the day..), and it was a shock to my friend, so she called her kid and chewed him out over the phone in front of his friends, etc. She called me later to tell me about it, and as much as I wanted to say (well, I DID say), Oh my hell, pot's NOTHING compared to what we were doing at his age! I knew that none of that mattered. She HAD to yell at him, he HAD to be in trouble, she HAS to be a hypocrite. Because that's how it works. You throw out some boundaries, they test them, they get in trouble when they get caught. None of this feel-good-so-long-as-your-safe-and-understand-the-consequences bullshit. Chew 'em out, take away the car, ground them, make them suffer. They'll either not do it again or just learn to not get caught, but that's life's lesson right there - once they are out in the "real world" they'll need to know how to overcome obstacles all the time (which is a nice way to say "get away with bigger, more important stuff").

But I digress. So the Skank Mom is pretty much not a great person. And her kid is going to be all fucked up in the end, no question. But I guess what kept bothering me about the other callers was the undercurrent of all of this was: Sex is a bad thing that only bad people do, and the only one who loses the respect of others when they DO have it is the girl. Talk about a double standard. I think once we start teaching kids self confidence and self respect, the rest should fall into place. Doesn't that make sense? A kid looking for love in all the wrong places is doing so because they can't find it from within. And that, my friends, is the moral of today's long, disjointed post.

Bottom line, all you people who chose to have kids, be a parent. Which means "parent". Set boundaries. Be the bad guy when you have to. Anything else is just irresponsible. Or just don't reproduce for the sake of having a mini-me.


At 11:55 AM, July 28, 2010, Blogger Theresa in Mèrida said...

Parenting is hard and apparently the official parenting manual is permanently on back order.
My take is,as parents our job is make sure our kids grow up to be fully functional adults. I also hold that we are supposed to keep them from making the same mistakes we made since there are so many more new and more novel mistakes out there to make.

According to one of my kids I was a great mom, according to another I was the worst mom ever and the third loves me but is on the fence about my parenting (leaning towards me being a pretty good parent). The proof will be in how they live their lives.

So who know? As for the crazy lady, who knows what she really meant? Maybe her mother told her to close her eyes and think of England? So she is going to go the other direction.

I have no idea what my point is exactly except if you make false statements to your kids, when they discover the truth it puts everything else you have said under suspicion. Kids need parental guidance, you can become friends with them after they become adults not when they are kids.


At 3:15 PM, July 28, 2010, Blogger Marita said...

I'm glad I'm not a parent to humans either.


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