Friday, April 25, 2008

Mother's Day Box.. Sweet Pea...

I put my favorite quote about mothers inside this box.. It reads, "I remember my mother's prayers.. they have clung to me all my life..." Abraham Lincoln
It's been listed this morning in..

The O'Reilly Factor For Kids...

I picked this book up at the library thinking that it might have some good information for me as a parent. It did not. And, I was very put off by O'Reilly's style. For example, in the chapter about teen sex he does hit on all the dangers, pregnancy, disease, being used, but stops short of just saying, "don't" because he says, "As for me, I not going to tell you to avoid sex, because in the end you will do what you want anyway."
Sex is a bad thing for teens. They are not emotionally ready. Sex is not about loving another person at that age, it is about exploiting another person for pleasure. And the dangers that O'Reilly lists are real and they have life long consequences that sometimes filter down through generations because teen pregnancy is a quick short cut to real poverty and all it's many problems.
Drugs. Again, O'Reilly lists all of the dangers, but stops short of saying, "don't". I can see his angle. Present all the evidence and treat teens like adults who can make decisions for themselves.
I think that's fine, but kids should hear a firm "don't" from adults they respect. For one thing it gives them an excuse. My dad used to say that if I ever felt uncomfortable in any situation, I could call home and he would come get me. I probably would have felt that way anyway, but it was good that he said it. I will say that to my daughter. My dad also said that if I was ever asked to do anything that made me uncomfortable I could blame him, "Aw shucks! I'd love to, but my dad will get really mad!" I've already told c to say, "I can't. My mom's so mean.. she'd ground me for a year!"
Have you ever heard a successful adult say, "Gee whiz, I wish I had experimented with drugs as a teen"? No. That alone qualifies drug experimentation as a "don't".
I talk to c about sex, drugs, child abuse, divorce, drinking, smoking and all the rest. I am NOT one of those parents who is afraid of these subjects. I was at first, but I found that c was already hearing things at school and now she brings up the subjects most of the time, which is great. 3 isn't too young to tell a kid you don't want them smoking. And, "Don't" & "Absolutely Do NOT" are words that parents and leaders who love kids and teens are comfortable with in their vocabulary. They may not take your advice, but if they know how strongly you feel they just may and avoid a lot of mistakes in the end.
Skip this book for teens and go with, "Way to Be!" by Gordon B. Hinckley who was never afraid to say, "Don't!"