Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You really wonder?

I try not to make my blogs about highly-debatable topics because my goal is to keep this page fun, or at least entertaining. But here's the thing. Life isn't always fun and entertaining. Sometimes life is hard work.

Take parenting for instance.

I'm the mother of two teenaged kids, a seventeen-year-old son and a fifteen-year-old daughter. I love my kids and I've spent my life being a strict parent because of it. I want them to learn the value of honesty, commitment and kindness. I've always believed in treating kids like young people instead of like babies. I didn't baby-talk to my kids and I absolutely abhor those who do. We have had fun and have spent our lives laughing and enjoying what this world has to offer (something I also think is important when it comes to raising kids). I've also instilled a strong sense of responsibility in my kids.

My children have had chores since they were five-years-old: setting the table, picking up their toys...vacuuming a carpet, making a bed...learning how to do laundry, wash dishes and make dinner. I don't put the majority of household chores on them, but they do have responsibilities because I want them to understand the importance of following through with those things when they're adults.

I've also been extremely pro-active when it comes to teaching my children about sex and the responsibilities and consequences of having it. We have an open-door policy at our house and no topic is off-limits, but especially when it comes to sex. I am not naive enough to think that my kids will wait until marriage. We have talked frankly and openly about sex since they first learned about periods and wet-dreams in elementary school. I don't make it a taboo topic at our house. I'm not afraid of buying my children condoms because I believe they should be educated and prepared for whatever situations may run into.

"Oh my God! You buy your kids condoms?"

Yes, I'm that mom and if my TV Guide is to be believed, it looks like I'm the only one.

I'm sick and tired of networks like TLC and MTV giving attention to pregnant teens. When I was growing up, our teen heroes were Doogie Howser and Alex P. Keaton. Girls who got pregnant while still in high school got whispered about behind their backs, not asked for their autographs. Who do our kids have these days to look up to? Jenelle Evans and Jennifer Del Rio.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Do we really wonder why our kids have such a sense of entitlement? C'mon! There are girls who are purposely getting pregnant JUST so they can get on MTV! They're being REWARDED for being IRRESPONSIBLE! The parents may act outraged, but here's the thing - their kids are doing this because they lack the knowledge, motivation and self-respect to not do it.

Parents need to spend less time buying their kids things (like smart phones and Flip cams) and more time teaching them things (like how to prevent pregnancy and disease). Or how to write a killer essay so they get into a good college. Or how to balance a checkbook. Or how to ace a job interview.

When are we going to stop rewarding bad behavior and start rewarding good behavior? I'd much rather see a reality show about the hard work Shawn Johnson put into her gymnastics career than who Jordynellifer got knocked up by this season. Give my kids someone to look up to rather than someone who is too lazy/stupid to unroll a condom before she bangs her boyfriend in her parents' basement.

Think about it. Why would our daughters want to go through the hard work of getting a Bachelor's degree when they can just skip their dose of Ortho-TriCyclen and pocket $60k a year?

We, as parents, have to put our foot down.

And while I'm on the subject of reality tv -- Honey Boo Boo? Fucking really?


**DISCLAIMER**
I was one of those "someones" who was too stupid/lazy to unroll the condom before I banged my boyfriend in my parents' basement. I was that kid whose parents didn't have the right conversations with her. I was that kid who sought attention for the wrong reasons. I was that girl who could've fucked up the next eighteen years of two lives had things worked out differently. However, I had the good sense not to flaunt my mistakes on cable TV or let my indiscretions define me in tabloid magazines, which is why you're reading this as a disclaimer on a small potatoes blog instead of the front cover of People magazine.

3 comments:

  1. I totally & completely agree. I'm doing my best not to add to the mess. I *know* I wouldn't be a good parent, therefore I do everything I can to ensure I will not have any children. Why can't other people be that smart? UGH!

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  2. OMG!! Are you sure you we aren't twins separated at birth?? Well said!! DITTO!! To quote you, "I'm Keeping YOU!!"

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  3. Mel - brilliant post - seriously brilliant!

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