When I look at the word young I’m reminded about the Rod Stewart lyrics to Young Turks, specifically lines one and three: Billy left his home with a dollar in his pocket and a head full of dreams and Patti packed her bags left a note for her mamma she was just seventeen. This song was about us, me. It was the attitude we carried and had about being and living free and being in love with self, others and life. Until we had to grow up and face the real world.
In writing a post about Santorum and porn, I wasn’t able to completely write everything that was on my mind. As a father of two children, one boy, Miles and one girl, Alana, it’s a difficult job to guard our children from every harm.
Change is inevitable, generations change or do they? The 60s was the experimental decade: hippies, free love, communes. I remember as a young boy sneaking into my uncle’s stash and reading his Pictorial and Players and Penthouse magazines. Today it’s all at the fingertips of children everywhere, it’s readily available. I used to tell my kids to order the Happy Meal, meaning enjoy your youth and in time you can move up to the larger menu items. I told them …don’t rush to get old, it will be here before you know it.
Guarding them from movies, music(it’s all out there) is a challenge for parents. What lies underneath is the word desensitized. I have the fortune of having both a boy and a girl. I have to teach my son how to treat women and I have to teach my daughter the tricks of young men. As I mentioned, I wrote a bit about porn. Porn of all kinds desensitizes how young people today view life. Once upon a time my daughter wanted to watch the horrible teen soap opera, Degrassi. Before there was an agreement, the show had to be seen through adult eyes. It was horrible, the underlying theme was the kids knew more than the parents. It made parents look narrow, unresponsive and immature. That sinks into the psyche of young kids.
Next we have to deal with music, there’s not much for young kids to listen to that presents anything positive outside of gospel music. Growing up we had to listen to our parents’ music. Today the kids have a plethora of music to choose from; created mostly by them. I used to check my daughter’s playlist and the trash she was listening to. My son, on the other hand isn’t a music fan per se, his iPod is mostly jazz. Believe me, he’s looked at as peculiar for his taste in music.
Then there are social networks. All these things desensitize our young; it lowers their resistance to temptation as being cool or uncool. It’s important that our young not watch porn, it goes against the mores of what a loving trusting relationship should be. It simply shows acts of willing participants involving themselves in willful acts that aren’t necessarily reality or real life. Overall it’s unhealthy.
Music works similarly for both, but mostly for girls, only because girls generally don’t watch porn like boys. Again as parents we teach and show our kids right from wrong. We are to train them up in the way they should go and believe in our ability that we did the right thing. We only have to look to ourselves and laugh, we had to grow up and get involved in this thing called life. We can’t be too dogmatic, they’re going to make mistakes; we are there to help soften the blow. Look at us today, I think we turned out okay.