When did we trade our Barbies for thongs?

    Save a Virgin

      So much to rant about and so little time….

          Remember the old days? When kids were kids as long as possible and the idea of growing up was a threat we gave to our parents? I do. I was innocent for a long time. I remember finding out about sex from my cousin Terry. I thought she was lying. 

          I was 12 years old and we had just come home from watching a Pink Panther movie (Peter Sellers not Steve Martin. With all due respect Mr. Martin, Peter Sellers rocked!) We were in the kitchen of our house and we were talking about something or nothing like kids do. And she blurted it out. I think it had something to do with the topic but shock and 30 years have erased the context of the conversation. I remember the shock and disbelief. The worst part was that I had nothing and no one to corroborate her assertion. 

          So, why the walk down traumatic memory lane? Paul and I have been having discussions concerning the change of society and how our cultures define our experiences. (We’re really deep, I know.) In our day, we could play outside without fear of abduction. We understood physical activity without specifically defining whether we were doing cardio, resistance or core training. We played. We would jump and run and scream without the need for replenishing electrolytes or checking our heart rates. Sports were fun and not a means to an end. And for most of us, puppy love was fleeting and a cute memory. 

          I am truly concerned with the permissiveness of our culture. We have made boundaries so lax that innocence is confined to infancy and experimentation is the norm. The children are bombarded with sexual images and pressure to be in relationship earlier than we ever were. Parents are forgetting that movies are rated for a reason and excuse a campy comedy as having undertones that kids will miss. Parents, if you learn anything from these posts it’s that KIDS MISS NOTHING! They are picking up innuendos and double entendres but lack the foundation to understand the full meaning. They want to experience things earlier to be part of our society since we place so much value on things like sex, drugs and maturity.

          One of the areas of permissiveness is obviously sex. We have redefined sex to be intercourse and everything else seems to be free game (thanks President Clinton!) Even though the average age to lose one’s virginity seems to hover between 16-17, many kids are engaging in oral, anal and mutual masturbation at a much younger age. Then you have same sex experimentation which has taken on a life of its own. In the old days our sexual confusion was something we worked out in our little heads. Now, because of confusion and poorly defined boundaries, you get to sample the faire. However, for many people, that sampling becomes a source of shame and guilt that affects future relationships. It ultimately exacerbates the confusion because, if you haven’t noticed, sex feels good. Sexuality isn’t about what type of sex makes you feel good; it’s about who you relate to. 

          You have Katy Perry singing “I kissed a girl” but forget that she sleeps with men. It’s become passé and normal but those images stick to our kids. I am not saying anything about homosexuality. I’m talking about BOUNDARIES!  They have made girl on girl or guy on guy action a punch line which must be a kick in the pants to all the brave men and women who have worked for equality. There struggles for justice have not been a joke or a dare. For them it’s for keeps. I respect these individuals and know when they see kids “playing gay for a day” or telling people that they are bisexual at the age of 15 (duh, we’re all bi at that age!) that its like having insensitive people go to Black History Month events in black face.        

49 comments

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  • ruby

    Lee- I totally agree with you, as a mother of 6, 3 girls and 3 boys, I worry so much about all the sexuality there is in schools, tv, movies..etc.. as moms we have to step it up a notch and hope that out raising will instill in our girls great morals and good decision making. Thanx for sharing youre blog and have a great week!!

  • I agree! I was raised so that I couldn’t date or talk to boys on the phone until I was 16, and I thought I was going to die! I have 3 kids… ages 14, 12, & 9. I have to enstill values, morals, and self respect in them. It’s hard but it’s worth it!

    Visiting from ML. Congrats on being featured!

  • Susan

    Gone are the days when a teenager was scared straight due to the Roman Catholic background. I was of an age, I was scared because sex was sinful, I didn’t want to get pregnant. If I had ever had sex and gotten pregnant, I couldn’t get an abortion because that was a sin and murder, at that. Plus, I feared getting a reputation for being loose. Fear and loathing really worked for me! Ah, Catholic guilt!!! 😮

    • I don’t know who I was more afraid of, God or my Mom. I think it was my Mom. Ah, latin kid fear!

      • Susan

        Then I wasn’t worried about parental wrath as much as societal condemnation and personal shame! I don’t wish all that on my kids; it was a lot to live with. (I have since dealt with many of these issues.) I now recognize all those things for what they functioned as for me: Structure. Even if negative in nature, it did keep me in line then!
        I think providing structure for children, in the form of rules, morals, etc. is one of our most important jobs as parents. It gets harder to do as they get older. And I think there needs to be a more defined line btwn being a parent and being a friend to your child. My 17 yr old daughter and I love to do things together, talk, etc. But I reserve the right to make decisions for her, to always be her mom, providing the structure and love she needs. Working these issues out with my two boys, 14 and 10, should be interesting over the next few years!

  • Peggy Gorman

    Let kids be kids ! We all know that they will explore .trying to fit in ,finding who they are,its called growing up. Kids are getting so many mixed messages today,its sad. Parents have to listen to the kids , I mean really listen to your kids.
    Set goals because kids need to keep working towards it to feel good. I also made them responsible for their actions.
    Sex is a hugh part of a teens life,they are thinking about because they are curious,acting on it is totally different.Sometimes its all about allowing your child to talk to you, just listen!

  • dolls123

    When I was in high school my dad told me “I’m always watching you” so its sorta hard to have sex if you think your dad is watching. Back then fear worked !!!!

  • Congratualtions on being featured and a wonderful blog post. I am a mom to 3 teen boys and society has changed so much. I was raised Catholic, so there was that guilt, yet I was much more terrified of my mother. I was not allowed to “date” until I was 16. My sons do not date and when there are dances at the school it is more of the norm for them to go as a group of friends rather than paired off, to which I am very grateful. My husband and I work hard instilling values, not fear, into our sons. Even though at times they do not seem to be listening, I know they hear us.

  • Although I have always wanted a daughter, apparently the powers that be thought differently. I am pretty thankful that I have a son. In many ways I was appalled at the girls that would call the house asking for him and their sense of entitlement was alarming, to say the least. He was way less mature and quite innocent compared to these lovely young ladies. Sorry to say, I couldn’t keep him innocent for long, but now he is in a long term relationship with his live-in girlfriend and I couldn’t be happier about that. Now my next worry is for my nieces and nephews coming up the pike. I pray for my sister and my brother. I wish them much luck and patience as they enter the mine fields of parenting a teenager!

  • Heather

    Very insightful. Thank you for sharing.

  • It really makes me sick seeing the kinds of clothes that are marketed at children, like slutty low cut tops and short shorts. And don’t get me started on those Bratz dolls! I still can’t see why parents buy that stuff for their kids. Thankfully I have a son (for now), so I may be naive in thinking it might be a little easier when it comes to those kinds of things.

    It is a shame that there seem to be no mores about sex anymore. My friend’s daughter (who’s 5) actually said asked her mom if she was sexy (not that she may have known what that means, but she’s definitely heard the word).

    As a teen, I lightly experimented with sex, but nothing like what goes on now! And I can say that there were no same-sex things involved. That was just considered gross and a sure way to get a bad reputation in my small town.

    Great post!

  • Deb Hartigan

    I couldn’t agree with all of you more, it’s frightening out there. I am so glad that my two boys are in their 20’s and some of the stress has been lifted. It still bothers me though that TV and movies make light of all of these topics on programs that are obviously made for teenagers. Parents really must be very diligent when it comes to what their children are exposed to and where.
    Great blog by the way.

  • Karen Koval

    I saw a shirt in the store this morning that said “Heart Breaker”, the sad part was that it was sized for a girl about the age of 6. Maybe if we can get parents to ban this clothing by not buying it they’ll stop making it-just a thought. I loved your blog.

  • grams

    I agree, I hadn’t even heard the song about kissing a girl until my 4 year old granddaughter was singing it. Can’t believe the things she comes up with. How is she going to learn decent morals when her parents don’t seem to have any? That’s why I like to keep her with us as much as we can.

  • I couldn’t agree more. Today’s society is so geared towards sex sells that many parents overlook way too much. I have tried to instill in my daughters that values are important. While we have not had the “sex talk” yet, I am not looking forward to it. I just hope that I can get my children to understand that their bodies are the only things in this world that are trully theirs and not to let anyone else tell them otherwise. Sex ed in schools is starting sooner and sooner, which is scary. Society makes being a parent harder and harder.

  • Kim Allmon (kima86)

    Thanks for sharing your observations with us. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a 43 yr. old mom to 2 adult sons (23 & 19) and am thankful that they weren’t the target of marketing that’s geared toward girls. Some of the mainstream clothing for teenage girls (well, for elementary aged girls for that matter now) wouldn’t even be allowed when I was growing up. Thankfully, my boys have grown up into very respectful young men and treat girls with dignity and appreciate them for who they are as a person. It’s hard to raise kids in a society that seems to be slipping away from family values and havng to take responsibility for your own actions.

  • Having raised 2 teenagers, I couldn’t believe how early they learned what certain words meant and what certain actions were. They weren’t even teens yet and they understood these things. I was so glad I didn’t have to deal with daughters in this day and age and luckily, for me, my sons didn’t get involved with girls until the end of high school.

    However, I don’t believe there is anything you can do to keep them away from hearing and seeing everything. Forget R movies, its all on TV nowadays and everyone talks about it. All we can do is talk to our kids and hope they will won’t make mistakes.

    • Thank you Kim. As the Mom of two young boys I’m terrified to see what the product of all this socialization will be in terms of the dating pool for my little guys.

    • Very true. I also tend to have straight talks with my daughter. It drives my husband nuts and he sticks his fingers in his ears but I tell her how it is. At 16 in Miami, she is an innocent that is easy prey. Thanks for stopping by.

  • kathy

    Great post!

  • marlo

    I so agree with you on everything. Why don’t parents take charge over their kids? I watch mine like a hawk,especially when they r watching movies and tv.

  • TMR

    VERY insightful, thanks for sharing!

  • TMR

    Second try at posting. VERY insightful!

  • This is so on target, our world seems to thrive on sensationalism and the more raunchy it is the more people want to buy into it. We have to worry about our kids in ways that were just
    rarely heard of back in the day, pedophiles, child abductions , abuse at the hands of teachers. priest, family and friends, its just never ending and yes our kids are being pushed to grow up to fast, its really sad because you only get to be a kid once and it passes way to fast, Good luck with your books!

  • I couldn’t agree more with your views on the mixed messages that our children are receiving from tv shows, songs on the radio and the media in general. It is up to us to carefully monitor what our children see and hear and it starts at home. That being said, as a mother of 2 girls (9 and 6) and a boy (almost 3) I am constantly bombarded (and shocked) by stories that they share wth me about what they hear from their classmates at school, a catholic school at that! They come to me for answers, to clarify why, for example, their 8/9 year old friend would say that they hate a family member because their mom had said that he cheated on his wife! Talk like this clearly comes from what they see and hear at home;from being exposed to what is obviously “adult only” conversation. This unfortunately creates a trickle-down effect and then other moms and dads, like ME are left to answer really tough questions. Now I know that this comes with the parental territory but other parents are really slacking on this!!! Keep your children innocent for as long as you can….and really be aware of what they are being exposed to whether it be a program on tv or a conversation you are having in your home. Children are aware of everything!!!
    Keep it comin’ sistah! Lovin the Blog as always,
    Mari

  • Teresa Toten

    So true! So true! When I was growing up, things were so care free and Barbie did not have the sexual impression on me that people seem to think about now. Thank goodness I have boys now!

  • I read your blog post and i’ll say it and say it again. I absolutely hate what society is doing to our children, mine are all under 10 and know too much already. I’ve had to explain things to them that you shouldn’t have to explain to children so young. We long for the days of simplicity, but they are so long gone and they continue to get farther away from us as things around us grow worse.

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