Sunday, July 5, 2009

Living in a PG-13 World

You can't run, and you can't hide.

If you have children, you've probably been where I've been: in the check-out line at the store - the ONLY line without candy or chips - and you find yourself face-to-face with the giant words "SEX" and "ORGASM" and "PLEASURE". And please understand, usually I'm all about getting sex, having an orgasm, and feeling pleasured. But I'm not so comfortable discussing it with my 8-year-old son at 2:15 in the afternoon.

Nothin' better than unloading the shopping cart, trying to keep cold foods together and cleaning products together, when your child's voice pierces your concentration with, "Mom, what does it mean to do a 69?"

I have seriously thought about what measures I would have to go to in order to keep my children from being exposed to everything and anything before I'm ready for them to see or hear it. Go Amish? What about Mennonite? In our society, no longer are the parents the ones who decide what their children should see or hear. Now we are at the mercy of television, print media, radio, the internet, and even school.

What is the big deal about letting a kid just be a kid? Why are department stores selling midriff-bearing t-shirts and low-rise jeans for girls in size 8? Does an 8-year-old really need to show her belly button? Why is it so popular and acceptable to have cartoon characters on TV being disrespectful to parents, teachers, and policemen? When did we (suddenly? gradually?) become okay with society dictating to us how we should be raising our children?

It's getting harder and harder. Now my kids can read so I can no longer assume my kids don't know what Cosmo and Glamour say. And really, I want my kids to ask me questions and feel comfortable doing so, but I guess I'm just not ready for someone else to decide when I have to have that conversation.

And is it just me, or does anyone else think it's a little bit freaky that the sex-ed class at school keeps being bumped earlier and earlier. When I was in Junior High, we had health class and the "here's what happens to your body" talk in 7th or 8th grade. NO discussion of oral sex, condoms, or STDs. Now, I've heard that all those topics and MORE are discussed in 4th grade for girls, 5th for boys. My daughter is going into 4th grade in the fall and she is very much a mature but innocent 9-year-old. She just told me the other day that she still likes to watch Sesame Street. So having some teacher who she met 2 months previous tell her all about fellatio? Aw, HELL NO.

I guess I better go dig myself a giant hole and climb in if that's the only way I can escape it.


McVal said...

Name me one current kids movie that doesn't have the lead girl disobeying her parents! Or trying to teach her parents a life lesson...
To this day, the following movies drive me nuts.
Little Mermaid - disobeying parents
Cinderella Story - nasty stepmom
Raise Your Voice - lying big time to parents because the ends justify the means.
Parent Trap - Good one - but still lied to their parents to get what they wanted.
Mulan - disobey parents and encouraged my son to tell us that we aren't the boss of his life at a very young age emulating that movie.
Mary Poppins - insinuating that someone who doesn't know your family at all can come in and tell you how to raise your children... This one is a personal tick off for me...
Oh boy... don't get me started... Oops! Sorry!

HaB said...

Clothing is what pushes me over the edge. I am by no means a prude, but, I don't think that my 2 year old, yes, my 2 year old, should have the option to wear low rise, hipster bikini underwear. That was one of the panty options to choose from as I was buying panties to start potty training.

Ugh! I realize that I am going to have to answer questions and probably some hard questions - but, wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to do is so dang early in their lives? And, wouldn't it be nice if society was just a wee more helpful and in tune with good ole fashion family values?

Wendy said...

Oh, boy. Are we there! When Dolly went from a size 6x to a size 8, suddenly everything is what he call "ho clothes". And we aren't having any part of it! Luckily she isn't all into fashion, not that much.

However, she has had some interesting questions about sex. How does a 2nd grader know to ask, "okay, so if I'm married but don't want babies yet, does that mean I can't have sex?" Seriously. I am not talking about birth control with a 2nd grader. Sigh.

Wendy said...

Regarding McVal above....

My hubby noticed that MANY of the "kid shows" and even adult sitcoms show Dad as the buffoon, whom everyone ignores, while Mom is the wise one who should be obeyed. No way! Even several Disney shows do this, and (say it with me) ... we ain't having' it!

Jennifer said...

You know what I detest.... Commercials. HATE them. Becuase even if it is not a show or movie you would allow your child to watch the commercials are still explicit enough for them to pick up on the theme. AND they are shown during regular shows that you would allow your kids to watch, like American Idol. Especially commercials for horror movies. My daughter is still asking me if a bug will crawl up her nose because of that Drag Me to Hell (or whatever it is called) commercial for the movie. It just makes me so angry.

Karly said...

It is absolutely out of control. The clothing, the television/movies/commercials/music ALL. OF. IT.

My son seems so sheltered and immature compared to the 3 public schooled neighbor boys who are his age, so I just can't even imagine the way I'd be feeling if some strange lady (okay, so his teacher) tried to talk to him about sex. No way. No freakin' way.

Anna See said...

Ugh, Ugh, Ugh! I can relate on on of these levels. My year old was trying on clothes and said, "It's not very modest, Mom. Here's another shirt that shows my nipples." Eek.

jori-o said...

Yeah, my daughter is tall for her age, so finding age-appropriate clothing is a DISASTER! And yeah, all the media...sigh. As parents, we really have to put our kids in some mental armor to go outside.

Heather said...

Well said!!! Oh how I hear you - I could've written this, because I've been thinking the SAME thing!! My six year old, going-into-first grader can now read *very* well - it seems overnight she developed the skill from using her finger and sounding things out to just looking and reading. And yes, I've now had her ask me what does X or Y mean because she's read something off the cover of Cosmo or a tabloid or heck, even something like People or Us, in line at the store. *shudder*

Bad enough she was being teased on a playdate the other day because she told her friend that the "D" word and the "S" word are "bad words" that we don't say. For the record, she was referring to "dumb" and "stupid" but her friend (who has older siblings and I guess is a bit more... "wordly") *knew* what the "real" D-word and S-word are.

I worry on the one hand about my kid being "too" innocent for today's world, but at the same time you can bet like heck I'm going to do all I can to protect her and keep her innocent!! Ugh!

Oh and about clothes? Besides the "hoochie" clothes they're selling for younger and younger kids (I saw shorts with "Cutie" written across the rear. On a size 5. For kids. EW!), how about the bathing suits?!? I don't think a six year old needs to be dressing like a Victoria's Secret model to go to the pool....

Like I said, well said!

Mommymel said...

That's IT! I'm Homeschooling!
IT does drive me nuts, and make me want to chain my kids in a basement till their 20. I thought I was the only one who thought the message in Little Mermaid and other Disney movies that promote disobedience to parents is ridiculous.