I'm doing all I can to stay informed and, at 35, I don't feel so removed from my hell raising days whereby my own experiences should preempt my kids from making some of the same mistakes I did. I vowed that I'd be honest with my children about my forays in the young and dumb club, in order to save them from themselves. And I'm always grateful that cell phones weren't mainstream when I was dancing on tabletops to AC/DC thanks to a little Wild Turkey. Nothing like a little throwback music to transport me back to those carefree days. Nowadays alcohol doesn't seem as big of a threat as the technology at everyone's fingertips.
I began my preparations for motherhood before my first born arrived in 2001. I subscribed to every parenting magazine, from the time I got pregnant until I was on my third child, and then finally gave them up because I could recite every tidbit of advice in my sleep. There were certain sections that I skipped; I think the ones divided by age in the back of Parents magazine. I figured that by the time I got to those later stages of development, a time that seemed way off in the distant future, I'd just play catch up because the information would probably be outdated by the time I needed it. And even when a neighbor told me that high school included orgy parties instead of boring keg stands, I chose to focus on my houseful of toddlers, watching Dragon Tales and playing with Thomas the Trains. Well, my day to worry has finally come and I don't think any article could’ve prepared me for hearing my son confess that he’d exchanged a nude picture.
The poem was written well before the age of technology and could easily have another verse added to it today to reflect the impact of technology on our children. By design, the combination of technology, with its instant communication, and children who lack impulse control, makes for a ready-made chain of disaster. Haven't we all clicked send or post and immediately regretted it at least once?
Society is becoming desensitized to what was once reserved for the bedroom and between the steamy, but tame, pages of Danielle Steel novels. There's no way to insulate our children from the hypersexualized environment around them. The world of twerking and Fifty Shades of Grey. I hate it. Sex is in our musical lyrics, television shows, and advertising. The innuendos are inescapable as are the images flooding our children's consciousness daily. And thank you Anthony Weiner for being a total imbecile and reigniting another discussion at family dinners when you wouldn't just go away.
Sexual imagery, used salaciously and out of context, can be dangerous. And so are situations where children are scared to communicate with their parents. I’m thankful that my children can talk to me. And so what if they say that I'm one of the youngest moms, but the most reserved. That means I’m doing something right. Now I just might go listen to a little classic rock for old-times’ sake. Thanks for reading.