Friday, February 4, 2011

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll in Vestopia?

Well we've hit that part of parenthood where your kids get influenced by all kinds of things outside the walls of your home and you pray that so many of the things you've discussed and prayed over actually "take". Having two teenagers down to a 4 year old runs the gamut of parenting skills and we can only pray we cover both ends of the spectrum as best we can and mix/match where necessary. In the past week or so, we've covered ground on underage drinking, drugs, and inappropriate sexual overtones here in the land of Vestopia.

Last weekend B went to her first Sadie Hawkins dance at the HS and there was plenty to talk about afterward and the days to follow. Apparently a 9th grader was inebriated or pretending to be or wanted to be or... the stories and explanations ranged all over the place and spanned several families in the community. Regardless of the "real" story it made for some interesting discussion with our teen and tween for several days.

Pot was a hot topic the week prior to the dance as a middle schooler (7th or 8th grader) was tossed from C's school for attempting to sell some to a classmate. Thankfully the shocked and responsible classmate alerted an administrator. As is often the case, C's classmate (who actually had no idea what to do with it) obtained the pot from an older sibling, who probably really didn't know what to do with it either but was attempting to be cool or who knows what. The girls just rolled their eyes and said with that tone and disdain only a teenager can pull off, how stupid. As in, if your gonna do that, you don't bring it to school, duh! Just kidding on that, but their duh and stupid antennas were on stun when discussing the incident.

I get copies of all the girls incoming emails and I occasionally flip through them, especially when I don't recognize the name of the sender. They're not really emailing very much, but they're so stinking active on FB it fires off email notifications in rapid fire. I can always tell when school is over in the afternoon because the FB email notifications from both of the girl's accounts begin to light me up! Anyway, one name caught my eye as unfamiliar and I began to flip through some of the many FB wall postings and comments. While I didn't see anything totally out of bounds, there were a few things Melissa and I would deem inappropriate for a young lady to be reading/discussing. That lead to a discussion on appropriate language and comments with sexual overtones with our soon to be 13 year old. We were able to have a candid discussion with her about this "friend" and our thoughts about it. C befriends all sorts and we certainly encourage her to reach out to those around her and be a good witness. We didn't want her to un-friend this person and dissociate with her, so we worked on some possible solutions and what she might be able to share with her friend about some of her FB activity.

Thankfully we were able to have pretty candid and frank conversations about all of these situations with the girls, and do so from what we believe was a Gospel centered approach. While not always comfortable and sometimes awkward, so far so good in covering these topics relatively openly with the girls and so far it's "taking". I'm thankful for where we live for the most part as other parents in the community approach many of these topics similarly, and their kids will speak up with their parents when they see things out of alignment with the Gospel and how they believe Jesus would have them representing themselves. But even in Vestopia things happen and I pray we'll be able to continue discussing them and working through them with our kids and a correct Christian response to these situations.

What "earthly" situations/incidents have triggered those around the table discussions with your kids lately?

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