First, the prize. Last week I asked you all what the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received was. One lucky commenter would win a copy of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and this morning I used a random number generator to pick a comment. It was Michelle from How to Eat an Apple! Thanks, Michelle, and congratulations! She participated yesterday in Wifey Wednesday, too. I’ll try to offer prizes more often, because I like giving things away!
Now for something not so fun. I’m royally ticked at the moment with our disgusting society. As readers of this blog know, I’m pretty picky about what media comes into our house. We don’t have cable, and get no TV channels. We only watch movies that we rent or borrow, and thus think about first. The girls listen to lots of music, but they’re very discerning and don’t listen to stuff I’d hate. The computer has controls. They’re allowed on Facebook, but I know their passwords and can see what they’re doing.
So I think I’m pretty safe.
Well, on Tuesday we went to the library and rented some Agatha Christie Miss Marple movies. Agatha Christie, people! That’s safe, right?
Apparently not. I remember all these movies I saw from the seventies and eighties that were fine, but apparently the BBC is now producing a new series that is not fine. We were watching A Pocketful of Rye, and right in the middle of it, with no warning, is a scene of a couple having sex in not exactly the missionary position. You couldn’t see body parts, but it was obvious what they were doing. It was only about a 15 second clip, but boy was it jarring.
Then the next day I got a chat message on Facebook from a friend asking me if I knew what Facebook group my 13yo had just joined. I took a look–it was one of these groups for Christian girls about how beauty is on the inside, and tell each other we’re beautiful, etc. etc. Pretty harmless stuff. A bunch of teen girls that she knew had joined, so she joined.
The group had 125,000 members.
Well, somebody decided to post some extremely graphic disgusting porn pictures on that group’s wall. I saw them; Katie hadn’t. So I made Katie remove it from her profile, and all was “well”, I suppose.
But what it reinforced to me is that I can’t protect my kids from everything. Even when I think I’m taking a ton of precautions, stuff still gets through.
So I’ve had to sit down with my girls again and have a talk about it. We’re very open in this house, so it’s not like they don’t know about things, but I don’t want them to have gross pictures in their head, or a distorted view of what sex is supposed to be. They’re at the age when they’re starting to first experience sexual feelings, and when it’s tied to stuff like that, it can do long term damage.
It’s bad enough with girls. I can’t imagine what those of you with boys go through.
Now, I know many parents who have just decided to say no to Facebook for their kids, and I understand. But honestly, it’s the only way for my girls to keep in touch with some of the amazing Christian kids they meet at all the quiz meets we go to, and they’ve developed some awesome friendships out of it. I know it has its dark side, but it has its plus side, too, and sometimes when Rebecca feels like none of her friends near home understand her, she can go online and talk and pray with someone from Florida or Kentucky and she feels much better. That’s worth something to me.
It’s all just a giant balancing act, and I guess we have to realize that a parent’s job is not only to shield–for we cannot completely shield–but also help them process things when bad stuff gets through.
I understand that. I’m just not all that happy about it!