Thursday, January 24, 2013

Girls Are Girls No More

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Rearing a teenage girl in today’s world can be like navigating a minefield blindfolded. This point was well illustrated by two recent articles in Canada’s popular Maclean’s magazine dealing with the challenges facing our youth and by one middle school softball game.

The cover article from one edition titled “Outraged Moms, Trashy Daughters,”stated:
Girls are “raised in a hyper-sexualized culture replete with Bratz dolls, porn-inspired American Apparel ads, and the message telegraphed by Kim Kardashian and her tabloid-cover cohorts that a leaked sex tape is the quickest route to female success.” Snooki, the 22-year-old star of the reality show Jersey Shore, whose ambitions consist of getting drunk, vomiting on camera, and spending days in a tanning salon, is the star of the hour (Macleans’, August 16, 2010).
This became woefully apparent at my daughter’s middle school softball game. Her team was comprised of young ladies who were athletic with high grades and good behavior. Most came from families of a high socio-economic status. These girls were what the world would consider model students. However, during a weather-related game delay, something bizarre and disturbing happened.
To entertain the crowd, the operator of the public address system began pumping out music that was sexually suggestive, explicit and very inappropriate even for adults. As I began looking for someone to speak to about this significant error in judgment, many of the young impressionable girls in the dugouts, clearly familiar with the tunes, jumped up and began dancing together to the music using well choreographed and suggestive rhythmic moves that might be more appropriate for a brothel than a middle school softball game. Even more astonishingly, no other parents seemed concerned. Rather, some even joined the insanity of the moment displaying affirmation for the sexually provocative behavior of their darling little girls.
Is this the behavior we want to teach our children? Is this the way of life we want our young girls to learn? Have we considered where this will lead? Will the result be good? How can it be?
After tracking down the individual responsible for the music (one of the school’s coaches) and challenging its appropriateness, I was shocked to hear the reasoning for this madness. The coach dismissed the idea that the music was inappropriate by suggesting that different people have different ideas about what is appropriate. He also suggested that this is what children listen to and that parents should realize that they can’t control what their children are watching or listening to today.
Were these assertions accurate? Of course not! As parents, we must know what our children are watching and listening to and we must monitor the content and teach them what is right and wrong. We must set the expectations and standards by which our children will live and not blindly accept the ridiculous idea that we are not responsible for what our children do.
In an article titled “Inside the Dangerously Empty Lives of Teenage Girls,” an expert on this subject offers the following helpful advice concerning ways parents can overcome the media and peer onslaught that threatens to steal the innocence and corrupt the minds of our precious children:
Parents have this 1980’s mindset that you should give your child autonomy and independence, let your children make their own mistakes. One father said to me, “I don’t think its any of my business what my daughter’s doing on her Facebook page.” That 80’s mindset is wildly inappropriate in the 21st century. Parents need to understand it’s a dangerous world these teenagers have created … 15-year-olds are not adults, they’re not competent to police themselves, and that’s why they need adults to be engaged in their world (Macleans’, May 10th, 2010).
As parents, we need to take the God-given responsibility to train up our children seriously, and we can do so successfully by following the instructions our heavenly Parent has given us. If you are ready to navigate the virtual minefield of parenthood in today’s world with certainty and confidence, please read the Tomorrow’s World article "Why Looking Hot is Not" and order our free booklet Successful Parenting: God’s Way, and remove the blindfold before it’s too late.

Written By: James G. - Living Church of God

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