Okay, we all know that DD and I grew up in very southern communities—with the constant harping of being a ‘wholesome lady’ and always putting forth our ‘best manners.’ I attended Sunday school every Sunday in my prettiest dress and tried my dearest to take each lesson to heart. I remember the fear of going to Hell if I applied the mornings lesson to my own innocent, 5 yr old life. Yes, that is growing up in the Bible Belt. Religion by fear. But that is another blog topic that I’ll rant on later. For now, teaching abstinance in schools. Is it cool? Well, coming from a community where you were lucky to have the taboo science teacher who MIGHT slip it in during a science experiment, I think it is VERY important. Look, I get the argument. Parents have a moral responsibility and right to teach their children about the birds and bees. Well wouldn’t that be a perfect world? Wanna know how I found out the REAL deal? A girl in my SEVENTH GRADE class got knocked up and thought it was cool (as a 12 year old might) to tell us all her secrets in the girls bathroom. At that point, I certainly had not had Aunt Flo visit me yet, and was not entirely certain how the process worked. But I promptly went home and asked my Mother, who being the good Southern woman she is, gave me the details in a respectable manner. Including the discussion alerting me that I can always come to her with questions or issues, and to please please speak to her about birth control before I make any rash decisions. But, I have good parents. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for many adolescents out there. I suspect many kids these days are learning by doing. Do we not remember little Alfie and his baby mama drama? Kids grow up too fast already, so trying to shelter them from something they are inevitably curious about is probably not the wisest idea. I know that I want my own children (someday) to have the benefit of knowledge so that they can be proactive in their decisions. Clearly, I hope that my children decide to wait and make educated decesions, but I also realize that they are abducted by hormones and social pressures well before they know what has happened to them. Let’s be practical.
Now, recently I’ve taken to watching MTV’s real life drama “16 and Pregnant.” Have you seen this show? If this isn’t a case against unprotected sex I don’t know what is. This show documents the struggles associated with having a child at a young age. And it really runs the gammit with sitatuations from a couple trying to ‘play house’ on their own, to a girl who isn’t sure just exactly who the father is, to a scared youth who ‘texted’ (yes TEXTED!) her news to her mother from class—clearly she was ready. You see firsthand how their lives are forever changed (I did not say ruined, I said changed) and that they are forced to give up the glorious days of no responsiblity. Most of them won’t enjoy Prom, college romances or frat parties, skipping classes to hang out with friends, or even something as simple as a day at the mall. What’s worse, is you really see the child clinging to the forced adult. These kids aren’t ready. Many of them don’t even know what their body is going through (as evidenced by their concern of ‘how much this is gonna hurt me’ commentary). I am a firm believer in teaching sexual health in school systems, or even after school progams if the community gets its panties in a tizzy. After all, if you are a responsible parent and want to keep things on your own terms then you can elect to have your child not participate. BUT keep in mind, they WILL learn about sex and they WILL experiement, so how do you want them to find out?
Kudos to MTV for taking a backseat to glamorizing bratiness (Super Sweet 16) and documenting a true issue in today’s youth culture. I think this show could be of some value to teens everywhere. I’m 26 and married and thank my stars everyday that I have the smart Southern Mama I do, even though I know it was difficult for her.
Check it out: LET’S PREPARE OUR YOUTH TO MAKE SMART DECISIONS