Friday, December 21, 2007

Raising Kids in Today's World

Who are kid's role models today? How many kids look towards those they see on the big screen as to how they should model their lives? Lindsey Lohan has been in and out of drug rehabilitation several times. Britney Spear's life is a mess and now her little SIXTEEN year old sister is having a baby. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie... need I say anymore?

I recently started reading the book Every Young Woman's Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World. Emily will be 12 (sigh...) in three weeks. She is in middle school. I know other kids around her are getting into the whole "boy/girl" thing. I know she is confronted on a daily basis between school, on TV or even in society with something of a sexual nature. We do not want her learning the wrong things from other kids at school, TV or just from the fear of being afraid to ask. I know to some 12 seems very young to be worry about this. But in today's world, 12 is actually late. Middle school children are engaged in sexual activities or experimenting. Middle school girls are getting pregnant. There are things I hear everyday that make me want to lock my kids away and never let them out. But instead I just pray for God to keep them safe and guard their minds and bodies from all the worldly things.

Being the parent of three children in today's world is terrifying. I worry about boys treating my girls properly and I worry about my son treating girls properly. I know the mistakes that I made in my life and I want to give my kids all the tools needed to make the right decisions themselves. I want them never to be afraid, no matter how much wine it make take on my part, to come and talk to me about anything. I have been told several times that it is unrealistic to assume my kids can remain virgins until they are married. But I honestly disagree.

Growing up I didn't understand my parents. But today, being a parent myself I understand the fears and worries they had. And looking back I made so many wrong choices. I just hope somehow we can allow our children to learn from our mistakes, but yet at the same time let them know that no matter what, we will always love them.

So if anyone has advice, please please please pass it my way. With the exception of one good friend, I have no one with kids my age. It is like the blind leading the blind here and I need all the help I can get.

8 comments:

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Hey Alexis..I'm in the same boat. I have the same worries. I hate to even think about all the pressures our kids are subject to in the crazy world. I don't really have the answers. I can only tell you what we do.

We always tell our children, "if there is something that just doesn't seem right" ask us first, and we will NOT lie to you.
Ask, ask ask...in this world you have to be your kids friend...(with boundaries!) If you ask enough they will come out and tell you.

I always pray for my child's mate(yes already)that God places them with a Christian mate with morals. I tell my kids they need to do the same.

NO dating until 17!! This means no boyfriend, no girlfreind. I'm strong on the rule. This is the one I get allot of flake on from others...but I disagree..I'm the parent!

we don't watch allot of t.v., media coverage...internet. I try to tell my kids as little as possible what goes on in this crazy world, I feel they have enough w/o all that...but I don't shelter them either.

sports and church groups(youth group)...kids have way to much time on their hands...if they are at sports and church activities the better as far as I'm concerned. Kids spend way to much time in front of computers, video games and t.v...and most of it is such garbage!

I also tell my kids they have to make good movie choices..if they are watching something that doesn't seem good, turn the channel..sex is everywhere on t.v. my friend told her daughter if it makes you blush...than it's not something you shouldn't watch:)

Anyhow I'll stop rambling..as I told you I don't have the answers..it's scary!!! I just pray all the time for my kids and as God to wrap them in His protection everywhere they go.

Merry Christmas!

Jennifer

PaulickFam said...

It is amazing that I am experiencing the same thing. My oldest just turned 13(girl). I also have an 11 year old(boy), 6 year old(girl) and 4 year old(girl). I am so very proud of my oldest, Christie. I have talked to her on many levels about her girlfriends and dating and, well, you name it. She started her "cycle" at 10 so she was plunged into the "Woman" world very early.

What I can tell you is, we have a signed contract that she can come to me, day or night, doesn't matter and talk to me about ANYTHING and my part of the bargain is, I will be her friend and listen without judging and we will be OPEN. I actually had the same thing with my mom growing up and to this day we are best friends. I am amazed at how mature and responsible she really is because of open lines.

To know that a boy has asked her to date and she told him, I will never jeopardize friendship for something temporary. When we are much older and you still feel the same way, then come see me.

Communication is the key with ALL kids. Communication with them, with your spouse, and with GOD. This has helped us through a lot of stuff and if you keep that going, they will actually surprise you at how well they can make decisions.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Angi said...

I agree totally with Jennifer. We really limit the TV/Computer/Movies they watch - keep them involved at church with youth group, etc.
An open line of communication is important too. I am learning as I go - with my 13 yr. old and 10 yr. old. Share all the good advice you get!

oh amanda said...

Oh, Lydia is only 2 and I worry about these things. I can't imagine having a middle schooler!!

Of course, I have no advice from experience. But I know that I look to families at my church, etc. who have great teenagers. Then ask them how they do it. (This has really helped me a lot already!)

And 2 books that get my mind going in the right direction...
Gentle Passages by Robin Jones Gunn
and Connect with your Kids by Jim Wideman

http://01f31e5.netsolstores.com/connectwithyourkids.aspx

Karen said...

Alexis, I am worried about this stage and my girls are 5 and nearly 2! Please post about the book when you finish it. This stage of life is so crucial--and our daughters must truly understand that we are there to listen and guide without judgement or ridicule. I'll feel some sort of success if my daughters learn that! (Well, my son, too.)

I feel like I went through the early teen years totally naive about what kids my age were doing. The thought of even kissing a boy was scary for me, yet other girls were doing much more. Thankfully I fell in with a group of friends that were not the party and sleep around crew. I credit having good friends with like values from keeping me out of trouble.

((hugs)) Good for you for looking at this head-on instead of sticking your head in the sand!

Anna said...

Dear Alexis,

I have produced an educational documentary called "Talking to wise women" that I think could be a helpful tool for you.
Talking to Wise Women is an award-winning educational series of DVD's, that creates a dialogue between a group of teenage girls and a selected group of older "wise women.” The wise women, leaders and role-models in their fields, answer questions on a variety of subjects. They talk about their own positive, and sometimes difficult, life choices, and they offer advice and guidance culled from their own experiences. This film will empower young women and it will help open and generate discussion with your teenage daughter.

The program comes in three 25-30 minute episodes.

Episode 1. Education and career.
Chapter 1: Choices in life.
Chapter 2: My dreams.
Chapter 3: How to become successful.
Chapter 4: Career and family.

Episode 2. Love, sex and relationships.
Chapter 1: Love, sex and relationships.
Chapter 2: Teenage pregnancy.
Chapter 3: Marriage.

Episode 3. Real life issues.
Chapter 1: Peer pressure.
Chapter 2: Feeling like an outcast.
Chapter 3: Suicide.
Chapter 4: Drinking and driving.
Chapter 5: Religions and Spirituality.

You can read more about it on my web-site if you'd like at: www.talkingtowisewomen.com

Best wishes,
Anna

LL said...

I know how scary it is Alexis. My daughters are 16 and almost 18, my sons 12 and 10.

Middle school is an extremely difficult time. We pulled our kids out for most of middle school and home schooled and I think they are much better for it.

Our youth group is starting out a 12 week series on Bridging The Gap between teen and adult for 13-30 year olds that I'm very excited about.

Pray. And don't stop communicating. You're doing a great job! It's terrifying, I know. But you can do this. Email me and let's talk more!