Shelter or Safeguard
Who are we protecting?
Maybe instead of blaming society, the media, rappers/singer's, lyrics, language, videos etc. and how our youth is being misled or influenced by these so-called 'role models', we should find images that are more positive, people, and topics to debate and discuss rather than the ones you keep trying to stifle or censor. If you're worried about your children and their development and their values and morals...educate them and instill them in them before the world does and you can leave the choices and decisions our children make up to them-along with the blame. I don't blame my parents, anyone, or anything for the mistakes or choices I've made or make. I had no internet, cell phone, or cable television, and grew up listening to K-Earth 101. (oldies but goodies)
Sheltering me and 'protecting' me from the ugliness and outside influences only left me vulnerable to the predators and the harsh realities of this world. Our responsibility to our children is to guide them and raise them...educate them and above all else, love them. We owe it to them to be honest with them. This world is filled with ugly people, that do ugly things, say ugly things, and the images and examples of such behavior are everywhere...hiding that from them or them away from that, seems a greater injustice than pretending or convincing them that life is a fairy tale.
As a victim of rape and molestation, I would have rather learned that there are those individuals that sought to do me harm from my parents, than to learn about them from the sick individuals that sought to teach me their version, their way. I don't blame my parents...because in those days they did not know any better...maybe because their parents had done the same thing with them...Who knows? I cannot speak for everyone; I can only speak to my own experiences and my own life. I am not judging or passing judgment on any one for how they choose to raise their children-it's not my place. I only know that despite our best intentions and efforts, despite our own ideals, values, morals, beliefs, and or upbringing, we cannot control every aspect of our children's lives, anymore than our parents could control ours.
From the music they listen to, the clothes they wear, the role models they choose, to the things they believe-it all still comes down to one thing, and that's agency. (choice) I was raised by 'God fearing' parents that loved me...I learned about prayer, faith, honor, integrity, and was taught to respect authority-which I did. Unfortunately, not all authority figures (role models) turn out to be who they profess, claim, or portray...too bad I learned this lesson the hard way-by experience. Perhaps if I had, I might have spoken up sooner, and stopped another child from learning the way I did.
This is why I made the choice to be open, honest, and frank, when my children came to me with whatever questions they had about sex, as well as any other topic they wished to share, discuss, or talk about. I am not sure it is the right choice or not...there are those that believe that I robbed my children of their childhood by sharing with them adult issues that they would learn for themselves in due time. They may be right. I can only say and speak for myself, and the truth of the matter is, I feel and felt my abusers robbed me of my childhood. I know more children that learned about sex from magazines, movies, internet, and or friends, than from their parents. I felt hearing a verbal and 'clinical' version, from me, might be a healthier way for my children to learn about these types of issues. I also felt it was important for them to know what was done to me and how manipulative and cunning abusers/predators can be and are, and how the process of ‘grooming’ works, by using shame and guilt as a means of maintaining and keeping their ‘secret’. I hope by sharing with them they can be spared the shame and pain I was forced to endure. My goal and hope is to educate and warn them about predators, to stop the cycle of abuse, rather than having it done to them, and wishing I had spared them the pain of learning it firsthand. As I said, that's just me. Then again, I am not exactly the 'ideal' role model. This is why I hope my children do exactly what so many of us mumbled and said under our breath, thought, or swore at some point, about or to our parents. "When I grow up I am going to be nothing like you."
One can only hope.