Teaching self respect to our children....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, May 3, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    There was a disturbing story in the paper this morning. A young man (still in his teens) having made too many babies hired a hit man to kill his yet unborn child being carried by yet another young woman. The child died & 2 young men are heading off to jail.

    Having said that, how do we as parents teach our young women that sex isn't a game. Having babies isn't the answer to all their problems? Having sex will not necessarily guarantee a life long love or relationship?

    What hits home with our difficult children that if you have sex you'd darned well be ready to be a parent?

    In the same right, how will young men learn to keep their pants zipped? How do you teach them that young women deserve respect & in turn, they need to respect themselves? That hopping from one young lady to another, making babies doesn't prove your manhood?

    What am I missing here?

    I'm fighting hx with my tweedles. A hx of sexual abuse - a cycle of looking for love in all the wrong places. Sex seems to be an acceptable behavior in young teens. Teen parents somehow see romance in having & keeping their babies - even though they are in no way ready to parent.

    Again, what am I missing?
     
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hi Linda, I have that same questions as you do. There seems to be a growing trend (and I can't help but wonder how much "hollywood" has to do with it) where today's generation seems to believe that having a baby is the ultimate way of proving one's love. It's not enough to be with one another or say "I love you" anymore. I mean look at how many 'famous' people just move from one partner to the next and have a baby with each one? Ugh - it's sickening. They have babies like it's nothing, show no respect not only for themselves but also for the life they are carrying and bringing into this world.

    What a sad story. We can only do the most work on those within our circle and *hopefully* make an impact.
     
  3. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    I'm just winging it here but I think it all comes down to self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem. I had none when I was a teenager and although I was fortunate that I did not get pregnant until after I was married to my husband (married at 19 however), I slept around to feel loved. Actually tried to get pregnant to stop a boyfriend from leaving the country at one point.

    I think these days kids need to be taught how to set goals and expectations for themselves. They need to be kept busy and interested in extra curricular things. Challenge themselves.

    We try here to not push the "hollywood" garbage. We don't buy teen magazines or push certain clothing. We encourage for them to have their own style. Encouraging independence, that they are capable to do anything on their own.

    I think to with most families having both parents at work, there is a lot of kids home alone more so when we were younger.

    I don't really have an answer to be honest and with a hx of abuse I can only imagine how much harder it would be.

    So many kids struggle with their self-image that they jump at anyone who makes them feel good.
     
  4. I don't know what the answers are either but I'm glad we're talking about it. I was a very young mom myself and difficult child's dad is actually 2 years younger than me. I'm terrified that difficult child will repeat our mistake.

    The story isn't surprising. I heard the number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. A lot of men out there don't want to have kids or take responsibility for their actions. I shouldn't pick on men, a lot of women are that way too.
     
  5. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    not having a teen yet but with-a media just hell bent on sexualizing everything(can i say i hate the bratz dolls!) you have to start young. i tell my son to respect women and i tell my daughter and son that their body is a gift from God.

    with hypersexuality being a possibility with-the bipolar we are making sure we take every opportunity to discuss what is appropiate and what is not. we also monitor what they watch but know that our biggest problem will be what info they get from other kids(already been an issue with-friends with-older siblings).

    this goes along with-all those party girls(britney, lindsey, paris) and their wgt. i have to tell my daughter that how you look is not what matters but the kind of person you are and that those girls must not like themselves very much!
     
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Lordhelpme, I second your nomination. Those Bratz Dolls are the worst. I am not too fond of Barbies either.

    And I agree totally with what the girls are seeing: what kind of "role models" exactly are Lindey, Paris, Britney? The Olsen twins? Anna Nicole?

    I am dating myself here, but I watched Raven Simone grow up from when she was a little minute on the Cosby Show. I have to say that she is the exception to the rule. She never sold out. She never got trashy. I think she is a good role model for girls.

    But I digress. Pixie is 6 and in Kindergarten. She told me the other day that "Emily and Eric had sex".

    !!!!!!!!!

    Eric is 5, and Emily is 7. and I KNOW Pixie has no CLUE what having sex means. But she HEARS it. And she reapeats it. Dang it, she is supposed to be SKIPPING ROPE!!


    ARRRGH. Sorry bout that. HAd to vent. I'm done.
     
  7. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I see two issues here. One is glamorizing having babies alone or very young. I think we can only educate as much as we are able to do that the reality is very different then TV and movies show.
    The second issue causes me even greater upset and that is the lack of value some of these young people place on life itself. I understand fearing your parents, I can understand wanting to pretend a pregnancy isn't happening but I can't understand putting a baby in a plastic bag or throwing the poor thing down a trash bin.
     
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda,
    That is such a sad story. I know I worry about difficult child when he gets older and we are trying to teach about respect but he seems to have so little. He does the "humpy" dance-drives me nuts-it's from some song he heard from kids at school. I've tried to tell him how disrespectful it is and inappropriate-doesn't seem to sink in.

    With easy child the fashions drive me nuts. Last summer she got so mad because I wouldn't buy her the short shorts.
     
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    on the other hand Rae Caruth, the NFL player ( tried in 2000) hired a hit man to kill his unborn baby and girlfriend. girlfriend died, baby is brain damaged, alive. He's in jail, but obviously he had activities, and the whole world at his fingertips. I think sex is a reality in teens of all walks of life. And we should all reinforce throughout the kids' lives certain things they need to know. Respecting themselves, etc....consequences beyond pregnancy even, and what toll will be taken on the rest of their lives. I don't know how to have these conversations with my own kids who are 13, 15, and almost 20. The values should have been instilled in them long before now. We should show them what can happen, tangible examples rather than parents yakking away. I also think the media portrays these rediculously revealing, no-hold-barred, fashions, and outragous celebrity antics that kids want to emulate. (You would be shocked at how some elementary school kids dress)Reading this over, when did I get this old???-Alyssa
     
  10. mattsmom27

    mattsmom27 Active Member

    This is such a difficult topic because I don't know if anyone has the answers to this. From what I see, the situation with our young people is becoming more difficult each generation. It is sad what I know goes on with the kids in difficult child's classroom, these are grade 8 kids, 13-14 years old. Very little these children aren't involved with of a sexual nature.

    For me with difficult child I think he is very scared of getting a girl pregnant. He will not admit that he and his g/f of 8 months (now ex) had sex last summer. I know because of spyware on the computer. They had sex one time. Several weeks later they had a silly fight and broke up for a weekend. She claimed she was pregnant (meanwhile a few days before fight had her period and had to go home for clean clothes from school). Something I think triggered with difficult child. They never had sex again. He had another g/f very briefly. She was a virgin but her friends in class weren't and because she knew difficult child had sex with previous g/f assumed she would too with difficult child. difficult child refused and told her that he was stupid to have messed around with ex that way, even though ex lied about being pregnant, it scared the jeepers out of him. Of course this via spyware, he would not talk to me about that even if I asked, which I won't because he isnt' ready to talk to me about stuff in terms of himself.
    He does however talk to me "in general" and has told me his biggest fear is foolishly having sex too young when he isnt' ready and being stuck dealing with someone because of a baby that he wouldn't want a attachment to for the rest of his life. He told me if he ever got a girl pregnant that he wouldn't stay with her if it wasnt' a good relationship but because of how much pain he's had with his dad (he calls his dad "the deadbeat) he could never walk away from a child, he would be a involved parent. But he would be scared to be a parent without a great job and money to provide, wouldn't want a child of his to see two parents who hate each other or have to fight in court with an ex etc. He has been really impacted by the actions (or lack of) by his father. As scary as it is that he was only 13 when he had sex for the first time *YIKES* I really think that perhaps it served him well, the experience. It made him really think about consequences right off the bat.
    Thankfully he also fully respects women for the position they are left in when they are the ones facing consequences daily with raising a child etc.He has told me he feels sorry for his ex because she thinks so little of herself she has sex with many boys because she's looking to be accepted. He said in the end it gives her a bad reputation and only makes her feel worse about herself. I have read some touching conversations between him and ex (since the breakup) where he is trying with kindness to make her see that people will like her for herself if she stops thinking she has to "put out" with every guy who blinks at her. That she is beautiful and funny and has alot to offer someone and she is davaluing herself.
    I don't kid myself that difficult child is always going to make the decisions I hope he'll make regarding sex, especially as his hormones kick more into gear. But I am thrilled to see such intuition about how women should be valued and respected, and how it affects the girls when they freely offer sex in return for that fleeting affection/acceptance. I am also thrilled he is so worried about getting a girl pregnant young etc. I hope that he continues to keep thoughts like this foremost until he is ready to truly handle situations like this.
    Sometimes some of these young girls I want to shake so hard, then grab them in a bear hug at least 10 times a day until they realize there are ways to feel loved and special without giving it up to some boy who isn't going to care about them tomorrow.
     
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    According to our pediatrician, kids are hitting puberty younger than when I was a kid. I think those hormones in a child who has not had enough life experience yet to know how to handle certain situations certainly plays a role. However, I have always believed that self-esteem has a HUGE role in this as well. The glamorization of sex is huge, too. My kids hear me b*itch all the time about how women are always portrayed as objects (they have to be thin, beautiful, skimpily clad, etc) while men aren't. How many unattractive women do you see paired up with an attractive man on tv or in the movies? But the opposite is often true.

    What's very worrisome are the studies lately that are showing that teenagers worry about becoming pregnant, but they aren't worried about stds, aids, or any of that.

    You can block hollywood from entering your house, but I don't think you're going to block kids from seeing it. Instead, I use what they show on tv and in movies as an opportunity for discussion - to put what they see and hear into real world perspective. If they're going to see it and hear their friend's talking about it, I'd like for them to at least have another view and, hopefully, mom's voice in the back of their head.
     
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