Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Call for Moderation: Return to Childhood

Today, I got called a conservative because of the way I view today's society. This person's exact words were: "you seem very conservative for someone who was a teen in the 90s...You must have come from a conservative, traditional family...Nice to meet you.." 

What I wrote to elicit this reply was: "I wouldn't go as far as to say it's child abuse to talk about sexuality but I do think it doesn't have its place within our school and our early youth. That's not the time for exploration b/c, as you pointed out, there are a lot of negative side effects. Not talking religion but human nature. I like the message of "It gets better" b/c life does. But kids have enough to deal with without adding the pressures of sexuality and finding an identity so early to it. This world is way different than when I was a teen in the 90s. There are more baby daddies/mommas than there are parents, more drugs made out of the stupidest (synthetic) stuff, more pressure for a degree (the bachelors is the new high school diploma), the recession/depression, insecurity, child pornography, sexting, blatant pedophilia, etc. Getting molested in the bathroom by the girl/boy in your class is not a needed pressure."

Now I hardly think my views regarding this article were conservative. The truth is I'm a moderate but I'm also a teacher, single mother, molestation & rape survivor (which made me into an unwed teen mother), reader, and an observer of life. 

When I was growing up, kids were not allowed in a grownup's conversation; they asked to speak and waited to be spoken to. I had a mother and a stepfather who took us to the library as a field trip and rewarded us with a traditional Wednesday trip to the local ice creamery. I grew up in a neighborhood where neighbors reported to each other the doings of the neighborhood kids. I watched Saturday morning cartoons religiously, nothing at all like The Real Housewives of Blah Blah City. The only drama I relished was that of the Wile E. Coyote vs Road Runner chases and the wait to see what musician's video made it to the number one spot that week. The only real strife in my life was my relationship with my mother. I didn't live a youth as today's kids do. I feel so sorry for them. They don't know the meaning of respect, honor, or patience. Many of them don't know what it's like to play with the neighborhood kids, to bike, skate, walk, play until dusk fell and the street lights came on, signaling that it was time to go inside for the night. They lack real social skills because they hide behind computer screens. Their bullies are invisible yet ubiquitous. And their solutions all point to either murder or suicide. School was an escape; now it is a prison. Being a kid today sucks. 

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