From here on in, I have declared Friday blogs as a melange of issues I have worked on with parents during the week that I think all parents might benefit from.
A Finger Full
When your teen gives you the finger at the dinner table, either because you have said no to something, expressed some kind of displeasure to or about them, or just because they think it's funny, here is your action plan. Though your instinct is to yell, ask them to leave the table, or nervously laugh and give them a "h-o-n-e-y", don't give in to it. This is exactly what you teen is looking for from you. Instead, give an incredulous look, but no words, pick up your plate and eat somewhere where YOU can have a pleasant dining experience. And the next time this kid comes to you( that night or the next day) for a ride, money or any of the millions of things you do for you him/her, you calmly say " I would have, but when you give me the finger, I don''t feel inclined to do anything for you right now." Do not go any further, do not lecture, just leave it at that. They will get the message.
Boys love it. And if you have given your teen boy some sort of smart phone you can bet your bloated phone bill that he is using it to view some of the most disgusting porn out there. Naked girls are so yesterday, porn degrading women, porn with animals, (yes animals) porn paired with violence, this is what your boys have access to and are watching. Parents are calling me in droves, either because they checked the history on their teens computer or smart phone when they could, or their teen mistakenly forgot to shut his computer down when they went off to a friends, and parents got an eye full. OK I am not concerned that boys are obsessed with naked woman, it's that this obsession has taken a very dark turn, and boys are starting to think this is how women enjoy sex. And you can bet when boys get together and "review" various sites, you won't hear them say, "oh this is so disrespectful to women" . So if you have a boy, either with unlimited private access to a computer, or you have given him a smartphone (even when I told you not to !!!!) you absolutely, positively have to have this conversation.
"Hey buddy, I was talking to one of my friends at work the other day, and he was telling me that he went to shut down his son's computer and low and behold his son had left up the porn site he had most recently visited. Concerned the dad checked his son's site history and was shocked to see the kinds of porn sites his son had been on. I get guys are interested in beautiful naked women. I looked at my share of Playboys and Penthouses when I was a teen, but this is some raunchy stuff. These sites make it seem that woman like to be humiliated and abused during sex, and that guys get really turned on by that. This is NOT what woman want, and though I can't control what you look at, it would be very very disturbing to me if you chose to visit those kinds of sites. What do you think?"
Now I am guessing no matter how close you and your teen are, they will pretty much shut down here. But I know that they will have heard you. Here is the thing, this is important because they need to hear another version, other than from what they get from friends, rap, and boy fueled fantasy movies about what woman want. I am a woman, and I don't want that!!!!
Another Facebook Arrest
This is a ripped from the headlines story. Four girls aged 15-17 from Plymouth North High School, in a foul-mouthed rant on facebook, "threatened to shoot girls, and line the high school halls with their blood." Nice. Apparently this was in response to some conflict that had been going on between groups of girls. Do I think these girls really had intent to maim and murder? No I do not. It was a brazen show of "I'll get you, you'll see", but extremely disturbing none the less. Luckily a student felt comfortable enough to show her parent the facebook posting, and alerted the school and action was taken. The girls are now suspended pending further action. Your kids need help with this facebook thing as I have said many times before.
Find this story on line, and share it with your teens. Let them know how important it is that when they see something where someone is getting threatened, it is their responsibility to tell you. There is nothing more important than keeping people safe. You understand their worry about being the squealer but there are ways to get important information anonymously to the right people, so they should never hesitate to tell you when something is threatening or unsafe.
Three Facebook tips:
Is this post threatening?
Is this post hurtful to another person?
Can this post be misinterpreted?