Last Sunday there was an article in the paper about a high school for pregnant and parenting teens. Which, for the record, I think is a really cool idea — I’m all for girls being in a nurturing, understanding environment when they’re facing such a life-altering situation. Seems like a great place, with really caring administrators. But this quote really made me shake my head…
They are mystified why, in 2007, “with all the access to shots and patches,” birth control information is just not reaching them. They lament the coarseness of the culture….
…”but we have to keep at it…we can’t give up. If we keep saying the same thing over and over — and it comes from different voices — maybe they’ll eventually get the message.”
Dude. Do you think that they’ll ever figure out that perhaps it’s not the method, but the message they’re trying to get across that might be the issue?
Call me crazy, but I don’t think that actively discouraging 11-year-olds (or even 12-16 year olds, for that matter) from having sex is a bad thing. In fact I think we owe it to them, for the sake of their spirits, their bodies, their whole selves. The freaking lame excuses (“they’re going to do it anyway!”) break my heart.
My kids would eat twinkies all day long if they had their own way, too — that doesn’t mean I’m going to just sit by and leave toothpaste and toothbrushes out on the counter next to the case of twinkies, and hope they’ll use them and maybe decide to grab an apple from the fridge, all the while lamenting the fact that their teeth are rotting out of their heads, shaking my head and saying, “well, they’re going to do it anyway…” under my breath. That would be a load of crap.
Sure, they’re going to want to do certain things, but it’s my job as a parent to teach them about pleasure vs. consequence. Physical, spiritual, emotional. Then send them out into this dumb culture that wants to convince them that anything that tastes good, feels good, looks good, or even seems good is worth having or doing or being….and anyone who tells you otherwise is out of touch, archaic, and wants to repress you.