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Friday, February 27, 2015

Children are cruel, but you have to be a parent.

Posted Sunday, April 1, 2012, at 12:53 PM

Since I am friends with the freshmen I taught during my senior year in debate, I am privy to the drama that populates Mountain Home's social networks... and I'm very disappointed with what I see.

Usually, it's very petty and I laugh and move on.

But a young lady's issues keep coming up on my feed.

Her profile picture when her name first popped up showed her, nearly orange from a tan, bleached blonde hair, a bubble gum pink kissy face and so much cleavage showing I blushed when I saw the photo. She was 14 in the photo.

My mother would have yanked my camera, phone and computer away SO FAST for having a photo baring that much online.

To make matters worse, her words are vulgar. I would have gone blind in a day from the amount of soap my mother would make me eat. (Hehe, Christmas Story reference.)

And I'm only 19. It's not like I'm a few generations older, so it would make sense to say "back in my day". No. This girl is just a year younger than my baby sister (whom I would strangle for dressing like that before mom got to her- at least I'd be merciful!)

Of course photos like that are going to draw negative attention. I was not surprised to see many arguments, generally calling the girl promiscuous, and then her friends jumping to her defense with paragraphs of vulgarities implying that the commenter was the promiscuous and very jealous one.

My thought was the same upon first glance as the commenter's. And no, I'm not jealous of this young lady. She just looks a little chilly.

I wondered where the girl's mother was, if maybe she had her mom blocked from her page or if the mother was not so tech-savvy. I found her mom, defending her daughter's honor on her wall.

That's a great first step, mom, but the names will keep coming if your daughter does not cover up. Children are cruel, especially girls. And this is your little girl. I know it hurts to watch your daughter get called names like that- it hurts to be called them and, recalling the times my mother has looked just as hurt by my pain, I know that you feel it too.

BUT you cannot just stand idly by as people tell her she needs to cover up and her response is "This is me and I'm not changing who I am." Because who she looks like, is a young girl who is on the fast track to getting very hurt.

This is a message to all parents out there. You don't have to join in the name calling, but take a stand. This girl's photos are porn for sickos. Do you want some creep looking at your child's wall because she's baring her tween body? Defend your kid, sure, in a mature manner (Not "my kid's not like that you little *expletives*" as I've seen) and then take your child aside in person and have them clean up the photos. Take action if they don't and remove their profile.

Sure, the world is tough and your child needs to be prepared for the fact that people aren't always nice, but if you instill in your young lady that you can dress in a manner that shows you are a beautiful young woman without also looking "open for business", that's one less cruel thing they'll have to hear.

You just can't be their BFF all the time. Sometimes your kid screws up, and you have to be the parent. That's why your name is mom or dad.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Melodie, you didn't mention that whatever in the way of photos NEVER go away! As I type, they are floating around in cyberspace.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 1:38 PM

I did not Roy but that is an excellent point and all the more reason that the camera should be confiscated if young ladies are taking photos like that.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 4:26 PM

I so agree! I am a Mom of now adults. The computers were not in their rooms, and I had access to everything. Sure, there were times when they wished things were different, but "My house, My rules" always applied. ALWAYS. Surprisingly, I never heard, "You don't trust me!" the answer was ready.... "it's not about trust, it's about love" If you ask Evan, Katie or Joey, they'd all tell you they thank me for the strictness in their lives. THEY are just as offended as you are, Melodie.

You impress me more and more


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 6:54 PM

Great blog Melodie. You are a very smart young lady.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 8:16 PM

Yes you are very wise.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 7:23 AM

I hope her mom isn't her styling guru. I can handle the tan, bleached blonde hair, but I hate to see young teen girls exposing them self's way to much. It gives a bad Impression

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 10:54 AM

Being a teenager nowadays is dangerous what with social networking, and the internet. I bet things kids put online now they'll cringe at when they get older. But once stuff is in cyberspace there's no undo button. Thanks for another thought-provoking blog, Melodie.

-- Posted by Second Wind on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 4:35 PM

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A Different Perspective
Melodie Lettkeman
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I'm a staff writer for the Tiger Tribune, and I have a lot to say! Music, books, movie reviews, my opinions and updates around the high school.
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