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.
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