Parenting in Today's Boy Girl World

Yesterday at lunch Hope told me about this blog post that was causing quite a stir on Facebook,
 I read it and liked it a lot. I had no problem with what she said. (click on the pics to go read the posts)

Then Kacy Edwards made me aware of this rebuttal to that post,

I read it, agreed with some of it.

Then I read this post,

And I liked how this father is talking to his boys.

My favorite part of this one was this,

A lot of people will try and tell you that a woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her wrongly.  Here is what I will tell you.  It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning.  It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing.  You will feel the temptation to blame her for your wandering eyes because of what she is wearing – or not wearing.  But don’t.  Don’t play the victim.  You are not a helpless victim when it comes to your eyes.  You have full control over them.  Exercise that control.  Train them to look her in the eyes.  Discipline yourself to see her, not her clothes or her body.  The moment you play the victim you fall into the lie that you are simply embodied reaction to external stimuli unable to determine right from wrong, human from flesh.

Look right at me.  That is a ridiculous lie.

For many years I believed it was all the girls fault, everything "impure" that happened was the result of a nasty girl defrauding a man. That is what I was taught in church. We were told that men can not control their reaction to women, we were responsible for how they reacted, they were our masters and we must submit to them but if they stumbled, it was because we tempted them.

Unlike Joseph in the bible, who ran away from a smoking hot naked woman, Christian men today could just blame not being able to run away on the smoking hot naked woman.

I no longer believe this bull crap line of thinking but I do believe girls have cashed in on that given power and men on that supposed powerlessness and both use it to their advantage. It's a mind set that will take lots of work and a very long time to undo. As with everything we try to teach our kids, we have to teach them the balance. And that's not easy.

My boys have little girl friends who already believe the lie fed to them generation after generation that says they control men with their bodies, their greatest worth is what they look like, they have to use their bodies to get love. I have family members who have fallen for this hook-line-and-sinker.

As parents in this age, Dean and I are working to teach our kids a different way of thinking. When we found the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue under Abel and Steele's bunk beds, we didn't punish them for having it, instead we talked to them about how they should look at women. It was a perfect opportunity to teach. The few times Evangeline has gone on dates with boys I've talked to her about sex, Dean has talked to her about how boys view certain things, there is nothing she cant tell us or ask us. I tell her when she is dressed inappropriately but I also rebuke her when she judges other girls as sluts simply by how they dress or what some boy told her he did with that girl. As parents we have to undo the damage and the mindset we were raised in. We are doing that by having open, honest conversations with our kids, always learning, always seeking love and grace over legalism and hard lines, trying to lead by example more then anything. It's not easy. I fail more then I succeed. 

Parenting is hard work and I applaud those parents blogging about how they deal with their kids and social media. They are doing their best to parent in this very open and exposed world of Instagram, snapchat, facebook, twitter, and vine, and by being transparent in how they do it, they are helping us all. I learned something from all of those very opposing blog posts so thanks brave parents!

Steele, Evangeline and Abel Turner, Easter 2013


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