I can remember the morning of September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday. I was in the 8th grade and that specific morning, I happened to be catching up on some unfinished homework in the school library when these alarming news reports caught my attention. Right before my eyes, I watched one of the most devastating terrorist attacks in U.S history.
I remember feeling so scared and confused as to why all of this was happening and if it would happen to my family and I.
Till this day, this was my first recollection of a public display of immorality, and it was indeed a paramount one. It was the first time I saw something with my naïve eyes and needed to know the answer to a simple but very profound question:
Now that I am the step father of a very inquisitive 7 year old little girl, it seems as though it has made its way full circle.
Growing up, I didn’t hear too much about issues like drug abuse, alcoholism, infidelity, sexual promiscuity, etc. until I was in my beginning years of high school. It seems evident that times have changed drastically within the short span of a decade. Public sensory is minimal in our current generation and in result, children are exposed to much more than previous generation. I’m often dumbfounded at some of the information my daughter has obtained from simply watching TV, being online, hearing from her peers, and just looking around.
As a very protective parent, it’s a continual challenge to resist the urge to fearfully respond with, “don’t say that,” “don’t watch that,” or “don’t listen to that.”
It’s way too easy to put a blanket on the issues than to examine them with your children. I think for most parents, the fear comes from the possibility of failure. It says if I teach them what’s right and wrong and they continue to act in opposition, my character will take a hit. No parental ideology could be more detrimental to a child’s development morale. The brutal truth of the matter is that a child will learn what they want to learn about by any available source.
If it’s not us, the parents, teaching our children a sense of good and bad decisions, they will learn from the media, their peers, and often even first hand.
It isn’t every parent’s dream to have to explain why “Hannah Montana” is riding on a wrecking ball without her clothes on or why it’s not ok to point when you see same gender couples, but it’s our responsibility as parent’s to educate our children to the best of our ability. Rest assured that if ever we don’t have the answer, someone does. The mass majority of a child’s fundamental morale is built on that which you teach them.