Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Take some, leave some

I've read a lot of articles and blog posts offering advice on how to raise decent humans.  It feels like there is a new one every day, sweeping through the internet with thoughts on Miley Cyrus or two piece swim suits or Miley Cyrus.  They have titles like "Things I want my sons to remember" or "Dear Miley Cyrus". (The internet sure loves an open letter, doesn't it?)

The one I just read this morning is titled "FYI (if you're a teenage girl)", and several of my fellow mothers have shared it on facebook.  I must admit I'm getting a little tired of the "Ladies, please cover up your bodies so that the men folk can keep their minds pure" shtick.  And ironically enough, the blog post is accompanied by photos of the author's shirtless teenage sons doing muscle poses on a beach.  A quick look at the comments shows that I'm not the only one who calls baloney on that double standard.

However, I am also gettting tired of the "trying hard to look sexy in every photo" business that is pervasive in social media.  Put your kissy face away once in a while.  Let it rest.  Let it be gone long enough for us to miss it.  And once my sons are old enough for social media, I will scroll through their accounts and messages, blocking inappropriate content.  That includes braless selfies, raised middle fingers, and overuse of "d-bag" and its variations.  I'm a prude, y'all.

So I wasn't sure how to feel about the article.  Then I realized, I don't have to pick "love it" or "hate it".  It's like when I read a parenting book.  Keep the good ideas, the things that resonate, and discard the rest.

Regular audits of social media?  Keep.
Double standards?  Discard.
Open family discussions about appropriate teenage behavior?  Keep.

Once I finished reading "FYI", I read some of the previous posts on that blog.  I came across a phrase that is definitely a keeper, and I immediately posted it on the fridge, which means I'll see it many, many times per day:
"Why are you guys yelling so much?!?" she yelled.

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