Oh wow! This blog post titled, “FYI: If you’re a teenage girl” has generated a lot of discussion. In trying to comment on friend’s feeds, my thoughts were too many to be concise. There have been many responses including this one, “Dear Mrs. Hall, Regarding Your FYI: If you’re a teenage girl”.
Having both boys and girls, I have feelings on both sides of this argument. I believe that with today’s social media, we have to do a huge amount of counseling to both our sons and daughters on the impact that your posts make on the perception of one’s character and sometimes one’s future (When hiring someone, I always Facebook/Google them and see what comes up.) With regards to my son (7yr), I will be doing everything I can to guard his purity—especially online. I believe that is what Mrs. Hall is trying to do. She is not blaming girls for boys thoughts, she is trying to protect her sons from the images in the first place. I don’t think she is saying that they cannot be friends in ‘real life’, she is just not going to subscribe to what they may be putting online. If you are a parent and not familiar with social networking, I personally think it is important to learn about it. Even if you do not allow your child to participate, their peers are going to be discussing and displaying what is going on to your child.
I did not understand the differences between men and women with regards to sex until after I was married. In the same way, teen girls do not understand the male/female differences either. They don’t understand that not only are their teen friends seeing their pics, but so are men as old as their fathers and grandfathers (and men not nearly as nice as their fathers and grandfathers).
What so many have found offensive (and somewhat taken out of context) is the implication that girls are responsible for the lustful thoughts/actions of boys. This is absolutely not the case. Each is master of his/her own decisions. ****BUT*** If I remember my dating days correctly, the way I conducted/presented myself definitely impacted the way I was treated by my companion. So, while my actions were not to blame for someones else’s bad choices, I do believe that, had I acted differently, the outcome may have been better. This does not mean the ‘boys’ in the equation were bad or unethical or non-christian or without respect for me. It just means that they were boys. And young. And it is not not an excuse, but it is not uncouth to mention that God created men and women physiologically different, and that plays a role in behavior.
My son and daughters and I will have many, many conversations on proper conduct, attire, language, behavior, pictures etc. One of the number one things that I already discuss with my children, ages 3, 5, 7 is to ‘choose your friends wisely’. When the time comes, this will translate into ‘choose whom you date wisely’.
This is a discussion for the ages, just being done in a different way than the previous generation did it. The only way to get through parenting is with A LOT of prayer for patience, forgiveness, protection, and love for our children AND all those who surround them.