True Power

True Power

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Pregnancy Pact

In my family, it is not unusual for the entire family to sit down and watch t.v. or a movie together and do what we call "heckling."

When we pick a movie or show to 'heckle' we go all out with sarcasm, jokes, and our full on opinion. We know by the title of the show if it is good 'heckling' material or not. When trailors for the t.v. show "The Pregnacy Pact" came on, our mouths watered with anticipation.

If you are not familiar with the show's premise, I'll explain. In a small town, several teenage girls made a pact to get pregnant. The press got wind of the pact after over 16 girls were pregnant in school within a year and swarmed the little town to get the scoop. The t.v. show was based on a true story which I remembered when CNN reported it.

I have always discussed sex with my children. When they learned how to walk, talk and recognize objects, knowing their body make-up and functions was just a part of their education. Year after year information was added as needed. Every question my children asked me was answered. They have always come to me as their first or most honest source for information, this included math, science, history, sex, and other inquiries they have had.
I disclosed to them that I may not have all the answers but I would help them find the answer, because if I did not know it and they were asking, I needed to learn the answer too. So together at times we learned alot.

They knew some questions they asked made me UNCOMFORTABLE, but regardless how I felt, if they wanted to know something, they had the right to ASK and expect an answer from me. This has worked for us. At times we watched shows that would lead to questions and discussions and that was fine. I've almost fainted at some questions, took a breath after the kid would laugh at me and delved in and discussed it and even explained why it made me uncomfortable. In this process my kids learned courage, integrety, and to know having questions are fine and if one person does not have the answer there are tons of resources to turn to. Ignorance is not a norm about anything.

Back to the show, girls purposefully getting pregnant. I hope parents know this happens for real. Two of my daughters have each had a friend wanting and trying to get pregnant by the time they were in 10th grade. Why? Because no one taught them to dream a dream for themselves. While they were growing up, no one said "What do you want to be or do when you grow up" and nurture them in their dream that probably would change before finishing high school.

Why have a baby? There was nothing occupying their time. I heard one waoman in front of a store talking to an older gentleman, "Her son would not have time to get into trouble if he had a job. People are too soft on their kids. If he worked he would stay out of trouble." My thought: a babysitter(job) will not keep him out of trouble. He will just have more money to get into trouble with. Parenting keeps kids out of trouble. If the boy was at home indoors spending quality time with his family, when would he get into trouble? When your teen is out of your home for hours, what do you think they are doing except terrorizing others? No, staying at home is not being under lock and key. My family does several activities together as well as separately and I never run into other families spending time with their children. If your child HATES spending time with you, there is a PROBLEM. And contrary to belief, it is not part of being a teenager to hate wanting to be with your parents. I could never understand that. There needs to be parenting classes teaching parents how to correctly give autonomy to children while teaching them they have a responsibility to be an asset to society their entire life. Experimentation while growing up should not go hand in hand with causing harm to others. The only kind of experimenting that is; is learning how to become a professional criminal.

Anyway, the show ended with the main woman who was against giving out birth control at school because it sends the message that it is fine for kids to have sex, own daughter becoming pregnant. The mother cries and tells the daughter "But, I talked to you about sex and to wait until you were married!" The daughter said, "But I was not as strong as you and dad and I did not want you to think I was a freak or nasty for having all of these feelings!" Mother said, "Dad and I didn't wait for marriage. We slipped from time to time."

People let your children know you are human when you ask superhuman things from them! I taught my girls to cook; telling them that I burned myself several times while I was learning and continue to burn myself from time to time. I did this so they would be more cautious and know that they did not necessarily did something wrong if they got burned, it happens from time to time, it comes with the territory.

Heres a story:

A young couple got married. They were both virgins when they married at age 25. After 2 months the husband went to a therapist, "My wife cries everytime we have sex. She won't even let me see her body. Her parents told her not to have sex over and over while she was growing up and that it was bad and only bad girls have sex, and now she feels dirty and that she's doing something bad. She said she can't go from saying 'no' for over 15 years to now saying 'yes'." The couple eventually divorced.

I tell my girls God intended for them to enjoy sex in a marriage to protect their body and heart from pain. It is the ideal expression of love and the biggest gift you can give anyone; your heart, mind, and body, BUT that's the ideal and many of us do not choose the ideal. The biggest POWER you have is the power of "yes" and "no" and if you do have sex it should be your choice, your decision and not in back allies and under bleachers like an animal. If you are old enough to make that decision you are old enough to respect and care for yourself and we discussed things on being a respectful woman that began from their early years. Sex was just another chapter in a book on how to be the best you can be.

I was able to tell my girls this because I don't think any parent jumps for joy when their daughter loses their virginity. If they are 40, I won't be throwing a party. So, I knew that this part of their life was something they were completely in charge of. I would give them the tools to make the best choice for themselves as I do in every other aspect of their lives like preparing them for college, which they actually have to attend and complete on their own.

Choices have consequences and we discuss good consequences and bad consequences. CHILDREN RESPOND WELL TO HONESTY. Sex is normal, it is good (physically) whether you are married or not. You can form intimate relationships that may not lead to pain (doubtful) without being married (not impossible). It's difficult to wait and adults in the same situation would struggle too. Many Christian children leave the church in their late teens and early twenties and return with a spouse and family later. Think sex experimentation has anything to do with this phenomenon? Many Christians are late in life Christians and did not enter their marriages as virgins.

Children do know you are human and they know you are hiding something and they begin to hide it too which some parents are thankful for. It amazes me how many kids get cars at 16 and are let loose out of the house. I know their parents know they are not spending enough of time with their kids in this crucial time of development. Who is teaching and influencing your child during these crucial years? Then the parents say "they fell in with the wrong bunch of kids." You ARE his first influential group. Where did you go? If there are 40 hours in a week, no person will have more of those 40 hours with my kids than me or then they ARE the biggest influence in my kids life.

I have 18 years and then they are on their way, Within that time I have to furnish them with what it takes to make it in this world. They will continue to grow and learn but I supplied the foundation. It is a challenging, serious, rewarding job, but it is my job and I would not hand it over to anyone else, not a church, pastor, teacher, neighbor, or friend. And if I have led you in the worng direction, I have made many mistakes, apologized for the error, and got back on the horse and continued on. Sometimes we must admit to ourselves and other "Boy, I messed that up. Thank goodness I know better, now so I can do better." I can TRUST someone like that.

Christians should understand that thei child belonged to God first, he knew them first, loved them first and entrusted you with their care until they return to Him. God gave each of us free will and we should respect, honor, and nurture that. Help them to have a loving relationship with God, you and others. God is all about relationships, man is all about laws and rules. Remember, people usually only obey laws when others are looking.

Teenage pregnancy is not a school problem or a problem of society it is home problem; several homes. Girls usually get pregnant by men, more so than boys of their own age. With homophobia running rampant among men, boys are encourage to demonstrate manliness as soon as possible which involve chasing the ladies. REDEFINE manhood and half the battle is gone. Give your daughters a DREAM (and prepared for motherhood is a dream) and another portion of the battle is conquered. Parents, STOP lying and avoiding your responsibility and now our children have a chance.

The Bible belt has the highest numbers in teenage pregnancy. Churches need to teach the beauty of sexual relationships and empower kids to say "Yes" to the ideal relationship instead of "No" to reality. The church does not express what there is to look forward to in a intimate loving relationship so the cheap quick thrill that secular society offers sounds appealing compared to a knowledge of nothing.

While watching the t.v. show I hope you know we did not 'heckle' the 15 year old kids but the 40 plus year old adults acting like babies denying what was before their eyes. Kids have a right to act like kids and expect grown people to behave as grown people. PARENTS grow up!

***Sorry if I seemed hard of parents. It's a hard job. But once we become parents, it is all about the kids. They are helpless and defenseless even though they don't always look like it. Brains not developed, yet minds and bodies racing. Someone has to help them navigate. 18 years of helping them to be able to live a lifetime on their own. Daunting isn't it? But a happy healthy adult who loves God whether you tell them to or not is worth the effort.

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