After reading this post some of you will call me repressive, uptight, a prude, or a pedophile. I am none of the above. You will criticize the message and the messenger, but there is something I have to comment on tonight.
I just got back from the pool. It was blazing hot all day so when a friend of mine called to invite the family over for a swim we jumped at the chance.
I glanced over at the pool as I drove in and caught a flash of two bikini clad hotties from a distance. Teeny bikini's, not quite thongs, small triangle tops, tan skin. That's all I could see. I pulled in and wondered who these two were going to be. We piled out of the van and walked to the gate and I saw them, they were 12, maybe 13 years old.
Of course I smacked myself upside the head for thinking anything about these two, but I was shocked at the suits these two young girls were wearing. What on earth are their parents thinking? Seriously people.
What happened to parents who try and preserve the innocence of their kids?
What happened to saying "No, that suit is immodest and not appropriate for a 12 year old"?
What happened to teaching kids about dress their age, and not 10 years their senior.
What happened to protecting you daughters from lecherous men around them?
I know that parents (I am one of them) are under a lot of pressure to let their kids act sexy because their kids are under a lot of pressure to be sexy. Society is sexualizing our kids earlier and earlier. Wide-spread exposure to porn, the sexual nature of music videos and pervasive soft-core culture we live in puts kids in a very difficult position.
They want to be cool, to fit in at school, to be accepted by their peers and by the peer groups above them in the social pyramid. I know that, my daughter feels that pressure. But, to the parents, I'm asking, begging, to think of their daughter's first, understand the peer pressure and help them say no. Help them remain young innocent 12 year olds as long as they can.
Sex and heartache and horny boys will come along soon enough, you do not need to push them into it by sexing them up when you go shopping. Teach them that it is OK to be pretty, to wear cute clothes, but that it's also OK to dress your age, and teach them who is the parent.
Parents need to say "No" more often. I know that my generation doesn't like hearing that we can't do anything we want, so we don't tell our kids. But the world is a dangerous place.
As we were taking a break from the water I was laying on my lounge chair. 5-6 guys, all looking about 16-18 years old, came in to the pool area to get to the basketball court in the back corner of the complex. Everyone one of them noticed and made some comment to the guys around them about these two girls. "DAMN!" was the main one. I know they weren't thinking about their skills at swimming, or wondering how good they did in school.
I know it's politically incorrect to blame the girls, so I'll blame the parents.
If you don't want your daughters attracting the attention of a bunch of horny teenagers, don't dress her in a barely there bikini. If you don't want her to have sex before she's ready, don't dress her like a sex-doll. If you want young men to respect her, and value her as a person, then help her present herself as a person, not as a body. To the moms, don't re-live your youth through your daughters wardrobe. Don't put her in the clothes you think are sexy because you want to feel sexy. Protect them, love them enough to say no.
I know that there is a lot more to say here, and that there are many factors at play in the dynamic between boys and girls, teenagers and parents, and, that I need to get my thoughts organized around this as a blogger, parent, father, and as a guy. But I had to say something. I just wanted to walk up to the mom and say, "Are you nuts?", but I didn't, so I'll say it here.