Mrs. Hall certainly struck a nerve in September. Some loved her and some, well, some could not believe that which she wrote to the young girls out there taunting and tempting her poor, dear, sweet, innocent, adolescent boys. As the mother of daughters and a son and the wife of a darling husband who time and again calls bullshit on the idea that a guy just can’t help himself I had to say something…as did, oh my goodness, pretty much every other blogger out there.
Originally published September 4, 2013
You wrote and shared a blog post to inform and educate teenaged girls everywhere on how they should behave online if they want to be friends with your boys.
And then you shared it again.
Well, Mrs. Hall I get how you sit down with your boys and, as a family, check out that which appears on their Facebook feeds, Twitter stream, Instagram and anywhere else in their social media world. Good for you! I creep on my kids’ social media sites too. Sure you might balk at me referring to it as creeping but let me assure you that kids do call it creeping when their parents check their social media feeds. You don’t have to be defensive about it. You’re just being a good parent paying attention to what is going on in your kids’ world. Good for you! Good job! You’re still creeping…so am I.
Like you, I sometimes see things posted by their friends that could be considered inappropriate or perhaps something they wouldn’t want a coach or teacher or college admissions clerk or employer to see; something you hope to never see on your own children’s feeds.
They way I see it is these are those teachable moments for my kids and me. Kind of like you do.
Except I see it as a teachable moment for my OWN child of how THEY should behave online…not how they’re friends should behave…or whether or not that person is good enough to be their friend. Like it or not, it’s not our job as parents of adolescents to dictate who they can or can not be friends with…unless you want them to hang out forever with exactly who you don’t want to hang out with. We certainly can and should keep tabs on the people they choose to hang out with online and offline but our kids are thisclose to being adults who can choose friends without our consent. As hard as it is, we need to respect this reality just a little bit.
Mrs. Hall I don’t blame you for being shocked by some of the more provocative pictures you might see on your boys’ social media sites from their friends. Really I don’t. But honestly, you really think a selfie of a female classmate or youth group member is going to lead your precious boys astray down that horrid path of thinking about…
because teenaged boys with raging hormones and body parts that sometimes seem to have a life of their own is not happening in your house full of teenaged boys unless they are PROVOKED by a GIRL!
Of course it is the girl’s fault you say because she is posed that way in her jammies and, and she’s not wearing a bra! It’s stirring things up in your boys that they just can’t control…not at all!
Bullshit, Mrs. Hall!
Yes, I call bullshit. Sorry if that offends you. But it is bullshit. My darling husband says it is every time someone plays the men just can not control those urges and thoughts card. Of course they can because those are somebody’s daughters. Enough with the slut shaming and blaming. Boys can be taught to have some self control and some respect. They need to be. They should be.
Mrs. Hall you missed the teachable moment…the right teachable moments.
First of all here is one of those moments where you teach those boys of yours how to treat a young lady…any young lady regardless of how she might be dressed or not dressed. These girls, as you yourself noted, are so much more than their tits and asses with a unique and colorful world-view that you enjoy. Like you yourself said, these girls are interesting and smart people. Teach your boys that. Teach them to look beyond the physical of the person…the person who just so happens to be female with female body parts just like your female body parts. Teach them this. Those are the men who are good, moral and upstanding…and who make great husbands..and fathers of daughters and sons.
Second of all teach your boys that provocative selfies probably aren’t the best thing to make public…probably not the best thing to share privately…probably not the best thing to take at all. Yes it seems that sexy, pouty selfies in the bedroom or the bathroom or anywhere practically are the thing with some teenaged girls but let me assure you that TEENAGED BOYS DO IT TOO! Remember I have creeped on my teenaged GIRLS social media sites. I too have seen things that I can’t ever unsee of nice, good teenaged boys from good homes just like yours! Selfies of them shirtless, in their shorts, in their boxer briefs, with just a towel barely wrapped around their body below their waists….
BOYS DO IT TOO!!!
How dare these boys pose in such ways and post them where my sweet daughters can see them and cause them to think thoughts…thoughts that they have no control over…
Oh for goodness sake, Mrs. Hall. Here is where we must teach our own children how to behave and think and have some self-control.
Mrs. Hall, teenaged girls and teenaged boys are going to do a lot of stupid things all in the name of growing up and discovering who they are as an adult…an adult like it or not who is very much a sexual being. Yes, it is our job as parents to guide them with what is appropriate and what is not appropriate and how to make good choices for themselves and anyone they might be attracted to. Then we are to trust them. We also need to trust ourselves…trust ourselves as parents who have done our very best to raise up our kids to be the best possible men and women that they can be for themselves and their future partners.
I know it’s hard but we have to…unless you really want to be helicoptering over…
Along with trusting them and ourselves we need to be forgiving because they are going to make some mistakes and even some bad choices… like everyone else…like myself and like you (you did point out that you have made some doozies of mistakes). We need to be willing to offer second chances…and third chances…and fourth…and fifth…and sixth…and seventh and eighth chances. We don’t have to offer ninth chances…unless that one of my kids makes that mistake again for the ninth time then I will have to wrestle with that line I have drawn.
Believe me, Mrs. Hall, if you have done your very best to raise up those sons and daughter right they will be okay. They will be men and women we can be proud of. They will be the man or woman their in-laws will adore. I have three adult children now to reassure me of this truth everyday that my darling husband and I continue to nurture their younger sister and brother.
Thank you for your time, Mrs. Hall.
You take care now.