Teaching our boys, not just our girls

I’m often up late at night reading through different blogs, articles on the Huffington Post and other bits and pieces people send me. Last night I stumbled across a letter a mother has written to all teenage girls out there.

(She has since changed the pictures on her blog – initially she had pictures of her sons posing topless on a beach – and amended some of it as well).

I was frankly very surprised at some of the points she made in her post. She describes a picture of a girl on her sons Facebook page (remind me again why this mother is going through her sons Facebook pictures) and pleads for the girls to stop posting shameless selfies as (and I quote) “Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it?” First of all, the girl was in her pyjamas and secondly, don’t you think your sons see more than that when you take them to the beach? She then goes on to say “That post doesn’t reflect who you are at all! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts.” The whole “we” talk suggests to me that her sons have no minds of their own and even as older teenagers, are happy to take social direction from their mother.

The second thing I need to take point with is when she says “we are hoping to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.” In my opinion, it’s not the teenage girl you should be addressing but rather your sons. You can’t protect them forever. They are going to go out into the big bad world and you can’t “block” everything they see. Instead teach them that it’s okay to see these pictures and how to handle how they feel and the urges that may come with being a teenage boy. There will always be temptation. You just have to walk into your local newsagent to see scantily clad girls. Are you going to stop the sale of all FHM magazines your sons glance at?

I understand a mother’s need to protect her sons and I too am often taken a back by the “selfies” I see some young teenage girls putting on facebook. I don’t have a teenage daughter so I’m not going to assume to know how to parent one but I know when my son is old enough I will teach him to respect women, no matter how they may look or be dressed because you don’t know their story. I hope while writing her post, Mrs. Hall has also taken the time out to teach her sons a lesson on respect, self-control and morals.

“Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character.”

Mrs. Hall, the pendulum swings both ways. There are girls out there waiting and hoping for men of character as well. Make your sons (and your daughter) worthy.

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To all my readers, I’d love to hear your opinion.

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