In-your-face stuff from an opinionated
rural north Idaho housewife.
What so many forget is there is plenty of time to be "friends" with your children when they are adults. One can be a firm parent with a defined set of expectations and still be loving and have a good relationship. I think so many want to do things differently than their own, unreasonable parents did, they go too far in the "friend" direction.
My husbands daughter is teaching and she remarked to me one day about a teacher she admired who never said no to her students.How This teacher was great friends with the kid she had in her classes. I asked hat happens to these children when they get out in the "Real" world and have people say no to them a lot. With no experience of how to deal with limits they have such a hard time when they come across limits and consequences. How are so many people missing this point. Limits support good behavior and set standards. Your article is wonderful and full of the truth parents and young people need to hear. Thank you for writing it!
Be very careful when riding a "high horse". It is a long way down...
I love this comment! I was going to write a long winded (but polite) rebuttal to this article as a daughter who grew up in a household as Patrice Lewis prescribes for us all. I have a 39 year old daughter....I'm 56 years old. Do the math. Kids will find a way to make sure you get knocked off that horse.
so because your parents failed at being parents patrice is supposed to no longer have standards for her children? what an incredibly odd logic.
My husband has a profound philosophy where our children are concerned: You gotta watch 'em. The World: you can't watch their every move!Him: then why am I here?The World: You can't chose their friends!Him: Yes, I can.The World: they have to grow up sometime!Him: yes, as evidenced by their ability to manage the consequences of their actionsThe World: You have to trust them!Him: They have to trust me.The World: you can't be their parents forever!Him: I will ALWAYS be their parent, and I will not make them ashamed to fulfill the Fifth Commandment.There's no high horse, here, that I've ever read (longtime lurker), only a call to look at things quite differently than The World prescribes, and to not abandon our children to it.
To the anonymous duo - Patrice allowed for the 'wayward even though raised right' child. The difference as I see it is this girl has no base of what is right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy, and no 'path' to come back to. Of our 3 sons one went off the deep end with drugs etc., jail is not that much fun and there are some good chaplains there - he is now in Bible school - you cannot live for them but you can make sure they know the way home and leave a candle in the window. That way when they realize they are lost they can find their way home. I too was the wayward child (pigheaded is probably more accurate) fortunately I didn't get in too deep, and when I figured things out I knew where to come back to and where to find the path! Good parents can have bad kids but that doesn't make the right way any less right.
I applaud your views on this subject and totally agree with you. You know what??...BEING A PARENT IS HARD!!! (and yes, I'm raising my voice). The easy way out is to shrug our shoulders and ask what can a parent possibly do to counteract all the attacks on the family in the world today? The HARD way is to never give up and keep on working and loving and sticking it out. And eventually they do grow up!
a neighbor whose husband was a lay preacher had some trouble with number 1 son--nothing too bad- but i told her they'd done all the right things. the Bible says raise a child up in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. i told her the Bible says 'when he is old' but it doesn't mean there won't be youthful mistakes or pigheadedness. as long as they come back it will be okay eventually.the important part of the article is that the parents of the wayward daughter had possibly not shown the child that God is the anchor and the port in every storm.these young people are victims of moral relativism. they are small boats adrift on a sea of evil and they have no knowledge of sailing, of maps, of navigation, of moral geography.God makes laws to keep us safe, not to limit our pleasure.
Mrs. Lewis,While I do say that you have some very good points, I must ask the following question.You have said that the school system is inadequate at teaching, so why would one assume this 15 year old knew what she was doing? Again you have a VERY good point that the mom needs to step up and be a parent.BUT speaking from my own life I can say that the sex education received when I was a kids SUCKED. It was good enough for me to understand what my monthly cycle was so that I didn't flip out, but I credit my growing up around animals more towards my understanding that phenomena and accepting it. At the same time I really did not understand WHAT sex was until a friend of mine in high school who was sexually active took the time to explain it to me.So who to say this girl knew what she was doing BEFORE it happened. Some history so you can understand. I was raised very traditionally, pretty close to what you described in you article. I had started to question the faith I was raised in right about the same time I got back into the public school system (7 & 8th grades was a private religious school). My folks did not take well to my questioning because all they saw was the results, the research materials and come on when you raised to ask questions and then called a witch would you not research what a witch is so you could determine for yourself if you were or were not? So because of this, my memory wants to say, weekly battle I was not inclined to ask my mom who came off as embarrassed by the topic. That's my back story, I don't know the folks you are talking about, but I would be willing to bet there is more to it than even the writer of the letter gave, so I will not pass judgment on her parenting style or skills, but her asking for assistance is a start. And how are we to know she did shape the letter for the reader from that website? And how are to know if that is the only place she is looking for help from?Just saying ....
so your parents failed to properly teach you about sexuality, which is a duty every parent should have, and chose to rely on a stranger to teach you about it? that's a problem for your parents, not a parenting style issue.
Dear Patrice - I read your article early this morning and thought back to it again while searching for C.S. Lewis quotes for my Christmas card. Simple, straightforward truth."The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union."Merry Christmas to you.NancyLee
For those who might have forgotten, abstinence would have prevented this sad situation. Perhaps if this Mother spent "years talking with her" about the importance of abstinence her child would have made a better choice. And now the Mother sees birth control as the solution? This is 'openness'? I'd call it child abuse.Just an aside, but as a Father I'd love to hear what this girl's Father is going to tell lover boy's Father. My guess is that the child's Father has no clue about his role in parenting either.Montana Guy
This isn't about sex education, public schools or perfect parenting. We were designed to have sex after puberty. Sorry if that offends. It is our biological imperative and the concept of waiting until our 20's is a modern aberration we impose in an atempt to subvert nature. Don't get me wrong as a parent I was right there doing the same thing. But if we fail to understand the problem we will fail to find a solution. Humans were intended to form intimate relationships in their early teens. Our 12 years of public school and 4 years of college is not what we were intended for. What we have to do is find a compromise and sadly the only compromises offend someone/everyone. We can make believe our 15 year old boys and girls are little children, we can even put off the tests life put us to before the industrial age in the hope we can extend childhood into the 20's. But in general that is really what is wrong with our kids and their true education today, and I don't just mean their sex education.
I agree. In the not too distant past marriage was encouraged and acceptable in the late teen years. At a time when the onset of puberty was later than it is now. I had both sets of great grandparents married before 20, and one set of grandparents married before 19. My parents married - in the 1970's, the week my Father graduated high school. My Mother attended high school with married classmates (mostly girls who had slightly older husbands and wanted to complete their education before starting a family.)I also have six aunts that married young. Everyone is still married - no divorces in my family for generations and generations - until my generation. You know the one where everyone waited to get married until they were in their early 30's after learning how NOT to make a commitment for fifteen years or so. Contrast the above with the fact I only had ONE married classmate - but knew many many classmates were having sex. Most were in love and often spoke of marriage - until the adults got involved and decided it was too soon to get married as it would "ruin their lives". It isn't reasonable to require young adults to wait to have sex until they are married if there are so many barriers to marriage that you have to be past your peak child bearing years and almost middle aged before you can expect to be married.It is against the way God designed humans. It is unnatural to NOT fall in love with someone after we have completed late puberty. The strongest bonds are those "first love" bonds.So we tell young people (who enter puberty sooner than even we did) to put off love (and sex) until almost their mid thirties, when they can "support themselves". Except in real life in a real world, all that happens is that young people still fall in love and still have sex, only as a society we have removed the option of young marriage from them. In fact teenagers face tremendous pressure to NOT get married. After all, they have to go to college, and grad school, and get a good job, blah, blah, blah. So after a few heartbreaks (for both young ladies and young men) who are forced to effectively remain children dependent on their parents until age 25 or 26 they learn that "relationships" are temporary and disposable. They learn sex is an option when love isn't.My Husband and I (first and only marriage for both of us) did the "right" thing and waited to get married until after college, then waited to have a child when we could afford to support her...and then were too old to have more children. We were not virgins when we married (you know in our 30's!) We talk and think about what society (conservative and liberal) force feeds our youth all the time and how both of us just wanted to settle down and get married young - but that it is nearly impossible to do so. If our child becomes sexually active outside of marriage we would encourage marriage. As parents we will know who our child is dating and have some idea when the relationship has progressed to falling in love. Hopefully we will be able to influence and encourage marriage before sex occurs. Even if that means helping to support the young couple financially. I guess the point of my long comment is maybe the Mother in this article and most commenting here are looking for a solution to a "problem" that has already been figured out for centuries. If the mother's 15 year old daughter loves a 15 year old boy enough to be sexually active with him, and he loves her enough to be in a relationship with her*; perhaps the older parents should get involved in planning a wedding, a future, and helping two lovestruck kids make a go of it! Maybe it will actually be a good thing to begin adult life married.*news flash - 15 year old boys don't need a relationship to get sex now a days...it is even worse than anything you can imagine...
Love and sex are not equal. Lust and sex often are. Just wanting to have sex with someone is not an indicator that one should get married to them. That said, I am not opposed to young people starting adult life as married persons.
Understand I am not suggesting we revert to pre-civilization and marry off the children when they are 13. What I am saying is from a biological and historical basis that is what is supposed to happen. Just as putting off having children until we are in our 30's or even 40's might be the new trend it is not what our bodies were intended to do. One other point, it is not true that puberty is hitting children much earlier then it did 100 years ago. Some races often have puberty as young as 11 years old. So while statistically the age of puberty has decreased in this country by ethnicity it is pretty much the same.
people were made to have sense and the idea that we follow our natural compulsions to be natural is laughable at best. should we also poop our pants and steal our neighbors meat? it's only natural. perhaps mothers should club the other neighborhood children to lessen the competition for her children. why not? it's an animal drive. people have been known to eat other people to survive a harsh winter, shall i invite you over for dinner?
You can choose to live in make believe land or you can understand the world as it is. So YES we don't poop our pants but we DO poop. You think you can stop teens from wanting to have sex and they will simply become more adept at deceiving you. So pul your head out and understand you are fighting something a little more serious then pooping your pants. Because it is a biological imperative it's gonna happen. The problem most parents face is what to do next or what to do with the reality of young adults. You can stick to your guns or disown your kids but probably if they are having sex when they are 15 you already lost that fight and now you are simply throwing temper tantrums. In fact sex at 15 is not your number one problem hard drugs are and a list of other self destructive actions as well. Deal with each problem but don't act as though you can laugh your way through this.
My parents didn't fail, they raised my siblings and I with very high standards. Of course Patrice should not throw those away. My siblings(5 of them) did not step out of line. I, on the other hand couldn't be roped in. There are just some kids that find it more exciting to cause trouble, respect and standards has nothing to do with it. I look back and there was no logic to my behavior. Note: It all worked out with me (not normally the case). Still married, 3 kids, 11 grandchildren and my parents are my best friends too.....now.
Mercy, if anyone has any doubt about America’s moral collapse they simple need to read these comments. Listen to parents speak naively of their children having pre-marital sex.America was once a God-fearing nation. But we have abandoned God. We seem obsessed with the question, “Why do we have all these lost parents and lost children?” However, the REAL QUESTION should be, “Why do we have all these lost parents and lost children NOW?”Montana Guy
I find it interesting with regard to Rumspringa which is a privilege that the Amish allow their children when they turn 16.Rumspringa, or “running around”, is marked by an increase in social activity for these youths to do whatever and live where ever they please. The Amish feel that they have given their children a sheltered life and taught them as much as they can to this point. They can then see what the world is like for themselves.What happens is that most of them follow the traditional ways they have been brought up with…..but there are many who take a different road doing all the things they were taught not to do……but it always ends up being an individual choice. I believe all of the sheltering in the world can not always guarantee a positive outlook for children. It is the character of the child that ultimately decides.