Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Redefining Childhood for Our Children

I know I'm not a parent so I don't know what it's like to have a daughter growing up in today's world. But it breaks my heart when parents of beautiful 13- and 14-year-old daughters allow their kids to wear shorts with their rear ends hanging out, skirts and dresses so short we have to hope for a windless day, or shirts that outline every detail of their changing bodies. Women have to deal with being ogled and aware of the response we will get with every inch of skin we show. Our CHILDREN should not have to deal with that. And they certainly shouldn't be putting pictures of themselves dressed in swimsuits, booty shorts, etc. on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We live in a tainted world and are as naive as these 13 year olds if we don't recognize that we have a role to play in keeping them safe.

Allow your children and pre-teens to enjoy being young. They'll have plenty of time to worry about being hot or sexy. It's okay for them to be beautiful, smart and modest at the same time. Show them they are worth more than their bodies and that they should be valued for all they have to offer - which is much more than a cup size or flat abs.

All of this holds true for 15, 16, even 37 year olds, but your children need to learn these things from you now so they will believe these things about themselves later.

That is all.

by Dana Becker, Spartanburg Community Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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