Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
|I drove Derek to the store last night and waited for him in the car while he got just a few things. As I flipped through the radio dial, I stopped on a Christian station that was talking about "tweens."
Tweens? It used to be that pre-teens were defined as eleven and twelve year olds. They were a bit too old to be just kids and not yet teens. I could understand that.
Last night, a children's ministry worker and children's author explained that tweens are now defined as 8 to 12 year olds. Okay....??? And...???
She also explained that these "tweens" are now doing what teens of the past used to do. Huh? She also spoke of this group - 8 to 12 year olds, mind you - as young adults. WHAT????
She explained that "tweens" have to have the "right" cell phones, IPods, clothes, shoes and hair styles. They tell their parents what cars are cool to drive and which ones are just not acceptable.
Two 10 year olds were interviewed briefly. When asked what was important as they enter school this week, they both said that their clothes, shoes and hair style had to be just right or they would be never be popular. The interviewer asked what would happen if they wore the wrong clothes, and they explained that MOST kids don't usually say anything to your face. They just talk behind your back and decide as a group that you are to be avoided at all cost.
Then the author explained tween life a bit more. She said that these kids (remember 8 to 12) are exposed to sex and violence in the ways that teens of the past used to be. Parents allow them to watch PG13 movies, and sometimes even R rated movies. She said that, fortunately, they are not usually pressured into having sex or doing drugs at that age, but they are most likely exposed to it - on the school grounds.
Perhaps they're not pressured. But not long ago there was a 19 year old interviewed on TV who had just gone through drug rehab. She explained that she first started doing Crack because it colored pink and tasted just like bubble gum. That same show revealed some drugs that were disguised in what looked like famous candy bars.
You know what I'm wondering? How did we - the adults of this world - allow this to happen to our kids? Are we really too busy in our own little worlds that we don't see these things? Do we - collectively - think it's okay for our kids to be exposed this way?
I remember being teased - to my face - for wearing knee socks to school when I was in the 7th grade. My best friend was teased even more because she was in the 8th grade and wore ankle socks. We were both new to the neighborhood and the other girls all wore hose, not socks. I was teased even more because I carried my violin to school and back each day and because I actually brought books home to study and got good grades.
Carol and I never let that bother us. Perhaps it helped that there were two of us who were "different". But I think it had more to do with how we were raised and how our parents reacted to these "problems." It didn't matter to our parents at all that we were being teased; we weren't going to wear stockings to school. Period. And you know...in the winter we relished the fact that we were quite warm (Carol wore knee socks in winter) as we waited sometimes 45 minutes for our bus as it struggled through the snow. Those girls with their skirts rolled to expose more leg and stockings, and cutsey mid-weight coats (because they wouldn't be caught dead in an ugly, heavy winter coat or wearing gloves or mittens) froze while we were quite comfy.
In high school, we were not allowed to wear pants until I was a senior, and then the pants had to be part of a pant suit. Jeans were something you wore in your leisure time, not at school.
There, my group of friends wore a variety of outfits. One, who took secretarial classes, wore what would have been appropriate in an office. The two who were going to vocational school half days wore clothing that was appropriate for the jobs for which they were training - a hair stylist and a nursing assistant. The rest of us - in the academic crowd - wore whatever dresses or skirts we pleased. Sometimes we wore something short; sometimes we wore long skirts and knee-high boots. It didn't matter what everyone else was wearing. We just didn't care.
What has happened? Why do kids think they have to be copycats of each other? Why do they think they all have to own the same game systems, cell phones, etc.
Something has changed dramatically, and not for the good.
Think it's possible to go backward? Probably not. So...what would you propose? How do you or will you help the kids around you learn that their value is not in the clothes they wear or the electronic devices they own or the cars their families drive?
I just found this quote that I think applies here and in many parts of life as it's becoming...
“All that is neccesary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke