November 1, 2006


Smoking Gun

This is just in from the land of "Gee - Do Ya Really Think So?".

Teens are more likely to start smoking after they have seen ads telling them not to. Frankly, I'm surprised if kids believe anything we tell them anymore. We tell them drinking is bad as we pull another cork, we tell them war is wrong as we send more of our youth over to die in one, and we tell them to stay in school so they can get a good job - except there are no good jobs anymore. They've watched us lose ours and rage about misplaced loyalties, yet they're supposed to believe us as we keep preaching the party lines.

Follow the reasoning: If you smoke, your kids are more likely to. If you drink, your kids are more likely to. It's not what you tell them, it's what you show them. I catch myself yelling at my kids that yelling is not the way to solve anything. Hypocrite, much, Mom?

I'm not going to argue that our kids aren't inundated with thousands of influences through the media, their friends and their environment. But they're also learning from us. If my parents weren't dead, I'd still be trying to please them. To underestimate this fact is as stupid as overestimating their ability to cope with all this information before they are grown.

When I was a teenager I wanted to do dumb things with all the determination I could muster. Which was considerable. How could any adult not remember that feeling? I wanted to smoke, I wanted to do drugs, I wanted to drink, I wanted to have sex, I wanted to drive too fast, and I wanted to know why there were these two killjoys that kept trying to stop me.

Of course I did those things anyway, but in the back of my head I knew I shouldn't. I hope I'm raising my kids to have that voice in the back of their heads. It's the best I can realistically hope for, and it makes far more sense than trusting some ad campaign to do the work for me.

I'd like the outside world to reinforce my message, but the fact remains it's up to me to deliver it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous steel4545 said...

We all know deep inside you speak the truth about how we influence our kids, but we still need them to experience life, good and bad.We need to be there when they question why.We need to release them from the parent bubble we cloak them in, but keep the long leash on, to tug at them when needed.If we didn't experience all that we did in our "wonder years" we would be different people today.

November 02, 2006 7:57 AM  
Blogger al63 said...

thanks Lorraine for reminding us that in the end we are responsible for ourselves and our children. I am tired of a world where some seem to think everything can be blamed on others and they need to do nothing to influence themselves or their surroundings...

November 02, 2006 9:01 AM  

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