Saturday, April 19, 2014

Childhood in a New Light

My friend ASG, with whom we spent a lovely Seder, made an observation that has resonated with me this past week of Raphaela's Pessach vacation.  We had started on the topic of teenagers, the way they choose to dress and the effect of peer pressure, and I expressed concern that there would come a point that Raphaela would buy her own (inappropriate) clothing, and make friends with those who were not necessarily the best influence.

I often see teens walking down the streets of Jerusalem, returning from school, and my brain shouts, "How did their parents let them walk out of the house that way?  Why does a 14 year old girl have to dress like a prostitute?"

(ASG, a woman with older children and far more parenting experience, pointed out that often children will dress one way to leave the house and change en route to school.  They will also say they are at a friend's house studying when they have all taken a bus to the shopping mall.  I was such a sickeningly sweet and obedient teenager, the stories sound almost ludicrous to me.)

"Even at Raphaela's age, she does not HAVE to listen to you.  She chooses to do so.  And when she gets older, you will have to trust her, and the value system you have given her."

ASG, you are very wise.  Having spent the week at various venues - museums, zoos, meals, supermarkets - watching other kids my daughter's age not listen to their parents, I can appreciate all the more that Raphaela makes my life just a little bit easier as a mother, at least for now.


tesyaa said...

Perhaps you should cut the scantily clad kids a break. Even if you think they're dressed like prostitutes, they might be really good kids.

Doc said...

They're probably great kids. No woman should dress like that at any age. You don't have to agree with me, but I stand solidly against the objectification and cheapening of women. Seriously, how is society impressing upon these girls that this is right and peer-pressure approved? Probably the same people who invented Bratz dolls and consider them good clean fun.