Skip to main content

I'm Not a Cool Mom. And I'm Totally Cool with That.

I'm not a "cool" mom. I don't know whose tops on the Pop charts. I don't have cable (by choice), so I don't really get the whole zombie phenomenon sweeping the nation. I'm not a fashion plate, and not really interested in my kids being one either.  I see no reason for my pre-teen to have a cell phone, so he's not facetiming, texting or tweeting anyone or anything. 

Nope. Not a cool mom. And I'm totally fine with that. Here's why: 

First, I'm more and more aware of the evils (and I use that word intentionally) of too much too soon. Our kids are being bombarded like never before with half-naked models peddling everything from perfume to pajamas. People are churning out smartphone apps that make it easy to commit crimes and get away with it (yes, I mean you, Snapchat). And, apparently, TV shows have gone the way of soft porn in many cases. 

I simply don't want my young sons growing up thinking that this is the moral standard, low though it may be, that they should set for themselves. So, instead of cable, we have streaming TV. Yes, we watch shows like Andy Griffith and Little House on the Prairie instead of The Walking Dead and Normal Show. And know what? My kids like it that way. 

They, too, are tired of the assault on their senses they get every time they turn a corner. The simpler, gentler shows are much more their speed. It's a relief to them not to have to be "on alert" for a curse word or a nip slip. Because, guess what? They're kids. And childhood is too fleeting for them to have to be concerned about such things right now. 

Next, there's the ever-present argument over cell phones. My 10-year-old's relentless pursuit of a smartphone is exhausting for me to fend off, but, for his own good, I stand firm. I once asked him what in the world he could possibly need a phone for, anyway, since we are together all the time. He had no ready answer. The simple truth is, he wants one because he sees most of his friends having one. And that's not a good enough reason. 

If I were to give in to this request, we'd have a few problems on our hands that none of us is ready to tackle:
  • Predators - I have spent my entire parenting career telling my children not to let anyone touch them without permission. By handing my son a cell phone, I'm basically giving any pervert within the Internet's reach access to my babies. They are too young to understand the dangers this presents, so, until they are old enough to get it, and until there is a true necessity for this device, we will be keeping up with each other the old-fashioned way - one-on-one and face-to-face. 
  • Finances - Personally, I don't think any adolescent should be given access to an accessory unless they can help foot the bill. When my kid can contribute financially to the cell phone bill, we might talk about it. 
  • Peer bullying - I've seen this first-hand with one of my own dear sweet relatives. Cell phones can be used for cyber bullying quicker than you can say "spit." And for some reason application designers continue to churn out apps that make it a cakewalk to victimize people and leave no trace evidence, (which, in my opinion, should be illegal but that's another topic for a different post). 
So, no. My son will not be receiving a cell phone any time soon. Which I know puts me in the minority among my parenting peers. And that's okay. 

Finally, I'm a huge advocate for censorship. I censor everything, from my kids' movie choices to the kinds of video games they play to what sites they can access on the Internet. We have one community computer in our house, and it's an old-fashioned, bolted-to-the desk model, placed where I can easily see what's on the screen. No laptops or TVs are allowed in their rooms, and while this can sometimes be a challenge, since we also only have one main TV in the house, it's a necessity. 

Know why? Because pornography is merely a click away. And studies show that pornographers are targeting boys as young as 6. It's the silent infection that is spreading through our young men's lives, and if we don't stand in the gap for them, who will? The same goes for movies, TV shows and video games, which, if you study them, continue to eek the door open inch-by-inch for immoral and lewd behavior. 

I know I sound a little like the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live here. And, don't get me wrong, I don't expect my children to listen to sermons and read nothing but their Bibles, for Heaven's sake. But I do expect them to sharpen their moral swords before entering into the Lion's den. 

One day, my children will be old enough to see PG-13 movies. They'll most likely have cell phones at some point in their teenage years. Heck, we might even get cable one day, if we are so moved. But, for now, while they're spiritual bones are still hardening, I want them to be guarded, wary, even, of what the world has to offer. Because one day they will have to decide for themselves what's right and what's wrong, and that's a decision I don't want them making through blurred lenses. 

If that makes me uncool, then, I'm cool with that. 


Popular posts from this blog

Open Palms: Learning to Hold On Loosely

I can't even tell you how long it's been since I've written in my blog. Months? Years? Probably years. But daily I have messages fly in and through my mind that I think, "I've got to share this with people!" but I never do because I'm usually driving a kid or chasing a kid or yelling at a kid or nagging a kid to pick up something off the floor. You get the picture. 
Yet, I'm compelled to get off my rump and finally put this down because, Lord help me, I've been through a lot lately. Not kidding. Full disclosure, we haven't been through as much as some, and I'm not claiming to understand other people's real pain or suffering ... like cancer or the loss of a child. So, please understand I'm living in reality here when I tell you these recent life challenges are probably child's play compared to some people's daily mountains.

But for those struggling with climbing over the steep hill called trust in times of change, this one&#…

To the toddler mom who commented on my teenager ...

It's been a while since I've posted. I can only say that this has been quite a year of life lessons ... many of which I will share very soon. For now, I feel compelled to write about an encounter I had just last night.

She was standing there after what I can only assume had already been a harrowing day, a baby strapped to her chest, another crawling on the nearby carpet and a toddler, tired from his gymnastics class, weeping from exhaustion. It was summer, after all, a time of going and doing, hot summer days and not-early-enough nights.

That's when she noticed me, standing with my almost-13-year-old son, who had recently shot past me in height. His self possession and maturity must have struck her, as I could see a quick glint of jealousy streak across her face. I recognized that look. I'd had it not so long ago when I was the mom of little tots, which elevated my joy to the heavens while sapping my strength. I remember coveting the phase of life other moms were in: chi…

Confessions of a Horrible Summertime Mother

Most people wouldn't classify me as a terrible summertime mom. I mean, I've already shared with my readers the color-coded calendar I hold in such high esteem. I'm very good at finding activities for my children to participate in during the hot summer months. It's the downtime I have trouble with. 

That, my friends, is what makes me a terrible summertime mom. 

I work. Which means that my time with my kids is relegated to anytime during the week after 1 and before 8 or 9 p.m. (preferably 8). That's usually when my kids want to go to wet places like the pool or the splash pad or the lake. 

Now, I do love summer. Really. I grew up frolicking lakeside with my cousins, skiing, wake boarding and living in my swimsuit. It never bothered me that my diet consisted mainly of Rainbow white bread and bologna. In fact, at 10 years old, I liked it that way. I don't remember a lot of adults hovering around. Heck, I don't think I ever wore floaties or a life jacket. My family…