Listening to talk radio the other day, I was treated to a lengthy discussion about how best to deal with a minor child in trouble for sending nude photographs via cell phone. Lengthy discussion. If for no other reason than time-saving; I say a beating beats a lengthy discussion. I do not kid.
The therapist host recommended having a conversation with said cell porn perp about disappointment, the moral beliefs of the parents and potential consequences of such action. Really? How's a beating strike you as a consequence. Get it? Beating strike you? Well, I think it's funny.
Do we really think these kids simply don't realize you might be disappointed that they have taken a picture of their scrotum and sent it out to their special someone(s)? If your child doesn't know this conflicts with your moral system, what exactly have you been doing since giving birth? Consequences? Believe you me; I'm all about consequences. However, I'd prefer to live my life by a moral compass as opposed to fear of getting caught.
Here's the deal, it's too easy to sin. Technology makes it easy, easy makes it common, common makes it ok. The decision isn't big enough, should I or shouldn't I? I mean, let's face the facts...if, in 1982 I had decided to take a picture of myself nude to share with my boyfriend; I would have had to get hold of a camera with film and then take it to be developed. Quite a lot of effort and great potential for discovery. "Hello, Mr. Trent? This is the guy inside of the Kodak film booth. Yeah, we have pictures here of your daughter nekked. You good with that? How did we find you? She put this phone number on the slip." You see, I didn't have my own phone number. Oh, it was rough being a home pornographer back in my day!
It's more than pictures. It's sexting, it's Facebook "like" pages, it's instant messaging and information out there in the hands of other people and other people and other people...And so many people have so much access very few people are shocked.
I'll tell you what's shocking. A beating. That's shocking.
Would I ever strike my now grown up children? Don't be ridiculous. Of course I would. I doubt I could successfully spank them but I could sneak up on them and clock them in the head. And I am entirely capable of doing exactly that. Also capable of kicking them out of my house. Of telling them they are being idiots. Of letting them fall flat on their faces and have to pick themselves up.
I don't say all of this because I think myself above it all and I don't take lightly what my kids do with their lives. And taking a single picture of yourself nude and sending it to one person qualifies as what you are doing with your life. But I am also not going to be held hostage to them. I'm not so very afraid of their behavior reflecting on my parenting that I won't call them wrong when they are. Not so afraid that they will hate me that I don't get in their faces. I'm far from a perfect parent. But I will tell you this without reservation, my children experienced nothing in their upbringing to justify some of the crap that kids are doing. If they choose to sin, they are going to own that mess for themselves. And after they have dealt with God, they are welcome to come on home to mom.
And they might still get a beating.