Friday, September 15, 2006
The whole reason I don't usually watch Primetime, Dateline, or those other "pseudo-news" shows, especially when they have stories about children, is because they always make me walk away hating the world in which I'm bringing up my babies. Last night's Primetime was about Mean Girls on the Internet...how they write horrible things to each other in chat-rooms and on message boards; how they doctor others girl's messages to make them seem crueler; how they post slutty pictures of themselves and their friends. And the clincher was a story about a middle school boy who was incredibly sweet and gentle, and also a little developmentally delayed, so of course he was called gay, and a loser, and bullied mercilessly by girls who used to be his friends. He hanged himself when he was 14. Now does this kind of programming make me want to send my little ones proudly out the door to the schoolbus? No, it does not. Already my kids are frighteningly computer savvy - although their usage is currently limited to PCGames on CD or websites like NickJr and PBSkids.org. But who knows what they'll discover next? They will not be allowed to have computers in their rooms, and I will totally be expecting Don to hack into any email accounts or online journals or blogs that they have. It's just one more thing to worry about, and who really needs that???? I'm so concerned about raising healthy kids, and smart kids, and responsible kids, and active kids...but what I really care about most is raising NICE kids, GOOD kids, CARING kids. I want them to love themselves and their friends, and to stick up for the kids who are being picked on. I want them to be secure enough in themselves to step away from the crowd when they need to and to reach out to those who are outcasts. Now, how do I do that?