It always surprises my friends that I’m so liberal in so many ways, considering I’m so deeply entrenched in my faith. I wear it, I breathe it, I blog about it, but let’s get real for a minute.
Let’s stop pretending that kids aren’t going to get drunk, smoke pot, and have sex. Let’s tell them instead that they own their bodies, and talk about informed choices. I think there should be condom-dispensing machines in every middle school bathroom. I think we should give them their first sip of wine in the home where they’re safe so they can feel its effect and understand the feeling of being out of control in a controlled environment. Since pot is illegal, you can’t give them a joint, but when will we understand that the element of forbidden fruit gives all these things power.
Do you really think by educating them fully and answering all questions honestly, you are tacitly approving their doing things you don’t approve of? Maybe just the opposite is true. It could be that telling them all they wanted to know – but were afraid to ask – will prepare them for that moment when they have to make a choice they’re not ready to make yet.
I say, take them to church or temple, tell them about your values, encourage them toward waiting until they’re emotionally and physically ready, but equip them for the inevitable moment when you’re not there and they need to step up and navigate life on their own. Do everything possible to lead by example, then trust that they were paying attention. Now, back to our regular religious programming.