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Thoughts For Thursday: I Am So Glad I Am Not A Teen Anymore (But I Am Terrified For My Kids)

January 27, 2011 · 100 comments

in Commentary, Thoughts For Thursday

Oh my gosh, here I am at Starbucks again, and the conversation occurring next to me is scaring me half to death.

Keep in mind, I am not eavesdropping this time.  They are so incredibly loud that everyone can hear their conversation.  People all around Starbucks are staring at these girls, but they seem oblivious to it.  (Or they are enjoying the attention, not sure which.)

So, there are four teen girls ‘studying’ at the table next to me.  They have not cracked a book the entire time thus far.  They have talked a lot about various body parts belonging to the opposite sex.  One girl said her dad wants to buy her a chastity belt.  Then they all made a pact to go to Vegas for senior year where they would get drunk and ‘get lucky’.  (Quote edited as this is a family-friendly blog.)  Hands were clasped in the middle of the table and everything, so this is obviously a binding agreement.


These girls are probably juniors in high school, but they sound and act like they are living the life of the women on ‘Sex In The City’. Oh, they are also all on the diet pill ‘Alli’ and talking about the workout routines they need to do to stay skinny.  They are swearing like sailors too.

I am wondering if these girls are a true representation of what teenage girls are like in America today.  They are obviously very popular (with the opposite sex) based on what I am hearing from their conversation, so it isn’t like they are the ‘shunned’.  They have varsity jackets too, so they play sports.

My daughter is 14, and I cannot imagine how heartbroken I would feel if I overheard her participating in a conversation like this.  I am sure I am being naive, but geez, I just can’t see her talking like this (yet).

It is time for me to get a plastic bubble for all of my kids, because I don’t want them interacting with girls like these.  I could really go into detail about what I heard, but then my blog would be deemed X-rated.  I think one girl is only 15.  At least she has plans now for senior year…

So, am I an old prude to think these girls need to be kept in the house for awhile and get a dose of decent values?  Or, is this type of behavior and conversation typical of teens in America now, and I have been living in my own little naive world?

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

First Gen American January 27, 2011 at 5:25 am

Most girls in my high school were not virgins by the time they graduated. In fact, two were pregnant by graduation (and I went to catholic school). My roommate in college had a sister who’s GRAMMAR school graduating class had 2 pre-teen moms in it. One of them had 2 kids. Do the math, that’s like having sex the second you hit puberty around age 10.

I hope that things are better where I live now, but I doubt it.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

First Gen, that is the scariest thing I have read in awhile. Pre teen moms? Oh my gosh! How absolutely depressing.


101 Centavos January 27, 2011 at 7:03 am

I must certifiably old-fashioned as well. The overhead conversation would have had me shaking my head and tut-tutting.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

We are both old-fashioned 101! I was eye-rolling too!


Nicole January 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

They probably did want the attention.

Sitting in my accelerated math class with all the older kids, I used to listen to similar conversations (though much quieter), especially around major dances such as prom and homecoming. I’d hear the aftermath too. One benefit of being much younger– I could listen but was obviously not going to participate!

The high school I went to was pretty wild too. Not so much with the drugs and alcohol, but definitely with the hormones and sex. Though probably in a healthier way… people believed they were in long-term relationships and also fully understood birth control.

DH’s relative is always asking DH for advice about what to do with his two oldest when they sneak out to see their boyfriends… of course we have no clue! But they’re keeping a very close eye on them precisely because… well, he had them when he was a teenager (and his parents had him and his older sister when they were teenagers), his wife dropped out of high school to marry her first husband, they know what goes on and they want better for their children. So far the oldest is beating family records for longest time not pregnant.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner, I was responding from my wordpress page and somehow missed a few comments…

Anyway, I like that there are family records for not getting pregnant! It is sad though for sure.

I imagine being around older kids a lot of the time was pretty shocking for you. I remember even playing sports and hearing some of the things that seniors talked about, it made me a little nervous to ‘grow up’. But, not everyone has to follow down the paths they hear about.

I am admittedly naive though. I remember in college, there was a pamphlet being circulated by the university telling all the sexual practices ‘not to do’. I had not even heard of most of them. This was 1985, and AIDS was just getting more notice.

I liked the bubble I put myself in….


Nicole January 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Nah, being around older kids was the best part of the day. The only time when I was a brain but not a freak. The boys flirted with me and the girls talked with me. But it was also nice not being a part of what they were doing, and not expected to be a part of it.


Money Reasons January 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

It’s a different world anymore. I blame a lot of it on the media, with shows like Sex in the City, Skins, etc…

Of course the internet is bad too… All media it seems promotes this kind of activity. Sad huh!


Kris January 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Oh my gosh, Skins is absolutely horrible. I know a lot of high schoolers watch that show, but not in this house. (I am so not fun!) I am sure people think that I am setting my kids up to be wild and crazy in college, but hopefully I am just instilling good values instead.


Dianna January 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

Oh my…I know stuff like this goes on, but I like to pretend that it doesn’t. If you find a deal on plastic bubbles, let me know. I would like an extra large one, please!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Dianna, would you prefer one big bubble, or three smaller ones? I think I may need a bubble for myself, that conversation was even too much for me!


Linda January 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

It’s not just girls talking like this, it’s boys, too. My sister’s youngest is a junior in high school now and over the past few years I’ve been stunned at the way he’s talked around her and in what he posts on Facebook. And she seems OK with it! That’s the prude side of me reacting.

The more practical side of me realizes that the only thing “new” about this is that it is more overt. Once puberty hits, people want to have sex and it’s been that way since the beginning. Teen and young adult pregnancy may seem to be the worst consequence for parents of girls, but there are also many easily transmittable STIs that are with a person for life, like the strains of HPV that are linked to cancer, or the varieties of herpes that are transmitted simply by skin to skin contact (often times with no visible “symptoms!”) and never, ever go away. I imagine trying to explain all these potential complications to someone who has hormone overload is pretty hard, too.

Being a parent must be such a roller coaster ride!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

It is shocking what you see on Facebook. I think part of what is happening is that there are more ‘mediums’ to share your skankness. Girls can take provocative pictures of themselves and send them to other people or put them up on facebook. It is quite disturbing what I see some of these young girls posting on FB.

There is a whole lot of bad things that can happen when engaging in activities that you are not mentally ready for. If only puberty waited until the 20s…


Jacq January 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

My 22 yo (boy) says that kids are like this too. I don’t know what I did right, but he’s so not like that. It’s very hard for him to find young people his age to communicate with so he has to go to online forums to discuss politics, science and philosophy. Or talk to mom. 🙂
I think it’s a self esteem issue – their self esteem is false and based upon other’s perceptions. The scary part is that they’re probably quite popular. Such a crowd to aspire to…


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Jacq- they sure seemed popular, at least in their own minds. The funny thing was, the ringleader did briefly talk about chemistry at the end and seemed pretty darn bright. I do think many girls like to get caught up with this ‘Sex in the City’ mentality of being grown up way too young, and that is the cool thing to do.

I am sure your son will find a wonderful girl like him. Those girls do exist out there!!


ange February 10, 2011 at 1:22 am

They want to be considered sophisticated. Having sex, drinking, etc makes them believe they are considered such. They don’t realize that adults would consider them more mature if they sat there and talked quietly, without the world knowing their business,and discussed the chemistry, college, etc.


Squirrelers January 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

I’m right there with you in how I react to this. Actually I wonder how involved those girls’ parents truly are in their lives. Those types don’t seem so cool now that I’m older, instead they’re disappointing.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Squirrel- they kinda broke my heart, I found it very disappointing. This mom (that didn’t belong to any of them) did come in at one point and hug all the girls and they all seemed like great pals. I think that is a very big problem these days- adults trying to be friends to the kids. Gotta be the cool mom!


Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter January 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

I work in a teen clinic and this sounds like the same types of girls I see. Kids aren’t kids anymore. I think a lot of that is attributed to media, tv, internet, and a lack of parenting. Too many kids are raising themselves now because mom and dad don’t want to or they are too busy too. It really is a sad state of affairs. All I can say is my kids will be raised differently.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I am so surprised by how little parents know about their kids anymore. I have a post coming up about this, but it is sad how so many parents seem to just back off when the kids become teenagers because they don’t know what to ‘do’ with them.

All the imagery on tv and in movies really is not good for the teens/pre-teens. When it seems like all this ‘grown up’ behavior is so cool and a ‘Snooki’ is viewed as a good thing, then I guess this is exactly what we get. My kids really don’t have an interest in stuff like that, thank God. If they did, there would be a lot of fights..


Nicole January 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It’s weird because in the under 6 set at least, I feel like parents know WAY more about their kids than they did when I was growing up. Kids never go to playdates without the parents anymore. You don’t just drop kids off unless you’re related by blood.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Nicole, I agree about the parents and the playdates thing. I thought it was just us though because our kids go to private school and the parents had to drive them to visit friends. I didn’t realize that was a mainstream thing.

Of course, everyone is allergic to everything now, so someone needs to be nearby with an epi pen all the time too…


retirebyforty January 27, 2011 at 10:54 am

I would get a nice comfy bubble for your girl….
Jeez… too much peer pressure in our society to be cool.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I want bubbles for all of us… A comfy one would be nice!


JT McGee January 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting. Parenting.

The difference between the good kids and the bad ones.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm

JT, you are so right. I think many people are afraid to parent these days. Gotta be FUN!!!! However, many people don’t realize you can still have fun with your kids and be a parent at the same time.


Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’m glad I’m not a teen anymore either. It was crazy way back then, but what kids are doing now… yikes! I won’t go on my erosion of values rant… We all must do better for their sakes.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

We can rant together Shawn…


Crystal @ BFS January 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I thought there always were girls like that. Luckily, it doesn’t mean your daughter will be one (I wasn’t). 🙂


Kris January 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

BFS, I wasn’t like that either, but my gosh, I didn’t know it had gotten as bad as it sounded at Starbucks!


krantcents January 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I guess I am glad my children are adults! This is your opportunity to instill your values in your kids before they get near this type of distraction. Start early and keep it up often! As our kids were growing up and going away to college, we were concerned about drinking and driving. Our values did have an effect on them, my son and daughter more often than not used a shuttle or was the designated driver. It does work!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Krantcents, I sure hope it works. I try to instill values without browbeating the kids. It is a tough balance and I guess only time will tell if I did ok.


Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I am scared about this (when we have kids, that is). Unfortunately, I have seen quite a lot of girls like this (by spending too much time in a bookstore/starbucks near a university). I don’t know if I have the bad luck to come across the whole lot of them or there are a lot of girls like this now. Boys are equally bad and the way they talk about the girls are insulting. I don’t know how it works, whether the girls don’t care that they were humiliated and just want to get lucky or they don’t know what these boys think about them. Overall, I am really really scared for my kids.


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Suba, I am scared for my kids too, but I do have some hope.

I have only overheard girls talking, but I am sure boys are worse. However, that is the stereotype with boys, so maybe I was more shocked when I heard the girls talking like this? I don’t know, but I thought girls used to be ashamed of promiscuous behavior. Now it is funny and great conversation apparently. There wouldn’t be a scarlet letter, but maybe a nice pretty neon letter in bright lights that people would wear with a smile.


Lola January 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Kris, I get the overwhelming impression that you are very close to all your children and you are very perceptive about the pressures your kids are facing that differ from your own adolescence. I remember that you wrote a really beautiful post about talking to your youngest about his worries about moving up to a new school and just growing up in general – I think you can feel a little confident that your kids trust you to listen to them and accept them.

I feel I did fairly well with my kids, although there’s a lot not under any parent’s control, I’ve learned. You gotta think about it being more about helping them fix up their shields rather than keeping them in a bubble (because a bubble just can’t hold up for long!).

The starbucks incident might make an interesting launch pad for discussing some of the issues with your daughter – would she say the girls were showing off? You could then ask her if she feels pressure to act one way at school or around certain people. You may want to take it as an opportunity to let your daughter know some of your attitudes about sex/relationships and loud public displays thereof.

You might even ask her “Do you think I should have stopped by their table and told them I thought they were being very immature and then walked out?” I sort of did that one time with my girls, and it was pretty interesting what they said!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Lola, thank you so much for your comment- you made my day, and i mean that.

I do talk A LOT to my kids. For one thing, I love to talk. For another thing, I know it is hard to be a teen, and I think it is a lot harder now than when I was a teen. I don’t ever want to be that parent that thinks ‘oh my kid would never do that’ and just excuse behavior.

My daughter and I had a very honest discussion about those girls, and from her reaction, you would think these girls were from a totally different planet from her. My daughter is very studious and loves her sports. She is nowhere near where the girls I wrote about are. I have talked with my boys and my daughter about how respect is about the most important thing you can have for yourself and for others. However, what mom says and what really happens may be two different things. All I can do is try and keep the line of communication open so they can talk to me if they need to and I will gently ask questions where I can.

I was ‘this close’ to saying something to those girls, but something stopped me. I think it was because they kind of left suddenly because they lost track of time and kind of ran out. What is sad is this wasn’t just talk, it was way too detailed to be anything but the truth. So very sad.


MoneyCone January 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Sometimes, it is best not to know! (Loosely quoting from a Raymond episode!)


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

MC, I should could have used not knowing all of this, but i will say, I appreciated the eye opener. It will keep me more vigilant as a parent.


Deidre @ TransFormX January 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

LOL @ MoneyCone….read your response and could just hear that coming out of Raymond’s mouth 🙂

I got lucky. I admit it. My son never did talk that way around me, what he did around his buddies – well that may be a different story. However, I can only hope that he didn’t take it to the absurd level.

I tend to agree with JT, parenting! Even though the peer pressure now is different than when I was in school, parenting still should influence most kids from engaging in activity such as that. But! I am old now and what do I know 😉 LOL


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Deidre, I feel old now too, trust me. I am sure it is nice for you to know that things can and do turn out just fine for some parents and their kids.


Deidre @ TransFormX January 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Kris…I agree with Lola – you seem like a great parent who takes their responsibility very seriously. I think when kids see this they are more inclined to respect the parent. Believe me, the things you do and say DO sink in and will surface when you least expect them to. Years later your kids will come back and say “remember that time when you told me…”

My son has done that on multiple occasions and it’s always interesting to find out his perspective years later. Some of the stuff amazes me and I think ‘wow, I guess I made an impact!!’

Just the very fact that you are concerned about these things and aware will make the difference!


Kris January 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Deidre, thank you also for your kindness. I will say I am really enjoying the teen years more than I thought I would. Teens are actually fun people, if you get to know them.

I am so glad that you have gotten some positive reinforcement from your son. That has to feel great!


Car Negotiation Coach January 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Kris, that’s crazy, you need to buy that bubble ASAP. In fact, get another one for me….I don’t want my daughter near any of that stuff. She’s not even one yet….I’ve got a long road in front of me!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm

CNC- oh a little one year old, how wonderful! Congratulations! You need a little sized bubble right now.

Just stay involved CNC and limit the amount of exposure to all that garbage that is out there. I am so glad that I never made watching those age-inappropriate shows a priority for my daughter and I- I know some parents do.


Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I’ve never purchased anything from starbucks, and this makes me glad. At any rate, I cant say that I’m surprised. The women from sex and the city were basically treated like gods, and even though they played on stereotypes, they are constantly emulated. Unfortuately for your ‘friends’ they are probably going to learn some lesson the hard way.
Sorry you had to be around that conversation, btw. I cant stand when things like that happen, but its hard to turn away (or leave)


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Jeff, it was a total train wreck for sure.

I really like Starbucks because I can type for a couple hours in a warm place while my kids are at basketball. You can almost always overhear an interesting conversation if you choose to. This one you couldn’t miss, whether you wanted to or not.

The examples that are out there right now for kids are awful. We need a complete overhaul of the entertainment industry.


Deidre @ TransFormX January 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Where do these kids get the $$ to go to Starbucks anyway? I can hardly afford it!!


Kris January 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Don’t you know that a lot of kids have credit cards that are paid by their parents now days???


Deidre @ TransFormX January 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I was afraid you were going to say that LOL. Too much!
I taught my son about credit, checkbooks and money management but giving a teen a credit card to just spend, spend, spend. I don’t know. I guess if it works for some people….

Me? Nope, no way!


Financial Samurai January 28, 2011 at 2:59 am

Hmmmmm…. that’s tough for a parent. I wonder though, if they are safe, don’t contract any diseases, don’t get pregnant, maybe it’s OK? As, sooner or later, things happen and they grow out of it.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

Sam, that is a lot of ‘ifs’ to deal with for someone who is 15-16 years old. Just like I don’t think it is a great idea for any of my teens to go out and get drunk so they can handle it better later. I think kids need to mature in order to be able to handle some of life’s consequences.

I know I was nowhere near ready to handle what those girls were talking about when I was 15/16, and I was pretty darn mature. Planning to go to Vegas and get drunk and other things sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially for young girls.

In my ideal world, teenagers would get their self esteem through accomplishment, not through appealing to the opposite sex.


Evan January 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm

NO KRISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS you are falling into “that” trap. The good old days were literally never as good as you remember it. Please read:


You are going to tell me there were slutty girls when you were younger? We currently have the lowest teen pregnancy rate since we started recording it 70 years ago (I have no idea about the corresponding abortion rate).


Kris January 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Evan – I remember that post, and I also think I was curious as to what the abortion rate was too.

I did not run in a fast crowd by any means. HOWEVER, I have never heard girls talk like these girls were talking at Starbucks. I left out most of it, but it was one of the most graphic conversations I have heard in public. Back in the good old days of my high school years, girls seemed to have wanted to keep these details quiet so they didn’t get a reputation. Sure there were slutty girls when I went to high school, but even they weren’t bragging about it. I think that conversation was saved for the boy’s locker room (I am guessing).

Wait until your child(ren) get older! The thought of your kids behaving in this manner will appall you. I want my daughter to have respect for herself and not just be willing to to go off with any old person, while getting drunk in the process. To have the goals these girls were having at the age of 15 is disturbing to me. People should think better of themselves in my opinion. In synopsis, it is just sad that values have gotten so low that it is no big deal to not only partake in these activities so young, but also feel like an entire crowd in a cafe would think you were cool for behaving that way.


Nicole January 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I know we’re only 10 years different in age, but I don’t think that much probably changed in those 10 years.

Until recently (really the past couple of years), I’ve always been kind of attracted to the slightly mentally unhinged (Maggie has mellowed a lot since I met her!), and being over-sexed is one way that girls cope with family problems and abuse.

The stories I could tell about high school… One of my friends even had a list of her conquests, similar to that powerpoint presentation of the Duke girl in the news. She really needed help. Her parents were going through a messy divorce and were both accusing her of siding with the other… when her mother wasn’t leaving messages calling her a slut, she (the mom) would call to talk about (the mom) sleeping with truck drivers whose names she didn’t know.

In high school driver’s ed, the girls who were loudest about what exactly they were doing with their 18-25 year old boyfriends were also the ones with burn marks on their arms who said they smoked to get back at their parents. Same things with the high school friends of college friends who didn’t go in college. There’s a wild desperation.

My sister had a friend who was similar in terms of vocally talking about sex who stopped talking to my sister when my sister told a school counselor that the girl was cutting herself. She was a really nice girl too… but…

These are cries for help.

And I remember in middle school not understanding the conversation a couple of the girls in my art class were having and having them explain to me the slang definition of “tease.” It was a concept that had never occurred to me.

If you primarily stay around places with middle class kids who have well-adjusted parents, you won’t come across this sort of thing. But it’s there and it’s been there and girls have been that loud and obnoxious about sex, at least since the 1990s, probably earlier. And blaming the parents isn’t parents trying to do their best and just being friends, it’s parents being absent (substituting money for time), or divorcing messily, or abusing their kids, or letting their kids be abused by others.

Sex becomes perverted for these kids. It isn’t the ultimate act of love… it’s something they’ve been forced to do so they want to devalue it through promiscuity, or it’s the ultimate form of rebellion to get their parents to notice them, or they think it’s the only way they can feel connected and loved.

Maggie thinks I read too much into high school sex… she thinks it’s mostly hormones. A biological imperative. But I don’t know. And I thank God for therapy so that my friend with the list can be happily married and an OB/GYN. And she can find and help our other friend get back on her feet after dropping out of college and years of substance abuse. And I feel sorry for those kids I grew up with but don’t hear about anymore (because my mom doesn’t know their parents) who are probably repeating cycles of abuse.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Nicole, I am probably more with you than Maggie regarding views on hormones and such.

When I think of girls that ‘got around’, they were almost always the ones that didn’t have the best home life, or the parents were absent. It is shocking what has come out not just about sex, but about cutting too. I had never heard of cutting until 5 years ago or so, and I had never met anyone that did it. Now I know several adults who have kids that cut or knows kids that cut. What is going on? Did people always cut, or is it a new thing?

Human beings need an outlet for emotions, especially negative ones. Some people choose to drink, some run away from home, others sleep around. As you said, a lot of these behaviors are indeed a cry for help, but sometimes, nobody is listening. Of course, I do not know these girls from Starbucks, but they did not seem like the types that were from abusive homes. They looked like happy girls that were having fun. (Apparently, a LOT of fun.) I think you made a very good point about parents being divorced or absent being a major factor. I can tell you I feel it is even more important to be at home as a mom of teens than when they are little and maybe go to daycare. Kids need boundaries, kids secretly want boundaries. The more temptation that is there, the more likely kids are going to try things.

The bottom line is, I think teens need to feel respected, important, and good about themselves. I am not saying they should be spoiled and coddled. But psychologically, I think it is important that these kids feel worthy from the inside, so they don’t need external validation. Obviously, teens have hormones and such. However, that doesn’t mean you have to run around putting out just because you can.

Did I even respond to your comment? I think I might have just babbled…


Nicole January 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm

The friend with the list’s parents made a lot of money! You wouldn’t know about her home-life just from looking. Or my sister’s friend with the cutting… a good Catholic girl at a good Catholic school. My parents had no idea the girl was doing this when my sister asked what she should do– it was a shock to them. You just don’t know what’s really going on.

People have always cut. People cut across cultures too… it isn’t just an American thing. (I feel like I read a Slate article or Rolling Stone or something on the subject.)


Evan January 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I am not saying it isn’t disturbing, I agree 100%. All I am saying is that I REFUSE to believe it is new.

If I did my math correctly you were a teen in the 80’s or so? ummm did parents think the world was going to hell when Madonna started making out with a Black Jesus while wearing cone bras? and poison was singing look what the cat dragged in and every rose has its thorn while sleeping with 4 girls at a time?

I think you just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time listening to girls that are likely to end up pregnant at 19.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

You are very good at math Evan. I graduated high school in 1985.

What I think is new is the openness of all of this, and the general acceptance. I do think there is a shift in what is ‘ok’ from back when I was a kid and now. I see some things on Facebook that would make your head spin too.

I think pregnancy at 19 is being generous…


Nicole January 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I agree with Evan. I think you had a pretty sheltered childhood.


Kris January 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

Sheltered? Not even close. Naive that young teens were planning on having one night stands and were proud to disclose it to the world? Perhaps…


Sasha January 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Man, at 21, I’m not too far removed from the day to day lives of teenagers nowadays. All I have to say is, as someone who was born and partly raised in Jamaica, I can say without a doubt that American society is very backwards when it comes to matters as important as drugs, alcohol, and especially sex. I mean, EVERY television show about teen/college life that isn’t on Disney/Nickelodian features parties, drinking, and carefree sex. Yet, for some strange reason, parents feel no need to talk to their children about these subjects. Also, parents have very little issue about schools having drug and alcohol awareness programs but get up in arms about anything but abstinence being taught in schools.

Get Real! The average age one becomes sexually active is under 17 for both boys and girls now.

If you don’t talk to your children about safe sex and responsible behavior, refuse to let schools enlighten them and provide safe sex materials (condoms & etc), what do you think is going to happen when all they have is the media to inform them? How many teen/young adult programs do you see highlighting safe sex practices and what it is to be in a healthy relationship opposed to some story line revolving around this person sleeping with that person’s boy/girlfriend, random hook ups, and teenage pregnancy? I’ll wait while you attempt to name one…

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying where I was raised was full of innocent little angels. BUT, at the very least, the message our parents where sending weren’t being entirely contradicted by the media that shaped the world around us. Also, while schools giving out condoms and birth control aren’t things that would fly in our schools either, a true sex education was still provided.

Not to fear, lots of things can be remedied by good parenting. And while adults can’t be held responsible for every action their child makes, they still play a heavy role in influencing them. One of the things my parents did was bar me from watching television unless they were home. 9 times out of 10, all I would watch during the week was the nightly news, jeopardy, wheel of fortune, and star trek. I was none the wiser about alternate programming so I was quite entertained by all except certain sections of the news. On the weekends, Saturday morning children shows were recorded and I could watch them after I finished my chores (and my chores were simply there to instill the concept of contributing to the household, because we did have a Maid). As a result of all this, no inappropriate shows were viewed by me when I was home, books and the library became my friend, and, when at other people’s houses, us kids did this weird thing called playing outside (you may have heard of it). As such, I missed much of the media corruption and my friends were similarly oblivious. Hell, I very vividly remember being 9 and getting in trouble because I watched the Spice Girls and my parents DID NOT want me seeing it (which I new good and well). I didn’t and still don’t get what the big deal was about, but it was also the most adult film I had watched at the time (and I mean adult in the secular sense).

This foundation greatly influenced my complete lack of interest in the behavior extolled in shows like the real world, jersey shore, and the like… and my children will be raised similarly to how I was as a result.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Sasha, thank you for a very thoughtful and insightful comment.

I agree that parents are a huge part of the problem. Parents are living their second ‘teenhoods’ through their kids, and it is disturbing. These parents still yearn to be cool. However, I don’t know how much real interaction happens, at least the type you are talking about. Do I want my daughter to go on birth control at 16? Heck no. But, I want her to feel like she can come to me to talk about it because I would rather she be safe than sorry. I would still help her with the decision, even though I might not like it.

Many people made fun of me because I severely limited the amount of tv watching/video games my kids did. My kids love a lot of the PBS cartoons as that was all they knew. Video games during the week? Never, and only an hour on weekends. There is so much rot out there in the entertainment world. I hate that I don’t see kids playing outside anymore, and it seems to just be getting worse. Obesity rates are climbing too, nothing good comes from sitting around and watch Jersey Shore. Oh it isn’t just tv shows, but commercials too. We were all sitting there watching Star Wars and we had to turn it off because the commercials were horrific. They all involved a bedroom product that basically guaranteed satisfaction in the sack.

The bottom line is parents. Too bad most parents seem to back away from their kids when they are in their teen years instead of trying to be there for them.


Lindy Mint January 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I would be equally scared if I overheard that conversation, though I don’t think it is anything new. Some girls are just like that and have always been, but like Chrystal said, definitely not all of them!

I have boys and I worry about them becoming teenagers too, locker room talk, eeek! I guess I can only hope that they are nerds. Just kidding, sort of.


Kris January 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Lindy- There is nothing wrong with nerds!!!

I do know that there has always been a subset of girls like that. However, it does seem more prevalent, and the absolute pride they had in their sluttiness was appalling.


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Neon Signs March 16, 2011 at 6:17 am

I have to agree, when we were teens, there were simpler times, now they are bombarded with wrong information and temptation, it’s so easy to screw up


Angela Covarrubias October 18, 2011 at 12:51 am

I have overheard similar conversations by teenagers. My children are 19 and 21 years old, so their not babies anymore. I still want to bubble wrap them and keep them at home. Today’s teenagers are a totally different group than we were. I am not sure where young girls heads are these days. Let me take that back, I do know where their heads are. They see sex and alcohol on every channel of the television. It is all made to look cool and the thing to do, so they figure ‘why not’. It’s sad!


Kris October 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I couldn’t agree more Angela. It breaks my heart to see these kids want to grow up so fast. I will invest in bubble wrap with you.


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Good article. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well.


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