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Keeping a teenager innocent

originally submitted by: Corgi Breeder "'We're trying to keep him protected and sheltered in a healthy, clean environment and keeping him so he's innocent,' Wendy said." Good luck with that. He already knows and has seen more at age 15 than you did when you were 25. Instead of trying to shelter him, why not read the book along with him and discuss it together as a family? Corgi Breeder: I totally agree with the comment you made about the parents reading the book with their son and discussing it together. In addition, I think they should read the book first, highlight areas of concern to them, and then, as their son reads it, share their thoughts with him and let him express his own feelings. Many times kids, especially teenagers, have tiny bits of information about controversial topics that they truly believe, and yet are way off the truth, dangerously off. There is no way, that we as parents can know what they actually believe. In addition to having a 22 year old and an 18 year old of my own, I worked with teens in a Christian environment for many years. I was amazed at what mistaken ideas youth had about some things. The majority of them cannot bring themselves to ask their parents about the truth, so they go on discussing among themselves these mistaken facts. You would be astounded at what they would discuss in front of me, and allow me to comment on and discuss with them. I was a non- judgemental medium between them and their parents. Or, how after these discussions, some actually asked me to talk to their parents with them about some issues they were dealing with. There is no true way to protect and keep our children innocent, but honesty, respect and truthful discussion with them is the first step. It is not an easy step. In a truly odd way, I and my kids were lucky, I had a non-intrusive legitimate way to introduce these topics. They were exposed to a lot of major issues in our family and while I worked at our church, and even now in places that I volunteer. My daughter and son are not innocent of knowledge of the terrible things that happen to people, or the way some people choose to live their lives, but they are very moral and aware of the consequences of making certain decisions. I am very blessed to have these two as my kids, and to have had the opportunity to assist other people and their kids when they hit rocky spots. My heart breaks when I see things like this happen, when I was a teen, "Are you there God, it's me Margaret" was banned from my parochial school when I was in 7th grade. Let me tell you, the one girl that had a copy of it charged us 50 cents each to borrow it. The idea of it being censored only made us want to see WHY! I recently re-read it when going through old boxes, and I laughed at the issues that were discussed and forbidden to us in 1976.

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