Friday, March 6, 2009

What do I tell my kids (The Truth you dumb parent)

Another side of this Chris Brown-Rihanna story that has me musing is that same old reply I hear whenever something happens that affects the youth: "What do I tell my kids....they looked up to [him/her] do I break the news to them." Here's a possible answer...tell. them. the. TRUTH!!! (c) the Genie from Disney's Aladdin

Kids love CB and Rihanna. Me, I started respecting Chris when I started breaking down his singing ability with some of my friends and kinda looked sideways at Rihanna when she went pop instead of reggae (doesnt help that she's not a great singer and comes across very stiff live) But that's neither here nor there. The problem here is parents not sure how to talk to their kids about Chris goin Ike Turner/Prodigy in the car and Rihanna apparently shattering her tough female image by taking him back.

Whenever a role model stumbles, parents suddenly forget how to parent. They get shocked like everybody else and instead of seizing on the situation, they react harshly (throw away those CD's, tear up those posters). But here's a thought, why not use this as a teaching mechanism.

I've always said for years that instead of just telling kids to pick role models, you also tell them to watch when they stumble. You watch how to see if they recover from their mistakes and how they recover. You watch if they show remorse or continue their stupidity. That way we can learn from other's mistakes instead of repeating them.

Michael Phelps got stupid again? Tell kids to be careful of who they choose to keep company with. Alex Rodriguez and others used steroids? Tell your kids to not cheat to get ahead because there will be severe consequences as well as you losing the hardest thing to earn - trust. Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical took some nude photos and they got leaked? Tell your kids don't take nude photos or do anything where somebody with a camera can catch you and expose you later (see another Vanessa for a lesson on that).

So what can we learn from C Breezy and Ri-Ri?....Dr. Virgo speaks his prescription below.

How many young girls (esp. Black/Latino ones) think that they need a man in their life and fall head first into love (sheeet, how many grown women do that)? How many of those same girls allow their boyfriends to talk to them any kind of way and end up in a submissive relationship? This is a chance to let them know of their self-worth and to be more selective when choosing the guys they hang around. Don't tolerate a guy who puts his hands on you.

How many young men aren't taught to deal with their emotions? How many end up resorting to violence without the ability to think through a situation? This is a chance to tell men that they have to respect women and while standing their ground, be firm but not violent or disrespectful.

And for both parties, how often do we let arguments escalate? How often does someone deliberately push someone's buttons and then is surprised when they react? We can teach kids to walk away from a fight. Don't let it get physical on either side, just let it go and cool off. My motto: Keep arguments in-house as much as you can. Don't put your ish on the streets to look like fools. And nobody (male or female) should use their hands - women have to look at why they aggravate their men and men have to look at self-control.

Remember: if somebody drives you to that point consistently, dump them. Nobody is worth that stress and you are selling yourself way short by settling for someone in the name of love/like (speaking of which Diana Ross said STOP, in the name of come instead we give free passes in the name of love/like?)

(gets out of Dr. Virgo chair)

Everything that happens in life can be used to teach someone else. I just don't believe in this theory that we should just be shocked when someone does something. Parents forget that they = teachers. They have to seize the chance to use anything to teach their kids, talk to their kids and show them guidance. I just hate that excuse that "I don't know what to tell my kids, they loved Chris Brown. They loved Rihanna."

Just man up and tell the truth. Break it down.

*Special credit to LA Times columnist Sandy Banks for inspiration*

1 comment:

  1. Well said Dr. Virgo... it's so true. I hate the, "I'll just get rid of everything." approach (as I also hate the immediate media-blame excuse). Use it. Learn from it. Step it up a notch.