Thursday, November 18, 2010

British 14 year old girl drinks and parties with her mother's approval

We've been discussing promiscuity lately here, particularly in relation to teenagers, so when I read this in The Daily Mail it just dove-tailed in nicely.

"From her rock-chick black hair, with its green and blonde streaks, to her Doc Marten boots, nine body-piercings, a faceful of ­permanent make-up and two tattoos, there is little about Sophie Watson’s appearance to suggest her true age.

But, aside from her disturbingly adult appearance, it is the conversation that really makes the jaw drop.

Ask Sophie about her social life and she’ll tell you that she drinks and parties with Mum’s blessing. Ask about her sex life and there are no mortified blushes. Instead, she’ll tell you ­— again, in the presence of her mother — that she’s slept with four boys in just six months."

Read more.

This article is the exact example of what I don't agree with - girls, children actually, living a life with adult trappings, like sex and alcohol, without the emotional or physical maturity that we need to deal with things when they go bad. By supporting teenagers to make adult choices (and the body piercings and tattoos don't bother me provided they are done in a sterile way) then you are allowing them to end their childhoods.

The thing I learned as a sexually active teenager was that - you can never go back to your childhood. Once it's over it's gone forever. When you are in your childhood what you want to do is grow up out of it as fast as possible, it's only when you leave it behind do you see what it was worth. Childhood was a time where one could grow in a cushioned environment. Your choices were smaller and less life changing than adult choices are.

As an adult the choices I make have deep repercussions, not only for myself, but for my family. I'm often called to put other people's needs ahead of mine, to accept that I can't have what I want, when I want it. Is a teenager ready to do that? Should a teenager have to do that?

Children have the freedom to be selfish, to take the time to learn to know themselves and to make mistakes in a way that they can handle. As they grow parents offer children greater responsibility so that they can learn to eventually bear adult burdens. If we allow children to jump straight to adult behavior then we deprive them of time growing up.