Stick-in-the-Mud Much?

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 17 July 2012 @ 10:46 am

I am a big proponent of “car-time.” Car-time provides the perfect opportunity for parents to discover things about their kids that were previously unknown. Perfect because the participants are not facing one another and do not look at one another. In fact, one is looking straight ahead — a requirement for driving the car. By removing the potential barrier, kids have a tendency to be more open. To share more. To divulge information that might otherwise remain hidden.

And it was in the car, en route to field hockey practice, that the following conversation occurred:

Lilly: So in the episode [of some insipid tween program], they all wanted to date him. Because he was the hottest guy.
Me: So…um…do you know what that means? Being hot, I mean.
Lilly: Yeah. It’s like being really cute. You know. Being sexy.
Me: I see. So…do you know what sexy means?
Lilly: (incredulously) I thought you knew this stuff.

What I discovered is that Lilly uses these words, but doesn’t truly understand their nuances. Which is fine. And…not so fine.

At nine years old, I certainly knew what it meant to think that a boy was cute. But I am pretty certain that I didn’t know what it meant to call someone “hot” and I DEFINITELY didn’t know what “sexy” meant. And because I didn’t really know those words, I didn’t use them.

At nine years old, Lilly doesn’t really know either. But these words are tossed about so frequently on the shows that she is watching and in the music to which she is listening that she doesn’t think twice about incorporating these words into her parlance.

A popular song came on with these lyrics:

Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here
Now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick ‘em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger
I’m talking about – everybody getting crunk, crunk
Boys trying to touch my junk, junk
Gonna smack him if he getting too drunk, drunk
Now, now – we goin’ til they kick us out, out
Or the police shut us down, down
Police shut us down, down
Po-po shut us –

[Links provided to explain to slang to my more mature readers…and Mick Jagger to the kinder.]

And before I get flamed for allowing my nine-year old to be exposed to such smutty language, consider this: this song was featured in the 2011 PG movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Which happens to be otherwise completely appropriate as far as family entertainment is concerned AND a hug fave in our house.

Lilly doesn’t know what these words mean either. “I don’t care about the words, Mama. I just really like the beat.” And when I try to explain the words to her, she responds with “I just thought the boys went into her room and were trying to take her stuff. Anyway, I definitely would make different choices.”

Oh dear daughter…if only it was that simple.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve 17 July 2012 @ 11:54 am at 11:54 am

Is it possible that a person would need help with ALL 3–crunk, junk, AND Mick Jagger?

Just kidding. I know about Mick, even though I was never a fan (after all, he WAS born AFTER 1793!)

God bless all those who are charged with providing wise guidance to youngsters today.

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2 Risa 17 July 2012 @ 11:57 am at 11:57 am

Here’s one that dates me!
My parents wanted to see the movie ‘Gigi’ but had nowhere to leave me (around 9) and my brother (6). My father asked my mother if she thought it would be appropriate for children. My mom said that it’s a musical and would probably go right over our heads. (I remember the conversation and not understanding the significance.)
It was almost ten years later when my mother explained what the story had really been about (we were listening to the LP – another carbon dating method- which I had listened to hundreds of times).

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3 Shellie Halprin 17 July 2012 @ 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm

I always thought that a sign of good parenting was to raise your kids with good values despite all the surrounding influences (different according to the generation). You can’t possibly keep your kids away from this stuff entirely, especially with the more time they spend outside the safety of your corn field, so you have to arm them with everything they need to make the good choices Lily was talking about. I’m not sure she’s so far off base. I had this conflict over the “shoot ’em up” video games my kids played a decade ago. Will they become aggressive or violent? Will they think guns are for fun and for play? Will they de-value life? As it turns out, they were very clearly able to distinguish between real life and video games (or cartoons or movies or TV shows or song lyrics). I have confidence that the home you are creating for them will make that distinction extremely clear as well.

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4 Robin from Israel 17 July 2012 @ 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm

If it’s any consolation, my nearly 9 year old and I had a nearly identical conversation after she asked me if a pair of jeans made her butt look sexy. Had it after I nearly passed out from shock, that is. She also has no idea what it really means, just thinks it means hot or even pretty.

Ugh. I blame tween television. Whatever happened to letting them stay children while they’re children…

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5 Amitzah 17 July 2012 @ 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm

I started having panic attacks a few years ago when I realized my niece was noticing boys, and that the boys were noticing her! I can only imagine having to have the sit down talks. Not quite sure if I’m going to be looking forward to that in the future.

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6 Brianna Soloski 17 July 2012 @ 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm

I’m working with 5th grade girls at camp this summer and while I love them, they are too street smart for their own good. They know about movies and music and TV shows that I didn’t know existed until I went off to college at age 20. They are very street savvy and are not as innocent as they should be at not even 10 years old.

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7 Michelle 18 July 2012 @ 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm

For us it was “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” A fave tune of the K-thru-2nd grade set at our elementary. Try explaining “there’s passion in my pants” to a 5 year-old and a 7 year-old. I shouldn’t have to.

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