Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Yearbook Picture Deemed Too Sexy: Mom Needs Common Sense

posted by Linda Mintle

Sometimes, you just want to shake a parent and say, “Really, get a grip.” That’s what I wanted to do to Miki Spies, the mother of high school senior Sydney. Instead of talking sense to her 18-year-0ld daughter, she is protesting along side her at her daughter’s high school. Here is why.

Sydney decided she wanted a sexy picture for her senior year photo in her yearbook. She submitted a pose that she felt was artsy and showed off her dancer body and desire to be a model. The yearbook editors (students) rejected it and asked  her to submit another pose. According to the local paper, the Durango Herald, the students told her she could not submit the photo  as a senior portrait but could use it in another section of the yearbook designated for paid senior advertisement. Thus, Sydney’s need to be artistically expressive could still be met in another section of the yearbook.

Apparently this didn’t satisfy Sydney or mom. According to the Huffington Post, the  mom posted this comment on her Facebook, “I wanted my daughter to chose a different photo but she is 18 and doesn’t always listen! I knew this would be hard and it’s proving to be.”

Now the mom is talking to a Denver lawyer to review her daughter’s case and might bring in the ACLU.

I say forget the ACLU and be a parent. What will you teach you daughter if you continue to pursue this?

How about talking to your daughter about decency?

How about talking to your daughter about following rules?

How about suggesting your daughter find a different outlet for her artistic expression? One that doesn’t go against the standard set by the editors.

How about not making senior photos about sex?

How about telling the lawyer you made a mistake and supporting the yearbook editors by placing her photo in another part of the yearbook? This might teach a bigger life lesson that she may need-respect for authority and following rules.

How about thinking about the editors point of view and what they would like to accomplish with the yearbook (maybe it is not all about Sydney)?

How about common sense? Do we really need yearbooks to look like cover shots for wanna be models? There are plenty of places to post those type of photos on the Internet.

How about looking at the bigger picture mom? Is it more important to fight for Sydney’s right to print a sexy senior portrait despite the standards already set, or is it more important to teach your daughter to respect others, herself, authority and be obedient to rules that still allow her to express herself and do not restrict her freedom of expression. To me, this is parenting 101. You don’t take on the school over this issue.

 

P.S. I am not attaching the photo because that is exactly what Sydney wants –more publicity, money and a modeling job. Sadly, she may get what she wants and learn no lesson here. And I realize that even writing about this is giving her publicity.

 

A Woman Scorn: Tiger Wood’s Ex-Wife Takes Down the House–Literally!

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve seen my share of angry divorces in all my years as a marriage and family therapist, but this takes the cake. Angry spouses usually throw clothes out the door, pack boxes and ship them out and even remove furniture, but this is the first–bulldozing a 12 million dollar mansion. Yet, that is exactly what Tiger Wood’s ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, did to her North Palm Beach estate.

According to TMZ, Elin bought the 9000 square foot house right after her 100 million dollar settlement. Apparently, it wasn’t quite what she wanted.  So she mowed it down and hired a group of architects to build the house of her dreams on the island.

Was it therapeutic?

Did she do it just because she can?

Is she so rich that it doesn’t matter if she blows 12 million?

Is it a statement to Tiger?

Whatever the case (love your thoughts here), I can’t wrap my brain around the incredible waste this is, money or no money. To me, this simply speaks to the incredible excess of celebrity living and how out of touch most are with the rest of the people. Surely the house could have been used in some other way for someone else. I guess I am way too practical. I can’t even throw away an old sweater if I think someone else could use it.

10 Ways to Help Your Kids With Sexually Saturated Media

posted by Linda Mintle

I sound like a broken record when I harp on all the sex in media. Pick a week of TV –Fox’s Glee–the characters are deciding whether or not to have sex;  CW’s  90210 is a steady stream of hookups;  Two and Half Men–is there even a plot without sex as the main theme? And one of my favorites, the Big Bang Theory, has characters hooking up even though the non-sex story lines are very funny.

According to the University of Michigan’s Health Systems web page:

The number of sex scenes on TV has nearly doubled since 1998, with 70% of the top 20 most-watched shows by teens including sexual content.

Fifteen percent of scenes with sexual intercourse depict characters that have just met having sex. 

Of the shows with sexual content, an average of five scenes per hour involves sex.”

I read this and feel overwhelmed. Why? Because we are doing life together and I know all too well that all this exposure is not having a good end for kids and adults. I’ve seen the consequence side of sexual saturation–good kids and adults whose lives are ruined by porn addictions and sexual consequences never depicted on television– a case of AIDS, genital warts for life, unintended pregnancy, rejection, abandonment, etc.

The experts continue to recommend that we watch media with our kids and discuss the content. Great idea. How real is it? For one thing, kids access media in ways that do not include sitting around the TV in the family room. Consider these figures also posted by the U of M: 71% of 8- to 18-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom; 54% have a DVD/VCR player; 37% have cable/satellite TV; 20% have premium channels.

Furthermore: (also copied from the same site):

  • Watching sexual content on TV is linked to becoming pregnant or being responsible for a pregnancy.  Researchers found that even after controlling for other risk factors, the chance of  teen pregnancy went  up with more exposure to sex on television.
  • Watching sex on TV increases the chances a teen will have sex, and may cause teens to start having sex at younger ages.  Even viewing shows with characters talking about sex increases the likelihood of sexual initiation.

 

I have to ask. What is the end goal of pushing all this sex in media? What good comes from it? What is the agenda since we have to spend millions on the back end cleaning up the fall out?

Is there really no media responsibility to moderate? I’m not a political person, but I believe there has to be some responsibility taken given the social, health and emotional consequences at play.

In the mean time, what can we parents do  (I’m open to suggestions)?

1. Know what your kids are watching. As much effort and time as it does take, stay on top of what they are consuming. This is the only way to can speak to the issues.

2. Keep talking about the content. Even if your kids are like mine and roll their eyes upon occasion, you are an important voice.

3. Get the TV out of your child’s bedroom.

4. Constantly talk about your beliefs and values.

5. Get your kids active in religious groups that will talk about the content and help them navigate the exposure.

6. Write letters to networks and sponsors and complain. Those complaints do get registered.

7. Continue to present the consequences of sexual behavior that  media do not present.

8. Take your kids to church and youth groups so they can be exposed to other voices.

9. Pray for our kids. The temptation is great. Offer grace and mercy.

10. Help your children understand how to take thoughts captive, flee from temptation and fight this battle with spiritual weapons. Because the battle is spiritual!

Let’s help and encourage each other!

7 Tips to Be Anxious About Nothing

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s a tall biblical order–be anxious about nothing. About 40 million of us struggle to follow this command.

In my book, Letting Go of Worry, I explain how worry is the mental part of anxiety. To let go of worry involves the mind, body and spirit. Here are some practical tips to help you be anxious about nothing:

1) The opposite of tension is slow breathing so take a deep breath and exhale slowing. Inhale through your nose, hold the breath, then exhale slowly through your mouth. We do this in Pilates and it begins to relax the body.

2) Reach out to someone–have a conversation. Anxiety can be triggered by loneliness. Call someone. Talk to your minister, a counselor or friend. Human connection lowers anxiety.

3) Burn off anxiety through exercise. It works. No matter how uptight you feel, a hard workout calms the body.

4) Learn to soothe yourself. It is important to know how to calm your body. A hot bath works for me. For others it might be a heating pad, massage, cup of hot tea, etc.

5) Use music to calm your soul. Put on a relaxing CD and unwind. Close your eyes and be swept away.

6) Escape through a good novel (or the Bible) or TV show. Both are distracting and give a racing mind a break.

7) Live in the moment. Anxiety is usually about what might happen in the future. Stay in the moment.

For more tips on how to be anxious about nothing, get a copy of Letting Go of Worry (Harvest House, 2011). Click on the link to the right.

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