On Teen Nick, there is a show called Degrassi: The Boiling Point. It deals with heavy issues like teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, and they have now introduced a transgender character. Some would probably judge and say that I am a bad mother or what have you, but I allow my children (10 and 7) to watch it. The issues are very deep and complicated, very possibly more than children that age might understand. However, I watch with them and answer any questions they might have to the best of my ability so that they can at least somewhat understand what is going on. Am I crazy? I very well could be. Allow me to explain why I do not see it that way.
We live in an ever changing world. Equality issues, race issues, and teenage pregnancy are prevalent. Take into account hate crimes and what teen parents go through, life can be very hard. Confusing, and hard. I want my children to understand that differences in people do not give anyone the right to hurt them or criticize them. My children have a gay uncle; I have a gay cousin and a transgender friend. It was obvious very early that they noticed the differences in these people, but they never asked. Then about a month ago, I was playing an online game with my daughter sitting beside me. In the game you have a spouse and get to set your own avatars. One of my female friends had a wife instead of a husband. Ellie looked at me and asked where her husband was, so I explained that Kae had a wife. My poor child was confused and glared at me like I had three heads. I knew then that something had to be done.
With Degrassi, although the kids are older than mine, they are still children. It seems to be easier for them to grasp some of these concepts to see people closer to their own ages dealing with this stuff. I want my children to embrace people no matter what their color, sexual preference or life situation might be. Certain words are never spoken in my home and almost everything is accepted. That which is not acceptable will be dealt with accordingly. Children should not be taught that hate is acceptable. I do not allow my children to say they hate anything; that is a word that is too easily thrown around. I’d honestly rather hear them say the F word than “I hate you”.
Every year in our country, teenagers kill or hurt themselves because their life is made unbearable by society due to their differences. Thirty three percent of all teenage suicides are committed by homosexual teens. It’s sad that a person, no matter what age, cannot love who they so choose without being ridiculed constantly by their peers. Parents are teaching their children that it is ok to call a person a faggot, a nigger, a wetback etc. The list goes on and on and on. How could someone possibly think it is ok to teach our children to behave in such a way?
On the right side of my page, I’ve added a new widget. It’s called Social Vibe. Basically it is a social networking site that allows people to raise money for a charity of their choosing. I chose Trevor’s Project. They fund research to help prevent suicide among homosexual teens. Please click the link and check it out. In the meantime, educate your children about differences. Teach them to see people for who they are not who they choose to love or the small mistakes they might make. Show them that being a friend is one of the greatest rewards life can offer. Do not allow them to let hate rule their lives or their hearts.