Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This song made me really sad, and I can't articulate exactly why.

Here's a comment from another viewer, which is great, since I'm completely dense and missed all these nuances:
"Maybe I'm just up late, but I've been watching the Mes Aieux video several times, and, coming from a very rural area, I find it so poignant -- the teen girl trying to stuff the soil in her purse and running and running, yet stopping to get the purse when it falls -- symbolizing either trying to escape the land into modernity while not being totally willing to relinquish it, or desparately trying to hand it on to the young boy, who simply uses it to bury the picture? Either moved me."
More discussion here:

I'm a big time cutter and paster today since I am engaged concurrently in a heated text discourse with my teen, who desperately wants to be ungrounded. I let her out for a couple hours yesterday after school, and sure 'nuff, shows up with a group of guys (where are the girls???) who look 'less than wholesome', shall we say.

I am sooooo tired of the overabundance of parents who could care less about their children, who have created a world of no rules and no expectations that has become an intoxicating lure for my daughter.

If I had my way, we'd have the basement finished and set up for the kids so they could have a (semi) private area to go when they have friends over. As it is, the kids have no privacy except in their rooms to visit with their friends, our house isn't too "kid friendly", and I don't know how to fix that. I hear stories of parents who have all their kid's friends over *all the time*, and I wonder what we're doing wrong.

Here's my best guess:

Neither one of the kids have friends whose parents are still together, and they have next to nothing in the way of limitations or boundaries. One boy's dad lets him watch rated "R" movies, play "M" rated video games, etc, "'cause I want to expose him to the world and so we can talk about it if he has any questions". Um, yeah. (and that was when the boy was 9. He has "girlfriends" now that he is infatuated with, kisses even, and the little guy is only 11 now. What's next?)
And I don't think any of the friends ever have chores or family responsibilities, so compared to other families we look like mean tyrants, making Jacob wait to play until his homework and chores are done, eat wholesome meals (with VEGETABLES, much to the horror of his friends, who are terrified to eat with us. The neighbor boy has to forage whatever leftover macaroni and cheese/bag of chips he can find on his own when he's hungry, doesn't often have family meals), and not allowing him to watch certain movies or play certain games. No wonder no one wants to come over:-(
We've tried to get the kids involved in local church activities over the years to meet kids who come from traditional families so we don't seem so foreign, but with only 1-2 kids of compatible age or gender who attend, it never seemed to work out. Now, the oldest one will only seek out kids whose lives are in chaos, doesn't even approach straight laced girls... (or girls at all. She likes to hang out with groups of scruffy guys, go figure).
In addition, my family is too far away, and after all these years am starting to feel really isolated on our beautiful 3 acre spot far out in the country. Boo.

Ok, melodramatic rant over.... I just feel a little sorry for my kids, is all. But that doesn't change the fact that girl child is still grounded, much to the pain of us all.

I've tried to isolate some of the issues we've had with her lately, and it's all common knowledge stuff for me, who has tried to keep certain crap out my house forever. After months of begging (from my husband, no less), I agreed to get better cable a few months ago, and so it's been a steady stream of junk TV in the house, stuff that's gross and vile: anything on MTV (that "Sweet 16" show makes my stomach turn, and it's not even that bad..), those modeling shows (again, not so bad. But a show that tears a girl's heart into pieces and stomps on it is just wrong), "Bad Girl's Club", "Housewives of Whatever County", ick and ick. I know the world is a soulless pit, and I don't want to be intimately exposed to it hour after hour (girl watches a lot of television, flipping and flipping and flipping the channels, it's completely maddening. And since the only TV we have at the moment with our remodeling is adjacent to the kitchen where I spend most of my time, I have to be a witness to it a great deal more than I care to).

In an effort to get my house back, I cancelled the extended cable today, but would find it the fulfillment of my greatest dreams to get rid of the stoopid cable altogether. I hatehatehate TV with a mad passion, and have since I was a kid. Never in a million years would have thought that I'd be assaulted with an idiot box in nearly every room of the house... gar! Grace is going to be even MORE mad when she finds out... but the remaining issue is that she makes it next to impossible to regulate anything, flies into shrieking hysterics anytime we restrict or limit access something she wants. So instead of saying "you can watch this show, but not this one" and having her honor that without much drama and misery for everyone, I know I just have to cancel it. Which is too bad, 'cause some of the shows on the History and Discovery Channel are pretty nifty, but we didn't get to watch them often anyway with girlchild forever stationed at the helm of the remote.

I also did something very dumb, but don't know how to rectify it. A couple years ago, daughter got an MP3 player and it was nothing but grief for the entire family. The music she put on it was ghastly (seriously, it was BAD-- really, really bad.) and it was a constant struggle to find out what she was pumping directly into her brain at all hours of the day and night. She completely disengaged from the family every chance she got, wearing that thing so she never had to be present with us, and made every limitation of volume, listening times, a battle to the death. Finally, one day it suffered some sort of tragic accident (can't remember if I was responsible or not, girl is pretty hard on her stuff) and life has improved greatly ever since then. Now, she just listens to her "gangster rap" (wo knew so many songs could be devoted to women's vaginas?) on the dreaded "My Space" and tries to push the envelope that way, sharing it with the whole family so we can be collectively horrified at the vagina songs. But it's better than it was, there's no denying that.

So what does yours truly, Queen of Stupid, get her daughter for St Nick???

Another MP3 player-- gar! It's not like I've given it to her yet, so the stupid can be undone, but WHAT DO I GIVE HER INSTEAD??????? It's the only thing she requested, so the sheep in me was more than happy to pick one up and not have to think too hard, but I KNOW it will be a tool of my undoing in a few months when her attitude becomes even more unbearable-- and I will only have myself to blame.

Any and all suggestions will be graciously appreciated. Seriously. Her only interests are television, My Space, and really bad music. I'd love to sign her up for an activity or lessons, but have no idea what to try anymore (tried to get her interested in being in a band a couple years ago, gave her a year of $$ bass lessons, to no avail).

Jacob got a season of skiing, how cool is that?

1 comment:

Emily said...

Obviously, you have a good reason for thinking it is a stupid idea to give her an MP3- Don't do it then. If she hasen't earned it yet, then wait until she has!
She'll get over it (eventually).