Shades of Gray

Pam’s Journey: Day 173

Miles walked: 428

Miles remaining: 572

Days remaining:193

Trying to raise a morally responsible child in this age of moralessness is sometimes a huge challenge. My ideas of right and wrong are very different than a lot of other parents so obviously their kids are being raised with a different set of moral laws than what I’m trying to instill in my daughter. It’s even difficult to co-parent with the same values and more often than not, the parent with the more strict rules is the one that is rebelled against. Luckily, my daughter has the gift of common sense so she understands what I’m trying to do by having rules, laws, and moral codes to follow. I said she understands, but that’s not to say that she still doesn’t rebel against them sometimes!

Example: My daughter comes in smelling horribly of cigarette smoke and we have already addressed the reasons why smoking is wrong. We have fought that battle and I think she finally agrees that it doesn’t make you cool to smoke and it is a serious habit.

I ask her why she smells like smoke and get the common, <insert friend’s name here>’s parents smoke and we were all in the car and”… ok, stop. I’m trying to picture where it is ok for a parent to think it would be ok to smoke in a car with my daughter… Obviously, this is one of those “gray areas” where I have a problem with what other people think is right and wrong.

My problem with this: I have a ridiculously sensitive sense of smell so when something smells bad, it smells really bad to me. I know that the commercials are right, it does kill, maybe not today or tomorrow but it will eventually kill you or make breathing a painful process for the rest of your life.. so I would rather that my precious and only daughter not be subjected to someone’s selfish habit and increase her risks associated with second-hand smoke. And unfortunately, the kids of these smoking parents are picking up their bad habit and they too are now smoking.

Example #2: a friend is at our house and on the phone with a parent. I can hear screaming and profanity coming out of the phone from across the room. I’ve heard the “friend’s” side of the conversation leading up to this and can think of nothing that was said to deserve the verbal lashing that they’re suddenly getting. No disrespect, no attitude, no sarcasm, nothing.

My problem with this: I don’t allow profanity in our house, not from me, my daughter, or her friends. It’s not necessary. When you use profanity in everyday communication, it leads to more profanity when there is an argument and that’s when things are said that hurt. Once it’s said, it’s out there.. you can’t take it back. So, to hear a parent say these things to their child when it is completely unprovoked tells me that most likely they use that same language when my child is hanging out at their house. Lovely… all the hard work that I’m putting into an upright moral environment for my child has just been blasted to the curb in 10 minutes at a friend’s house.

I’m starting to think this should have just been a Parenting 101 Part 2 blog! This is just what’s happening in my life so you are the lucky ones that I get to share it with. 🙂

There are so many gray areas in our common world that have come to be accepted as “ok”. Bear with me, I’m obviously a little old fashioned and still have some country girl ethics that rule my opinion center.

  • Men and women living together, unmarried – why not get married? Don’t make this an acceptable value for your children. Just cowboy up, bite the bullet and get married.. I mean, you most likely are already considered common law anyway. Obviously you want to be together or you wouldn’t be living together, right?
  • Drugs – It’s just weed? It’s a drug, an illegal drug, so why would adults think it’s ok to use drugs and not expect their kids to follow their example. Painkillers? There was a recent “bust” at my daughter’s school when over a dozen kids were suspended for using narcotic painkillers at school that were sold to them by a student who got them from their parent.
  • I think we’ve covered smoking and profanity but I have to mention how widely spread and acceptable it has become in the TV and movies that we watch and music that we listen to. Not to mention, sex, drugs, violence.. the list goes on and on.
  • Manners – those things that our parents used to make us say when we wanted something or when we were given something. Please, thank you, you’re welcome. It’s crazy but if you use them, chances are your kids will too! Just sayin’.

Through the years, I’ve had some people criticize my moral opinions. Apparently my right or wrong policy doesn’t give them the “wiggle room” that they want to justify why they’re doing something that (in my opinion) is wrong. I mean, things are either right or wrong, right? For me, it’s yes or no, black or white, to be or not to be. There’s not a lot of maybes swimming around in my mind and I personally like it that way. I don’t have to explain why it’s ok for one person to do one thing but not another if my opinion of wrong is wrong every single time. That’s why I have no shades of gray.

When in doubt, I always take it up in prayer or search the bible. It’s pretty black and white too, right or wrong, cut and dry.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

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