Trashy Teen – Parental Modeling

Well this post will be a minefield of doggy dew but I  will try avoid stepping in it… Too Much.

Trashy Teens & Parental Modeling is one of the more contentious parts of this issue as it frequently steps on a few toes along the way. This is mainly because I feel a trashy child is more a reflection of parenting than anything else. Sure the likes of Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and the miscreant cast of the Jersey Shore display an appalling lack of decorum but why do parents allow free unfettered access to the media which have popularized these pop culture icons. This free and unrestricted access without any kind of discussion or critical questioning is simply telling kids that, “hey thats a normal way too look and behave”

In some cases, parents covet or emulate the same trash as their kids. Not only do they not meter their kids access to the trash some display it themselves.

The Trashy Image industry revolves around money, artificial beauty, drugs, alcohol, fame and hyper sexualized relationships and many adults have bought into the mayhem just as our teens have. In the adult world, material wealth has become the only measure of and individuals worth and value to society. Adults obsess over personal image as much as their teens, feeding into what Naomi Wolfe calls the Beauty Myth. The consumption of alcohol (and other substances) seems to be done just as recklessly amongst adults today as it is with teens and finally, marital fidelity seems to be a thing of the past. The list just goes on and on.

I think it is safe to say that a significant number of adults in our society have dove head long into the cesspool of trash we live in and there is another whack of adults who are sitting on the pools edge with their toes dangling in the murky waters.

Kids will do things which challenge and push the boundaries of good taste and acceptable behavior but if you as a parent never draw that boundary line by example, then your kids will never know what is acceptable nor will they care. Everything you do or do not do as a parent is internalized by your child and if you have a trashy one on your hands, it is time to take a good look in the mirror.

The Trashy Teen Syndrome has so many facets and you might end up with one regardless of what you do BUT if you do not take an active part in your child’s life and manage what they have access to and model behaviors which are “Not Trashy”, then you don’t have a hope in hell in keeping the lid on your child’s behavior or how they present themselves to the world when they become a teen.

Common sense dictates that you cannot have it all. You can’t dance with the devil and not get burnt.

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