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Glee — ‘coming out’, ‘first times’ and more parental anxiety…

I let Emma (11) watch Glee. Owen, (8) does not. He doesn’t want to. And I’m so glad for now!

It’s not really his cup of tea- all that dancing and singing (snooze) and then there’s the kissing. And that’s just disgusting to an 8 year old boy.

Some parents would object to the content of Glee. It’s not all singing and dancing. It covers homosexuality, teen pregnancy, adultery, bullying and sex. Lots of undertones of sexuality.  BUT- – if you think your child isn’t mature enough for it- don’t let them watch it. But do we need to ban a show? Really people? Isn’t that the idea of parenting? I don’t let my children watch Family Guy either. I think it’s rude, offensive and vulgar. Inappropriate? Very much so. Does it have any value? No.  I think Glee does however. If it offends you- don’t watch it. But for the millions out there that gain insight, feel acceptance from it, or are just entertained by it, it’s a quality show.

I asked myself if I was comfortable with letting Emma watch a show where teenagers come to grips with their sexuality. Where teenagers realize they’re gay, and dealing with coming out to their parents, their peers and their crushes. And my answer is- yes. If there’s a vehicle of positive examples of children trying to understand all those feelings that jumble around inside of them during the teen years, then what is wrong with that? I watch it with her. We discuss the topics. If I’m uncomfortable with her seeing something, I ask myself why? She knows about the birds and the bees. That’s just the mechanics, I realize that. Nuances and romance and innuendo are entirely different! But talking about these things is what opens doors. It’s what brings children closer to their parents. Helps them trust us as confidants. It doesn’t fill their head with salacious thoughts of going out and losing their virginity!!  And isn’t it better they are talking to YOU than just the kids at school? Or they overhear disgusting ‘locker room’ talk on the bus ride or in the cafeteria? Face it- it’s out there. And some of it is shocking. So if Emma is equipped with an understanding of what is disrespectful vs. respectful and compassionate, then I don’t care if she’s 11 or 20.

Some conservative groups want Glee off the airwaves. (http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/11/08/glee-teen-sex/)

Not just because of homosexual story lines, but teen sex story lines where 16 and 17 year-olds are talking about their ‘first time’. Yes, technically they aren’t adults. They have adult raging hormones though! And if you’ve ever seen a Glee episode, there’s a lot of talking, but not a whole lot of ‘doing’. You see characters kiss, embrace on the bed, sit on the bed talking. Yes some things are implied. But yes, the characters are clothed. Most of the time the characters rethink their emotions- decide not to go through with something. Think of themselves first instead of acting out in the moment or for peer pressure. These are all things I want my children to do. Seeing the discovery process of young adults who make those important decisions can have a lasting impact. And I think for the  better more than for the worse.

We saw the Glee movie in the theaters. A lot of it was fan testimonials. There are so many kids out there that felt Glee saved their lives. They needed something to relate to, something to help them know that what they were going through was ‘normal’.

I feel I’ve been so lucky that Emma and I talk about almost everything. No topic is really off limits. She trusts me. I honor that trust and continue to do what I can to nourish the ‘talks’ we have. I hope those talks don’t end. Especially as the boyfriends start to line up!!

Thankfully, right now Owen is still in the girls are gross stage. When that changes it will be James to take the lead. Right babe? Owen is quite frank with his ‘body talk’. He asks questions and points out anatomical things for me. (Some I don’t want to know!) But I always react with respect, integrity and understand his sensitivity. He is much more private than Emma, but as long as he knows he can share when he’s ready, I’m here. And so is James. Oh thank goodness!

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Comments

  1. Uta says:

    Now that I have read this, I am hoping I was as available to you as you are to Emma. My intent would have been there for you of course. A difference in this new generation, the presentation of formerly taboo subjects, is now generally available for viewing and reading.

  2. Uta says:

    Now that I have read this, I am hoping I was as available to you as you are to Emma. My intent would have been there for you of course. A difference in this new generation, the presentation of formerly taboo subjects, is now generally available for viewing and reading.