Why it’s so hard to raise pre-teens these days? Technology & Standards

Are we busier parents than our parents?  Do we feel guilty because both spouses work?  Is there just more access to ‘bad stuff’ with the fast-paced development of portable technology that allows access to the internet (unsupervised) all day and night?


Although all of these issues are no doubt contributing to your child’s increased exposure to ‘bad stuff,’ I believe the biggest factor is the other parents around you.  I’m not making a weak argurment that everyone else but you is to blame.  I am simply pointing out that the lowest standards required by another parent when filtering out inappropriate material becomes the floor for tolerance, not the ceiling.

Let me put it more simply.  For example, do you let your eleven year-old watch “The Walking Dead” or “Breaking Bad?”  If not, chances are high that another parent in your social and/or school circles does allow it.  Maybe, they sit down as a family to watch “it.”

Every parent has heard the argument from their child, “but, everyone else gets to watch it.”  But, in our fast and loose pop culture, there will inevitably be the parent that allows it, ignores it, or is oblivious to it.  All of a sudden, some of the kids start discussing it at school.  Other kids want to be in the discussion about it.  Other parents, under consensual peer pressure, will allow their kids to watch it.  Now, it has become acceptable viewing material.

About half of the kids in my eleven year-old son’s 5th grade class watch “The Walking Dead,” an incredibly violent, graphic, and disturbing show.  I happen to really like “The Walking Dead,” but I don’t want my pre-teen exposed to decapitations, arrows in eye sockets, and blood everywhere.

I know I sound like a self-righteous, up-tight parent.  But, when did it become ok for a kid to watch a zombie chomping on the throat of a person??  Really?

Like my daddy used to say, “don’t tell me about a problem without giving me some sort of solution.”  Well, I don’t have one here.  I don’t even have any suggestions.

Maybe, if enough parents think about it, parental control of what kids watch (at least at home) might improve a bit.


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