Oh boy. Raising a child in this day and age just gets scarier and scarier. Now there are online articles with instructions for how to get boys to kiss you. In my day, we had to rely on whatever info we could glean from Sassy magazine -- and our intuition, of course!
My daughter is only 10 and we keep her pretty well insulated from the online world, but I know it's just a matter of time before she's more and more plugged in ... and coming across stuff like this. Is it too late to move to a desert island with no internet connection?
This guide doesn't say who it's meant for, though one presumes a 13-year-old girl. (One hopes!) All and all, it's fairly harmless, though a bit confusing with the myriad -- and often contradictory -- instructions. In one breath the reader is instructed: "... Make sure you look like yourself! If he doesn't like the real you, it's not meant to be," but later points warn the reader against chapped lips and admonishes that even your HAIR should be "moisturized and soft!"
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You also, of course, need to wear makeup -- but "not too much!;" apply "cherry or strawberry lip gloss;" and by all means "make sure you have minty gum or breath mints with you at all times!"
I know, I know. Thirteen is not to young to be thinking about kissing boys. I sure was thinking about it at 13, though it was another, er, few years before a boy finally seemed to think about it at the same time I did. I was a late bloomer, what can I say. But it's one thing to be thinking about it, and talking about it with your friends, and having unrequited crushes. It's another thing entirely to be able to Google instructions for how to go about getting kissed ... and much worse, I'm sure! (I'm scared to even think about what other kinds of instructions are out there.) The information -- and MISinformation -- that is available by the masses to our children at the few clicks of a mouse truly terrifies me.
The internet is an incredible thing. It's done so much good in the world, and can be a great force for change, and for real connection. It can make the world smaller, in a good way. But it's also a potential source of danger -- from something fairly innocuous like these silly instructions for kissing boys, to something truly horrifying, like unwittingly inviting predators into your tween's social network. And when it comes to raising my daughter, that really scares me.
Does you think it's more complicated to raise tween and teens today?
Image via LiamDunn/Flickr